The Messenger 11.23.12
By DONNA RYDER
Blue Cross/Blue Shield and Baptist Memorial Health Care may be having trouble working out an agreement for some 4,000 clients covered by the “select network,” but Union City employees will not be among them.
Mary Nita Bondurant of Union City Insurance presented a new contract for medical, dental and vision insurance to the Union City city council Tuesday night.
She said Union City was moved to the preferred network so Baptist hospitals in Union City and Memphis will continue to be “in network” for city employees.
The medical insurance costs are 7.99 percent more than the last contract. When vision coverage is considered, the actual increase is 8.7 percent, she noted.
After the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• With Glasgow serving as chairman, reappointed Terry Hailey as mayor of Union City. The meeting was then turned over to Hailey to conduct.
• Selected councilman Billy Jack “B.J.” Cranford, who was not in attendance, as mayor pro-tem.
• Agreed to make no changes to the council’s operating policies.
• Selected Bill “Rat” Harrison to serve on the Union City Electric Power Board and the Obion County Industrial Development Corp. board of directors, Cranford to serve on the Inc. board, Harrison and Cranford to serve on Obion County Chamber of Commerce board of directors, city manager Kathy Dillon and councilman Jim Douglas to serve with the mayor on the Union City Municipal-Regional Planning Commission, councilman Judy Robinson to serve on the Union City Board of Zoning Appeals, Hailey to serve on the Obion County Fair board and councilman Danny Leggett to serve on Union City Youth Athletic Alliance board.
• Approved an ordinance authorizing the establishment of a bank account for receipt of funds and payment of expenses incurred in the construction of the building for the Carey Counseling Center Inc. Ms. Dillon said this ordinance is a housekeeping matter as it was something overlooked when the city got a Community Development Block Grant for Carey to build a new building. It is being built on property owned by the city. Carey will purchase the property once the building is completed.
A public hearing was held prior to the meeting, but there were no comments from the council or public.
• Approved a revised salary plan and a revised edition of the personnel merit system for the City of Union City. It includes a 1 percent pay increase for city employees.
• Authorized the police department to solicit bids for two vehicles, about 30 bullet-proof vests and a computer work station. The vehicles are to be paid from the drug fund. Ms. Dillon said since the city has not approved a budget for 2012-13, the council is only approving the soliciting of bids and not the opening or rewarding of bids. The council also authorized the police department to solicit bids for a salvage vehicle. State law requires the city to go through a bid process, even for salvage, Ms. Dillon said.
• Authorized the city to solicit bids for the demolition at 919 East Vine St. and 411-13 North Home St.
• Heard from Police Chief Perry Barfield that he recommends leaving traffic flow on Ury Street “as is” since he could not find any records of accidents on the street due to narrowing in the past several years. Cranford had requested the city consider making Ury a one-way street.
• Asked for an update on Greenway Recover & Recycle in the city’s industrial park. Ms. Dillon said the company and the state met recently, but the city has not been informed of the results of that meeting. She added city officials are trying to get the public’s concerns addressed.
Hailey said materials there are still burning and the city’s residents need some relief.
• Asked whether the state will be able to open the portion of East Main Street at the old KT Distributors building by the stated Dec. 1 deadline. Ms. Dillon said there has been a two-week delay because the owner, Emily (Timm) Elliston, changed engineers in the middle of the project.
The roadway has been closed since Sept. 1, when the roof collapsed.
The city was going to condemn the building, but in October, Hailey had announced that to expedite the opening of the roadway, the city would allow Ms. Elliston to make necessary repairs. The repairs were to have been made to a point that the road could be opened by Dec. 1.
• Heard from Public Works director Steve Ladd that the railroad company has said it will fix the remaining railroad crossings, including the one at East Main Street, “when they get to it.” He said the company has said Fulton is its main priority.
• Was asked by Harrison to study the city’s yard sale situation. He would like to limit the number of yard sales which each household can hold each year. Ms. Dillon said she already has a proposed ordinance. Harrison asked that she allow the planning commission to review it.
• Learned from Ms. Dillon that the council also needs to look at considering an ordinance which will limit the number of animals any one residence can have. She said it is the only way the city will be able to regulate kennels.
When asked by Hailey if existing kennels would have to be grandfathered in, Glasgow said they may have to be.
• Discussed a building located across from a North Home Street duplex slated for demolition. Councilman Dianne Eskew said it is in worse shape than the duplex.
• Heard from Mrs. Eskew that residents in Sherwood Hills have complimented the fine job the city’s public works department has done to clean out a ditch in the area.
Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at dryder@ ucmessenger.com.