The agenda has changed since the last council meeting. Now the Mayor and city officials speak before the general public.
Mayor England began by thanking Mr. Coffey and Ms. Benedetti for their service as President and VP during 2009. He then congratulated Mr. Gonder and Mr. McLaughlin on their elections as President and VP for 2010.
He then got down to business discussing the possible closing of a fire station and/or laying off personnel. He asked the council to schedule a work session for Febuary 5, a Saturday, to discuss the $2,000,000 appropriation for the fire and police depts. before they have a final vote.
He then advised that the State of the City address will take place in March. There will be a press release also. Additionally there will be a press release concerning the 6.7 million for the SEJ rehab. The city plans to tear down 40 dilapidated homes and use 10 lots already owned and build 50 homes. The plan is to sell them for $120,000 to $130,000 to single families. They cannot be purchased for investment ie. rental property.
During the city official discussion Mr. Price said that the 5.2million borrowed from the Sewer Utility needs to be paid back before the sewer rates are raised. Mrs. Garry advised him that the loan was paid back in 2004. He also questioned the Mayor's comment that the police and fire dept. are underfunded, he said a union representative told him they had received a better contract than they had requested. A representative from the fire dept. said they received a raise of about $6.80 per month more than they requested and the police received the same.
During the comments from the public several people asked for help from last year's flood. Some people said the city had made promises which were not kept. Mr. Caesar said the Stormwater Board will meet next Thursday 1/28 at 10:00 to reveal the preliminary master plan to address this problem. Attny Shane Gibson spoke before the vote was taken on the $400,000 appropriation and asked that their be an amendment to give at least $200,000 to the Stormwater Board to dredge creeks and fix the culverts and other "micro projects". The amendment was passed 9-0. The final vote on the appropriation was 8-1 with Mr. Price voting against.
As of yet, the council does not yet have a full time attorney. The ordinance was tabled until a committee could meet and work out the details.
At this time it was 9:30 and I had to leave since I work early in the morning. If anyone stayed until the end please give us the details of the rest of the meeting.