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Proposed lease of equipment in Troy debated

Proposed lease of equipment in Troy debated
By DONNA RYDER
Associate Editor
Should a town do what it can to help businesses in its community?
That was the question addressed at Monday night’s Troy mayor and board of aldermen meeting when Mayor Jimmie Hart brought a request before the board to purchase a mower to be used at the golf course.
Hart said the mower would be leased to the golf course owners. The business is currently borrowing a mower from Obion County Central High School to mow the rough areas at the course.
The mayor said the transaction “would not be out of the ordinary” because the town leases property to several businesses in town.
He said the town has not done anything to assist the people who bought the golf course and it would be a “tremendous help.”
The mower would cost the town $10,849. No contract for the lease had been worked out as of Monday night, but the mayor said something would be worked out. Aldermen Ralph Wheatley and Lew Solmon said they both wanted to know more about the figures before the board made a decision to purchase the mower. Solmon asked why the business couldn’t purchase its own mower under a lease-to-own agreement.
Alderman Gene Gurien said he thinks the golf course is an asset to the community and, since the town has not done anything for the current owners, he thought the town should help them.
“It’s an investment for the community. We do things for our merchants that need help. It would be good involvement for the town to help where we can,” Hart said.
Gurien added the business does bring taxes into the town. “The worst thing that could happen is we use the mower,” he said.
Alderman Deanna Chappell said she could not speak much about the issue because she has family involved in the purchase of the golf course and some who work there. She did say 10 local investors saved the golf course within days of it becoming a corn field. “They’re trying,” she said. “They’ve invested a great deal.”
Hart said if the golf course wasn’t there, there wouldn’t be the people coming into town. He added it isn’t just the golf course involved. The town also has residents who live at the golf course.
“It’s an investment for the town to keep what we’ve got. We’re going to get our money back or the mower,” he added.
Once clarifying that the golf course owners would be responsible for the maintenance of the mower, alderman Hoyt Sampson made a motion to purchase the mower, with Gurien seconding the motion. Sampson and Gurien voted for the purchase, while Solmon voted against it. Mrs. Chappell abstained, noting family involvement at the golf course. Wheatley also abstained, but stated no reason for his abstention. The mayor declared the motion had passed.
After the vote, Troy Industrial Board chairman Mark Watson asked if Solmon and Wheatley would feel better if it was the industrial board making the purchase and leasing the mower to the golf course. Wheatley said it would, while Solmon said it might. Gurien said it didn’t matter “as long as it gets done.”
There was a question of whether or not the board should rescind the vote, but Watson said he would meet with the industrial board first and if it agrees to make the purchase, then the town’s board can rescind its vote.
In other business, the board:
• Heard from a resident who said a neighbor has a pit bull which gets lose near her home. She said when the dog is tied outside and becomes angry, the fence post it is tied to leans.
The resident said police have been called when the dog runs loose, but the owners are able to get it put up before police arrive.
She was in hopes the town would be able to have an ordinance that would require such animals to be kept in escape-proof kennels, on specified chains and muzzled when outside. She also wants owners to be required to have liability insurance in the case that someone is harmed by such animals. She said there are nine children who live in the vicinity of this pit bull.
The mayor asked the resident to allow him to do what he could to make sure the animal is kept secure, including speaking to the owner of the property.
He added the town has checked with the Tennessee Municipal League before about vicious animals, but that such animals are not specifically defined.
• Approved a request from Natalie Huebner for a 5K run for March of Dimes to be held in the town on May 12. It will begin and end at OCCHS.
• Voted to renew a CD in the gas fund.
• Learned the community center was used eight days last month.
• Was informed agents of Employee Benefit Specialists spoke with employees, as was granted at last month’s meeting, but that only one employee was interested. Three are required for the city to participate.
• Learned field nets purchased for the Trojan Park ballfield have been installed.
• Praised Paul Buckner for having prints made from satellite images of the town and for Solmon hand making the frames for them. The prints are hanging at City Hall.
• Decided to sell the city-owned trailer behind City Hall. The property will be retained by the town, so the new owner will have to move the trailer.
• Received financial statements. No action was required.
• Agreed to renew the town’s contract with Phillip Scarborough for maintenance on 22 heat and air units.
• Learned the contract is signed on the geo-thermal heat and air unit for the fire department and its ready to be installed.
• Heard the town has met with state officials about roadways in the industrial park and the Tennessee Department of Transportation will pave them if the town get everything ready.
• Learned the fire department’s pagers are in and working well.
• Approved minor changes in the town’s interlocal agreement with the county for county-wide fire protection and in the rural fire response subscription contract. It now makes clear the $75 fee is to be paid on each address instead of each parcel, that the fee is non-refundable and nontransferable and that the county clerk’s office is to be included in the “hold harmless” portion of the agreement should there be errors or omissions in the database.
Upon questioning by the mayor, Watson said the town has been responding to residences not on the list because the department has not been confident in the accuracy of the list to this point.
Watson said he thinks there is about an 80 percent participation rate in the Troy area.
• Learned there were very minor things which had to be corrected in the town when officials from Tennessee Occupational Safety and Health visited recently.
• Was asked by Solmon to check the culvert on Virginia Drive. He said it is blocked up and is causing the dirt to wash away and the road to cave in.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at dryder@ucmessenger.com. Published in The Messenger 4.3.12