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Union City Council crunching numbers

Union City Council crunching numbers

Posted: Wednesday, September 2, 2009 9:03 pm
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor

By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
Union City is having to crunch budget numbers and in doing so found an expense many council members weren’t aware of.
During Tuesday night’s meeting, when interim city manager Kathy Dillon brought up the matter of charging all churches in the city for trash pick-up, many of the council members said they were unaware churches didn’t pay for garbage pick-up.
Councilman Bill “Rat” Har-rison said he thought churches paid for the service and when he asked several of his fellow church members, they told him they wouldn’t have a problem with paying. “It’s nothing but fair,” he said.
Harrison then asked Ms. Dillon if the schools paid for the service. She said she thought they did, depending on where the receptacles are located. But, Carolyn Moran, who keeps the minutes of the meetings, said she did not think the schools paid for trash pick-up.
Ms. Dillon added that each of the city’s departments are charged for garbage pick-up.
Harrison said he thinks the schools should be charged as well. “I think they ought to have to pay for it. They’ve got their budget; we’ve got ours,” he said.
A motion that everyone should be charged for trash pick-up based on the size of the container they use was unanimously passed by the council.
After the meeting was opened in prayer by Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Learned from Police Chief Joe Garner that the middle school and swimming pool tennis courts have been damaged by skateboarders who try to jump the nets, resulting in dings in the playing surface. He said it is causing some problems with tripping for the tennis players.
The chief said it was determined most of the damage is being done before the gates are locked and no signs are posted discouraging the activity. He said signs have been ordered to state there is to be no skateboarding on the tennis courts. He said he thinks the signs will take care of 90 percent of the problem.
Video cameras in the area of the middle school have also been readjusted to view the tennis courts.
• Agreed to review the budget during the orientation session Tuesday. The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. at the municipal building. Once final changes are made, a public hearing can be held.
• Voted to pay for half of the cost of the roof replacement at the Civic Auditorium. The school system will pay for the other half. The total estimate is $43,000.
• Learned a delinquent real estate tax notice will be published in The Messenger once Ms. Dillon has worked out several things with the city attorney.
• Approved the mayor signing a supplement to utility relocation contract with the Tennessee Department of Transportation regarding I-69. The contract estimate has increased from $120,495.77 to $192,297.19 to cover additional installation expenses caused by the relocation of an additional sewer system. Ms. Dillon said the city is not responsible for any of the costs, but because it is the city’s utility, the council must approve the supplement.
• Was informed the city has received only a partial reimbursement for storm damage clean up. Ms. Dillon said she checked on the matter recently and was told the Tennessee Emergency Management Agency must contact the Federal Emergency Management Agency and request a final inspection before the remainder of the expended funds are reimbursed to the city. No specific time frame was given for the final inspection, though Ms. Dillon said she was told it would probably not be to the city’s liking.
• Discussed property at Greenwood and Mercer and Jackson and Third streets having problems with overgrown grass and weeds.
Councilman Dianne Eskew said she would like the public to know that several pieces of property in her ward are owned by Obion County and she has tried to get the county to clean them up, but they now look worse than when she started. She said residents continue to call her about the property, but there is nothing the city can do. “Our hands are tied,” she said. She encouraged residents who are upset about the look of the county-owned property to call County Mayor Benny McGuire and their commissioners to complain.
• Heard from Garner that there are fewer problems with people allowing their grass clippings to go into the roadway since his officers have started informing property owners of the city ordinance against it.
Published in The Messenger 9.2.09

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