To ensure the safety of citizens and prevent tragic events like the building collapse last month which took a man’s life, the Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen held their monthly meeting Tuesday night and discussed a new city building code ordinance for structures over 50 years old.
The board felt that some details in the ordinance could still be negotiated, but passed it Tuesday evening because it was so important to take action on the matter now. It will have to be approved three times to pass the ordinance. “We are trying to establish something, and get started somewhere to keep people safe,” stated Greenfield Mayor Eddie McKelvy.
The ordinance was reported to be for commercial and industrial properties, with a building inspection every five years, costing $400. After an inspection, if the structural engineer advises repairs be made to the building, they must be made or the city can charge a fine up to $1,500. Before, the city didn’t have leverage of this kind and it leaves the property owner 100 percent responsible for their building.
McKelvy reported that December sales tax totaled $31,978.20. McKelvy also announced they had received notice of January sales taxes collected totaling $41,211.12, the best month since July of 2005 and second highest overall.
In public works news, Tony Stout informed board members miscommunication has caused pipe damages since the recent addition of the 8-1-1, “Call Before You Dig” telephone number. A water main was busted on Glendale Street as well as a gas line rupture on Jackson Street.
Stout told board members it would cost the city $250 per year for a total of 100 dig calls. If the number of calls exceeds 100, the city is charged $1.40 for every additional call.
Previously, most people used a different “Call Before You Dig” agency, which didn’t charge the city anything for their services. The City of Greenfield does not yet pay for the new 8-1-1 services. People in the city have used the 8-1-1 services, causing confusion because without paying for the service the city can’t protect its water and gas lines.
“When they call it in, everybody’s got it marked except us,” stated Stout. “We don’t know their showing up, so they drill through our stuff.”
Paying for the service would prevent future damage to the cities water and gas lines and help the city not have to pay for employee overtime or replacement parts repairing one. The board unanimously approved payment for the 8-1-1 services.
Police chief Danny Harris informed the board of a property on Popular Street, whose owner was just in court and given 30 days to show significant progress of clean up on the property. The property owner will be back in court next month to see if the judge feels the property has been cleaned up enough.
Fire chief Bob Dudley announced the Greenfield Fire Department was awarded a fire truck grant about three weeks ago totaling $154,375. A motion was passed granting the department to proceed with bidding for a new fire truck. Other sources of funds for the new fire truck are through rural fire fees and money they receive for the sale of their existing truck.
Librarian Sandra Dowland told the board Tuesday, it was her second day in training on the new integrated library system.
“This is a statewide integrated library system, and it will offer us the same services that the larger libraries are able to offer,” stated Dowland.
The board also approved the installation of a new security system at the library to help offer “peace of mind” to citizens who use the library and its employees. The idea for the system came after recommendations by the state library.
In other news, the board tabled an ordinance to prohibit housing domestic animals in the downtown business district.
The Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s next meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. March 13 at the Greenfield Fire Station.