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Sharon Board votes for sewer rate increase

Sharon Board votes for sewer rate increase
By JIM MANSFIELD
Special to the Press
SHARON – Sharon residents can expect to see an increase in their sewer rates in a few months.
Mayor Monroe Ary and the Sharon City Board unanimously approved a motion Monday night to increase sewer rates 11 percent, or $3.60 a month per customer, starting July 1.
“We don’t really have a choice in this matter,” Sharon City Recorder Donna Stricklin told the board, noting she received a letter from the state on the issue. “If we don’t do something to resolve the problem then the state of Tennessee will come in and do it for us.”
The letter stated that Sharon can’t spend more money than projected revenues in the water and sewer fund.
Stricklin said any increase should be in sewer rates rather than water usage rates.
“The state charges us sales tax on water, so we’ll save money if the rate increase goes on the wastewater side of the water bill,” she said.
Stricklin added that the last rate increase was fouryears ago and Sharon’s water loss problem had improved since last month’s business meeting.
Ary told the board that Bob Short Drive needs repaving and the city owns about 400 feet of the roadway.
“I stepped it off myself and 400 feet is about what we own and the rest belongs to the county,” he said.
Ary said that he had spoken with the Weakley County road superintendent.
“He told me that is Sharon would pay for the blacktop, the county would widen the road and resurface it without additional costs,” Ary said.
Ary further advised the board that Sharon would need to replace an old culvert under Bob Short Drive.
“We’ve got to do something about the culvert before we pave,” he said. “I think an old railroad car would work.”
The motion to proceed with the paving project passed without objection.
The work is planned for July.
Regarding another matter, Stricklin told the board a state water tank inspection on one of Sharon’s tanks was due and the inspection fee would be $2,000.
“This is another area where we don’t have any choice,” Sticklin said. “The work has to be approved be Feb. 20 and finished by April. We also have to pay the tank disinfection costs.”
Alderman Jimmy Harris asked how much that would cost.
Stricklin told Harris that she hadn’t received any word back on what it would cost, but that she would find out and advise the board before February 20.
Fire Chief Gary Eddings told the board the Sharon Fire Department had received 10 first responder calls during January and performed one fire drill.
Further, Eddings stated that more smoke detectors were needed in city homes and businesses.
“The state of Tennessee is sixth nationwide in fire fatalities,” Eddings said. “Those detectors can go a long way toward saving lives.”
Eddings made it clear the city needed to hire a building inspector.
“Most of our downtown buildings are old,” he said. “We need to make sure that the structures are sound before we have a failure like Greenfield had.”
A library official requested additional funds of $387 to cover library-labor costs through June. The motion passed without objection.
April Baker made a formal request for $1,000 to be used on the roof of the “Old Moon Service Station” on South Hollis Street. The service station is a restoration project of the Sharon Progress and Growth Committee.
Alderman Jason Plunk asked the board to wait until the new Sharon budget comes out in July, so the matter was tabled.
A spaghetti supper will be held at the Sharon Senior Center from 4:30-7 p.m. on Feb. 28 to benefit the “moon project.”
Police Chief Jerry Wilson thanked the board and the citizens of Sharon for their personal support. Wilson’s mother recently died.
Wilson told the board a Sharon police officer had quit to open a gun store. Wilson said the department is actively looking for a new officer.
Alderman Jimmy Harris recommended that the board interview any candidate for the police position. Ary said the board could do the interview or form a committee to do so.
Bill Bostwick of the parks and recreation department said the youth basketball program would begin soon.
Sharon resident Norman Wallace asked the board for permission to move into a new apartment in the John Dew Apartment complex. He said the move was necessary so that he could better care for his wife, whose health is failing. Wallace said he had been taking care of his wife for 67 years. His application was approved.
Published in The WCP 2.14.13

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