Martin board approves funding for projects

Martin board approves funding for projects

Certain projects within the City of Martin will come to fruition after the Martin Board of Mayor and Aldermen gave a nod of approval for funding during its meeting Monday evening.
The board authorized the issuance of capital outlay notes in an amount not to exceed $206,000 for general public works projects.
The 12-year note will allow the city to install a storm warning siren; acquire and install HVAC units for various departments; acquire a pumper truck for the fire department and provide payment of expenditures for the city’s future splash pad in downtown Martin.
In similar news, the board also approved a five-year short term note not to exceed $231,500, which allows the acquisition and equipping of patrol vehicles for the police department; acquisition of equipment for the parks and recreation department; renovation and improvement of the municipal library and the acquisition of equipment for the street department.
The board of mayor and aldermen also approved a bid in the amount of $484,552.50 from Portland Utilities Construction, LLC, of Portland to begin phase three of the sewer rehabilitation project.
The bulk of the project will be funded through an 88 percent Community Developmental Block Grant.
While its future use remains uncertain, aldermen opted to begin improvements at the former Martin Middle School building by approving $8,350 for renovations during their board meeting Monday.
Martin Mayor Randy Brundige explained the funds will allow the roof to be repaired so that the board could apply for future USDA grants for remaining renovations.
 In other news, board members approved a debt management policy for the city. City recorder Chris Mathis explained last week during the board’s informal session the debt management policy was suggested by MTAS.
Mathis added the items contained in the policy are procedures already in place by the city, but it is now in written form through the debt management policy.
A request from a former Martin resident who still owns city property died for lack of a motion Monday evening. Larry Merryman owns a piece of vacant property on Hamm Road, which was annexed into the city limits in 1994. In 1998 the city adopted an ordinance allowing annexed property thereafter rights to city services such as sewer and water.
Merryman has fire and police protection through the city and pays $365 a year in taxes to the city. He asked board members to remove his property from the city limits as he does not receive sewer services from the city.
Board members opted to table the request during last month’s meeting as they researched the possibility of other annexed properties with similar circumstances.
During their informal meeting held last Tuesday, board members discovered there were at least eight other properties with similar circumstances. When Brundige asked for a motion on the Hamm Road property Monday evening, he was met with silence and the issue died for a lack of a motion.
In department head reports, Russell Cook of the C.E. Weldon Library announced last Tuesday the library is in search of a baby grand piano. With the renovation of University of Tennessee at Martin’s Fine Arts building drawing to a close, the piano housed in the library would be moved into the new building on the UTM campus.
Cook said the library has a giving tree asking for donations to help purchase a new piano.
City building inspector Billy Stout announced last Tuesday Charlie Davis, owner of Davis Automotive, had purchased the former IGA building on Elm Street. Stout said the larger building would allow Davis to work on vehicles out of the weather due to the ceiling height as well as provide a showroom.
Davis is currently renovating the building.
Human resources director Celeste Taylor reported the city is currently interviewing 13 community development director applicants via videotape. The interviews are expected to be complete this week and Taylor plans to make copies of the interview tapes for each alderman to review.
Parks and recreation director Brian Moore reported a record number of attendees to the 27th annual Santa’s Village held over the weekend in the McWherter Ag Pavilion.
With 15,365 people in attendance, Moore said it was 2,000 more than the second highest attendance rate for the annual event.
More than $40,000 in food items were collected, according to Moore. The total number of toy donations is still being tallied. The large attendance did not match the donations however as numbers were lower than in years’ past. The giant Christmas tree adorned with blue lights was the largest tree the event has ever boasted. Moore said it was a donation by Linda Ramsey, daughter of the late Ned Ray McWherter.
The next informal session is set for 5:15 p.m. Jan. 3, 2012. Board members will meet for their formal session at 5:15 p.m. Jan. 9, 2012.

WCP 12.13.11

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