Notes from Public Hearing / September Board Meeting

A public hearing was held at the Marble Hill City Hall on Sept. 14, 2009 at 5:30 pm to gain public input on setting the tax rate for the City of Marble Hill.  Currently the tax rate for the General Revenue fund is $ .4918 and the tax rate for Parks and Recreation is at  $ .1229. 

Bill No. 09-18 would raise the tax rate for the General Revenue fund to $ .4978 and the Parks and Recreation tax rate to $.1244 

There was no input from the public. 

The Public Hearing for setting the City tax rate started at 5:34 pm and ended at 5:38 pm. 

Next a public hearing was held for rezoning property owned by Kenneth Liley from RI to CI. There was no input from the public. 

The Public Hearing for rezoning started at 5:34 pm and ended at 5:38 pm. 

At 6:00 pm the Board of Aldermen met in regular session. 

First on the agenda was the approval of the minutes from the August meeting at which time I found an error in the record of how I voted concerning a lawsuit against AT&T for back taxes owed to the City. The minutes showed that I voted against the measure and I stated that I had voted for the measure.  City Clerk Carla Watt said she would correct the mistake and the minutes were approved. 

The Board then approved the City’s expenditures list, which Assistant Administrator Shrum noted was missing the bill to Jokerst and Smith and Company for payment completed on the Hurricane Creek Project.  The Board approved these expenditures later in the meeting. 

City Clerk Carla Watt brought good news to the Board, while going through the City records she found a check from Bollinger County Insurance for $2,500.00 written for a return on premium for vehicles that had been sold by the City. 

The other was a check from Bollinger County Insurance for $500.00 for fire equipment. 

One of the checks was written in 2007, and Mr. Houchins was kind enough to rewrite the checks for the City. 

In other news the Board approved a combined city revenue and expenditures report and to buy newspaper space to place the report in the Banner Press. 

Ordinance 09-18  which would have set the City tax rate for the General Revenue Fund at:  $.4918 and the City’s Parks and Recreation tax rate at: $ .1229

The measure failed with Aldermen McCain and Sear voting for the measure and myself voting against it and Alderman Southwick being absent. The Mayor stated that the measure would be reintroduced at a later date. I voted against the measure because  earlier in the day I called State Auditor Susan Montee’s office and talked with Becky Webb, who told me that we did not have to set the tax rate at the percentage listed on the letter, we just couldn’t set it highter than the suggested tax rate. I felt that after nearly losing Crown Chevrolet earlier this summer, I wanted to give the citizens and businesses every advantage possible in this economic downturn. 

Ordinance 09-19, which would rezone property owned by Kenneth Liley passed unanimously. 

During Assistant Administrator Shrum’s report, Mr. Shrum stated that he will soon be meeting with Melissa from the Health Department who reports that they have been awarded $5000.00 to be used in the Parks. Mr. Shrum stated that the Health Department would like to purchase a 10’ Merry Go Round for Twin City Park, which costs $6113.00. The Health Department wanted to know if the City would pay the $1,291.96 difference. A vote was taken and the money was unanimously approved for the new play ground equipment. 

Assistant Administrator Shrum also brought news that the City’s old fire truck was sold to the Puxico Fire Department for $40,000.00 

Mr. Shrum also stated that Leo Vandermeiren, owner of the old “Burn Biscuit” restaurant building stated that the sidewalk stair next to the structure is funneling water into the building and that Mr. Vandermeiren wanted to fix the problem, which he estimates will cost $631.00 in materials. Shrum stated that if the City would agree to purchase the materials, Mr. Vandermeiren would provide the labor.  The issue was voted upon and passed unanimously.

 Also included in Mr. Shrum’s report was the fact that the City needed a new maintenance tractor. The current tractor was manufactured in the 1950’s and the engine is on its “last leg”.   Mr. Shrum stated that he has searched extensively for a replacement tractor and the best buy he has found is a Foton 50 hp  tractor  for $14,000, which includes a front loader, back blade and brush hog. 

Last but not least Assistant Administrator Shrum stated that Mr. Sayer , owner of Eagle Metal Products located on Hwy 34 W complained of a water leak. Mr. Sayer feels that the City water meter was installed improperly which caused the leak on his line. 

Pictures of the meter show that the meter is very old, and the Board felt that the meter was not the problem. City policy is that any water leak from the meter to the city water line is the responsibility of the City.  Any water line on the property owners land is the responsibility of the owner.  At the end of the discussion the Board opted for what we feel is the fair solution to the problem.  If Mr. Sayer agrees to buy the parts to fix the leaking line, the City will provide the labor. 

Assistant Administrator Shrum concluded his report by stating Smith and Company should have the final proposed plan for the dedicated water line which will run from the water tank to the elevated water tower in Ward I ( old Lutesville) which should solve the low water pressure in that area. 

The Board went into executive session at 07:15 pm to discuss personnel matters. At 07;53 pm the Board reconvened in regular session at which time a motion was made and seconded to promote Officer Scott Shaffer to the position of Assistant Chief of Police. The Board then took a vote and passed the measure unanimously. Officer Shaffer’s hours and pay will remain the same.

A motion was then made and seconded to increase Officer Detmer’s pay by 25 cents per hour. (This should have been done when the rate of pay for the officers was set earlier this year) The measure passed unanimously. 

In new business Alderman Sear stated that he had been in contact with a citizen who had purchased a $50.00 coupon book last year to be used at the City Pool but due to the late opening and early closing due to lack of patrons she was only able to use $8.00 worth of coupons.

 A motion was made and seconded to reimburse the citizen the amount of $42.00 and the motion passed unanimously. 

Next I made my report of new business. Assistant Administrator Shrum had received some complaints from some businesses on 1’st St. (Hwy 51) in Ward I and I stated that I had talked to one officer about the need for more patrols in this area and would talk to the others as well.

 I also asked when a small section of Central Ave could be paved to help divert storm run off water to the new storm water drain on that street. I was told it could be done when Pellegrino Park is repaved. 

I also presented the Board with a model pamphlet for the Adopt a Block proposal. City Attorney Stephen Gray stated earlier in the meeting that he sees no legal restrictions that would prevent the City from implementing the program. 

The Board members expressed approval for the proposal and I will soon be contacting churches and organizations to set a “kick off” date. 

Last I addressed the need to widen two hills on Englehart Ln due to the fact they present a safety hazard. Some discussion followed and the possibility of making Englehart Ln. a one-way street was brought up but was dismissed.  In the end the Board agreed to explore widening the street on the two hills and that I would talk to local property owners about this idea. 

Alderman McCain proposed issuing City stickers for vehicle owners within City limits to ensure that personal property taxes are paid. 

A motion was made to again go into Executive Session. The motion was seconded and all were in favor of doing so. The Board went into Executive Session at 08:38 pm to discuss legal matters and returned to regular session at 08:47pm. 

The regular session meeting ended at 08:48 pm.

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2 Responses to “Notes from Public Hearing / September Board Meeting”

  1. Mary Says:

    In the whole scheme of things … many of us would place park equipment and higher taxes for ‘recreation’ way down the list of things this town needs, especially during these times of high unemployment and individual financial crises. Except for special events, in driving past the parks almost daily, it’s obvious that very few acutally utilize the parks.

    Let’s hope that the plan for the water tower is more successful than the aftermath of saving money on the installation of the new one was! It’ll be great to be able to take a shower with more than a dribble of water again!

    As always, Clint, thank you for all you try to do, and for keeping us informed.

  2. aldermanlacy Says:

    You’re welcome Mary. Though I feel like we should give the kids in town something. Most of the merry-go-round money is coming from a grant and the kids are going to be running the show someday, we need to give them something to be broud of and a little hope.

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