Notes from August 10,2009 Board of Aldermen Meeting

First of all, apologies to the citizens for not getting the Agenda for the meeting posted prior to the meeting, I am usually on top of things of that nature but I forgot to pick my packet up the previous Friday and ran out of time Monday to post it. Things have been extremely busy around my house since the meeting, which is probably obvious from this delayed report.

The meeting started at 6:00 pm with all members of the Board present and accounted for. First on the agenda was the approval of the previous month’s meeting notes then came the approval of the City’s expenditures both of which passed unanimously.

The next item on the agenda was voting on several ordinances.

Ordinance  09-13  deals with the setting the rates for the installation of  new water meters, tapping into water lines, sewer line inspection, the use of City employees and the use of the City backhoe.  The way I understand this ordinance is that it deals with new construction…i.e. new homes sites and new business sites.

The Board voted unanimously to set the rates as follows:

A. Water Department:

1. Setting Water Meter-$175.00

2. Water tap and setting water meter-$300.00

3. Water tap and setting meter ( 1 inch line or larger) $500.00 plus

Reimbursement of all costs incurred in purchasing meter;

4. Service turn on -$15.00

5. Service turn off- $15.00

B. Sewer Department:

1. Inspection permit-$50.00

C. Labor:

1. Any employee labor-$18.00 per hour

D. Equipment:

1. All city equipment excluding backhoe-$25.00 per hour or any part thereof;and

2. Backhoe-$75.00 per hour or any part thereof.

 

Ordinance 09-14 needs some explaining as well , during last month’s meeting the Board of Alderman voted to set the water and sewer rates. Ordinance 09-14 made it official.  The vote was not unanimous with myself casting the only “NO” vote. Needless to say citizens water and sewer rates will increase and will be as follows:

Water: $15.00 per month up to 2500 gallons

Out of City customers will pay $30.00 per month for up to 2500 gallons.

.35 cents will be charged for every 100 gallons used over the 2,500 gallon minimum. (Out of city customers will pay .70 cents per every 100 gallons used over 2500 gallon minimum).

The minimum charge for sewer services will be $16.00 per month for up to 2500 gallons used. ($32.00 per month for custumers outside of the City limits).

An additional .37 cents will be charged for every 100 gallons used over 2500 gallons. (.74 cents for every 100 gallons used over the 2,500 gallons for those customers outside of the City limits).

Ordinance 09-15  is an ordinance approving a settlement agreement between  AT&T and the City of Marble Hill. “settlement agreement” is a nice way of saying class action lawsuit. The abridged version of this ordinance is that AT&T owes the City of Marble Hill a back tax payment of $10,202.60.  The ordinance passed unanimously.

There were two more ordinances to be voted on.

Ordinance 09-16  would put Chief of Police Dennis Willis back on salary as opposed to hourly rate of pay

Ordinance 09-17  would create the position of Assistant Chief of Police  so that an officer would be ready to fulfill the duties of the Chief if needed.

Before either Ordinance 09-16 or 09-17 could be read I respectfully asked the Mayor if I could make a point of order, which he readily granted.

I then stated that I noticed that Ordinance 09-16 and 09-17 were not on the agenda and questioned the legality of pursuing these ordinances for fear we would be violating the Sunshine law.

There was a brief spirited discussion or argument if you will between the Mayor and I and I asked City Attorney Scott Gray if he could offer his advice. He stated that he could go back to his office to look for information on the subject.

The Mayor then stated that ordinances 09-16 and 09-17 would be tabled, even though he knew that he clearly had the right to “set the agenda”. As an added note, this incident did not make it to the pages of the Banner Press.

Paula Bridges from the Bollinger County recycling  project then made a presentation to the Board and gave each member an informational flyer (which I will post later on this blog).

Bob Houchings from the Optimist club presented to the Board that the Coca Cola machine at the Baseball field seldom works and asked for permission to call Coca Cola and ask them to take it back. In it’s place he asked permission for the Optimist club to build a shed to store the DR Grader in. Mr. Houchings also stated that a refreshment stand would be available for most games in place of the Coca Cola machine.

The Board unanimously agreed to grant the Optimist club’s request.

Before the Board could go into Executive session City Attorney Stephen Gray returned and stated it was his opinion that the Board could procede with voting on Ordinances 09-16 and 09-17.

Assistant Administrator Shrum presented the Board with his report which included that Bob and Pam Alford are seeking reimbursment in the amount of $1,400 from Rocky’s Blacktop Service dated 07/17/09 for having their driveway repaired. This occurred at the loacations where the new water and swer lines crossed going to the Collier subdivision. Mr. Shrum recommended that the City reimburse the Bollingers.

Work will soon begin on the Hurricane Creek project  which is expected to end on September 09.

Recent work completed at Pelligrino Park includes preparations for the new overlay project there. This included cleaning ditches and clearing brush. Also the lights at the tennis court have been repaired. One of the lights is still not working and Black River electric will have to repair this particular problem.

Winners of the sealed bids for surplus equipment were as follows:

Back Hoe- Jamie Ray $8,600

Generator-Ronald Pokracki $200.00

Tires-Gary Warren $60.00

The Board unanimously approved these bids.

There were two bids for the Pelligrino Park  overlay project, the winner was Jokerst Inc. $44,470.00

One thing that was unexpected during this portion of the meeting was the fact that Mayor Masterson said that due to the unexpected high cost of the overlay of Pelligrino Park and the fact that he considered the paving project last year a “major overlay’ project, he does not want a major overlay project this year. The mayor also cited that costs of the new water line from the new water tank to the old Marble Hill side of town and the refurbishment of the old water tower.

I agree that Peligrino should be repaved as it was in horrible shape and that refurbishing of the old water tower will hopefully restore water pressure to residents in the old Lutesville side of town (Ward I). The new water line should ensure that in case of an emergency in Ward II, there will be a plentiful supply of water.

However; that being said, it is my opinion that the City should at least overlay a couple of the worst streets in town. I believe that the reason Pelligrino Park is in the shape it is in and that many of the streets are in disrepair is because of neglect.  I believe it would be a bad idea to not build upon the work we did last year.

During his report, Assitant Administrator Shrum stated that he felt “apalled” about a recent letter that appeared in the Banner Press newspaper from the leadership of the Bollinger County Soccer League and further stated that one individual from the League “cursed” at him in his office.

I later talked to the individual and they stated that they were encouraged by the Banner Press to submit a letter about the situation and that Mr. Shrum had cursed at them.

I wasn’t there for either event, but I feel we need to support the Bollinger County Youth Soccer League. I feel it is good for the kids that are members of it, and instills character, comradery , values and excercise to these youth. 

Unfortunately I had to leave at this point due to obligations at work. In short I was using vacation time to attend the meeting, and that time was fast expiring.

I asked for and received permission to leave the meeting early.

I later learned that Ordinances 09-16 and 09-17 had been reintroduced but the remaining three alderman did not agree on approving them, which means they will have to be discussed at the September meeting.

In closing I would like to say  that this past Monday we learned that Marble Hill will still be home to Crown Chevrolet, as GM and Crown once again signed the necessary paperwork to continue their partnership. GM noted that the amount of community support was a big factor in their decision making process.

I will post more information about this in the very near future.

Clint E. Lacy

Alderman, Ward I, City of Marble Hill

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4 Responses to “Notes from August 10,2009 Board of Aldermen Meeting”

  1. Rena Says:

    Received my water, sewer, trash bill today. $102. for a family of 2 and only a 2 bedroom house. My poor flowers and gardens are dying because I can’t afford to water them. Next year I will not bother to plant them. I do believe your estimate may have been a little off. Sure hope the city enjoys the extra income and uses it wisely.

  2. Mary Says:

    Well, we received the water bill, Clint. A month ago, I made a very serious attempt to reduce water usage … not running the water while washing hands, making sure the washer water level was set lower for smaller loads, etc.

    I was successful: We used 900 less gallons of water since the last billing. However, our water and sewer charges were almost $3.50 higher than last month!

    To say I’m disgusted with Shrum’s estimate of an average raise of $4.83 with the increase, and with the vote to raise the rates again, is a mild comment. Haven’t figured out what our bill might have been with that additional 900 gallons …

    Don’t know about the ‘typical’ family’s usage that you estimated, but there are three in this household, and our average usage since moving here has always been between 4,000-5,000 gallons. And this in a household where the water pressure has been abysmal since the new well went in!

    Somehow I missed that the trash rate was going again, too … ?

    My advice to people who have always heard that small-town living is cheaper is … Don’t believe it! And don’t believe small-town government employees or elected officials will care more about the public than they do anywhere else!

  3. Mary Says:

    Also a short comment about Ordinances 09-16 and 09-17being reintroduced after you left the meeting …

    This is not only unprofessional, but unethical. Nice to know such things about our council and mayor personal lack of those qualities.

    And agree with you that the reporting in the Banner Press, although more informative than it used to be, is still lacking in giving us some of the relevant information we should expect from an unbiased news article.

  4. aldermanlacy Says:

    Rena: My estimates? I warned everyone that Assistant Administrator Shrums estimates were not accurate. Sorry but I did all I could, I informed the public and voted against the increase.

    Mary: I had to leave the meeting early because of work obligations, that being said, I do not believe the rest of the council should be held back if I can not be at the entire meeting.

    The ordinances ended up being tabled because of a disagreement between the remaining council members.

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