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Mixed reports delivered to Samburg board

Mixed reports delivered to Samburg board
Staff Reporter
Samburg’s first mayor and board of aldermen meeting of 2013 was one filled with good news, bad news and a little controversy.
Monday night’s more than hour-long meeting was dominated by an engineering report detailing the deteriorating condition of 13 city streets located on the north side of town.
“This report details the inventory and evaluation of the Samburg city streets located north of Highway 22 performed in November 2012. There are several areas that have varying degrees of failure within the street network. Some of the contributing factors of the failures include heavy loaded vehicles, settlement over the existing sewer lines and poor surface drainage,” the 10-page report states.
The city paid L.I. Smith & Associates Inc. of Paris $1,500 for the street survey. Company representative Larry Smith met with the board Monday night and provided explanations and opinions about the condition of the city’s streets.
His report took up more than half of Monday night’s meeting as he attempted to explain how 13 streets on the north side of town got in such bad shape. Smith also suggested working on the streets in phases.
In his report, Smith provided photographs and specific details about street conditions. The streets identified in Smith’s report include North Reelfoot Avenue, Third Street, Fourth Street, North Spring Street, Poplar Street, First Street, Second Avenue, Tennessee Avenue, Third Avenue, Church Street, Lee Street, Gannett Avenue and Lakeview Drive.
Lakeview Drive was identified as having the most damage.
“I think some of it is tore up enough you’re going to have to take it out,” Smith said about some of the streets. “I think, obviously, you’ve got some real problems.”
When asked for a recommendation as to how to approach to street problem, he replied, “I think you can do it (repair work) over a period of years.”
No immediate action was taken on the report, but the board is expected to address the street issue at future board meetings.
Also during Monday night’s meeting, the board accepted the resignation of board member Gerald Reed, was given an update from the tourism committee, edged even closer to moving into the new City Hall building and discussed ongoing controversy at the Reelfoot Regional Utility District.
In his letter of resignation, Reed stated he is moving and will no longer be able to serve on the board. Reed did not attend Monday night’s meeting. His vacancy is expected to be taken up at the board’s February meeting.
Board member Eddie Fickle informed the board that city clerk Mary Swain will represent Samburg at the upcoming Cincinnati Boat Show. She will work the Samburg Tourism Committee’s booth at the week-long show and will promote the town using tourism brochures, business cards, caps, T-shirts and tourism bags.
Meanwhile, back in Samburg, work is continuing on the new City Hall. The board rejected commercial bids to cover the parking lot and will rely on the state Department of Transportation to use 33c rock to cover the parking area, according to Fickle.
“TDOT’s going to take care of it,” Mayor Larry Gene Davis said. “If we do this, we can get started and get into the building.”
The state will cover the entrance off Highway 22 into the City Hall parking lot within the next 30 days. Fickle said before that work is done, he would build a concrete entryway at the front of the building and at the community room entrance.
Getting the parking lot completed represents the final phase of the building’s construction and will pave the way to getting the building open for business.
One item of business created quite a stir among board members. The confusing matter of Al Hamilton’s appointment, resignation, dismissal and attempt to be reappointed to the Reelfoot Lake Regional Utility and Planning District Board was addressed, but no action was taken until the board can get a clearer picture about its legal authority to deal with the issue.
The Samburg mayor described the saga as “a lot of excitement.”
There were several opinions expressed about the controversy and board members shuffled through mounds of paperwork dealing with the utility board.
“The process they went through wasn’t legal,” Fickle said about Hamilton’s dismissal from the utility board.
At the heart of the controversy is whether the Samburg board can legally replace Hamilton on the utility board. “I want some answers,” Davis said.
Those answers will have to come from the state comptroller’s office. So, until next month’s board meeting, the issue will remain unresolved.
Also during Monday night’s meeting, the board approved a new job description policy for the public works department and is considering a new job description policy for the city clerk.
Published in The Messenger 1.8.13

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