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Dresden board wades through sewer issues

Dresden board wades through sewer issues
Citizens with apparent sewage issues were on hand at the meeting held Monday by the City of Dresden’s Board of Mayor and Alderman.
Nicole Crist-Gallagher, a West Maple Street resident in Dresden, was present for a second straight board meeting to voice her impatience with the apparent progress of the ongoing sewage leak problem on her property.
The City of Dresden is currently in the process of applying for a Community Block Grant that will help the city fund the repair of the leak problem.
Gallagher claimed she had recently discussed the status of the grant during a “long and not always unheated” conversation with state Rep. Andy Holt.
“I would just like the board to know that Mr. Holt’s advice to me was to sue the City of Dresden and I think it’s important that you know that was the advice that was given to me,” stated Gallagher.
“That is not something my husband and I want to pursue obviously, but I think it’s important that you’re aware that the support that we may need from our state representative does not seem to be forthcoming.”
David Salyers, director of the West Tennessee River Basin Authority, was scheduled to appear before the board Monday night but had to cancel. City recorder Jennifer Branscum informed the board that Salyers wanted more time to speak with some of the property owners and then try to find a way to reroute water to correct an overflow problem on Pikeview Street.
Another citizen in attendance was Joe Bryant who requested to be reimbursed a total of $10,000 from a sewage incident that occurred earlier this year. Bryant told the board that on the evening of Jan. 22, raw sewage began to backflow into his basement. He stated that there was no toilet in the basement because he was remodeling at the time, only some packing covering the hole to keep out odor.
It was reported public works did come out and try to assist with the problem. Bryant had been informed years earlier that he needed to have a back flow preventer installed on his property, but he never had it done.
Kerry Cooper of public works told the board that if the problem was coming from the city side of the pipe, a back flow preventer would, in fact, have kept the sewage from flowing into his basement. The city furnishes and installs them, but only if the homeowner makes the decision to do so.
After an inspection by an insurance agent, it was found that Bryant’s total loss was around $10,000. It was also determined that the city was not liable for the incident.
Alderman Dick Tidwell made a motion to deny the claim, but the motion failed for lack of a second. No action was taken on the matter.
In finance news, Carla Edwards reported 71 percent of 2011 property taxes have been collected totaling $378,747.15 as of Feb. 27. The total includes the ad valorem tax assessed on utilities.
There is still an outstanding balance of $11,518.62 for 2010 taxes.
In public works news, the board approved Kerry Cooper’s request to have permission to use capital outlay funds to repair some sidewalks in town.
Another public works issue addressed concerned the adoption of Earl Street in Dresden.
“Homeowners on Earl Street have signed off on a waiver on their property for us to maintain if we want to,” Forrester informed the board.
“We do need to keep in mind that the street does not meet the proper width for a street in the city of Dresden if this board is wanting to adopt that street.”
“The people that live there get city services and have been paying taxes all this time,” stated Anderson. “We can take it in as a lane or special street. Anderson Lane doesn’t meet our codes either, but we maintain it and it’s a lot narrower than Earl Street.”
Anderson made a motion for the city to adopt the street in its current condition. It was seconded by Bynum and approved by all. The board will have to vote on the issue again at its next meeting to make the motion official. The paving of Earl Street and Cypress Lane was approved after a motion was made by Tidwell, which was seconded by Anderson and approved by all.  The bid accepted by the board was from Ford Construction at $14,418.
Police Chief Randal Walker informed the board the Dresden Police Department is now posting the names of people who haven’t paid their fines, attended driving school or any other actions ordered by the court in the newspaper.
“We posted approximately 150 names dating from 2006 to June 2011,” stated Walker. “Since Feb. 29 we have collected $ 3,247.50 in arrearages.”
“We will be posting them in the newspaper after court before we turn them over to the state, now that they have not paid their fine letting them know that they are about to lose their license,” stated Forrester.
“These are the same ones that we would be collecting if they renewed their license. We are just trying to find a way to speed up the process.”
Joey Winstead of Parks and Recreation asked the board’s approval for the transfer of funds totaling $338.80 from the General Fund to the park budget.
The money came from the sale of scrap metal from the pavilion removal at Wilson Park. Anderson filed a motion to transfer the money, which was seconded by Bynum and then approved by all board members.
“If you haven’t been down there since the new pavilion has been painted and the old one removed, you should because it sure looks a lot cleaner and neater down that way,” said Forrester of the recent clean up.
In new business, a motion by Tidwell was made and seconded by alderman Ronnie Gearin over adjusting a customer’s utility bill due to water leakage. The motion carried without discussion after all board members approved it.
The Civic Center Advisory committee will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the McWherter Civic Center to discuss repairs, maintenance or cosmetic changes that may need to be made.
The Utilities Advisory committee will meet at 6 p.m. and the Fire Advisory committee will meet at 7 p.m. March 15, both to discuss their 2012-13 fiscal year budgets.
The Condemnation Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. March 22 to discuss 12 different properties in the Dresden area.
The next meeting of the Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen will be held at 6 p.m. April 2 in Dresden City Hall.

WCP 3.08.12

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