Board meets in new City Hall, tackles controversial issues

Board meets in new City Hall, tackles controversial issues
Board meets in new City Hall, tackles controversial issues | Samburg mayor and board of aldermen

By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
History was made Monday evening in Samburg.
The Samburg mayor and board of aldermen met for the first time in the new Samburg City Hall.
An eight-item agenda was handled in an hour-and-a-half long meeting in the building’s community room.
There is still a considerable amount of work to be done to the interior of the building, but for Monday night’s meeting a cleanly swept concrete floor and a pair of folding tables worked just fine for the Samburg board.
A majority of the first meeting in the new City Hall was taken up discussing several controversial issues, including plans by the board to start a city-operated utility district.
Board member Eddie Fickle fielded numerous questions and concerns about a proposed resolution that would seek approval from the state to establish a Samburg utility district. The resolution is being considered as a result of rate increases from the Reelfoot Lake Regional Utility and Planning District.
The proposed resolution was recently reviewed by Samburg’s city attorney, Pam Vawter, who recommended numerous changes. Fickle tried to answer all the questions and concerns from his fellow board members, but after a lengthy discussion it was decided to table the resolution until next month’s board meeting. Fickle said he would work on the resolution and have it ready for consideration at the May meeting.
The board also tackled the issues of delinquent garbage bills, delinquent tax bills, needed street repairs and paperwork for a $500,000 housing grant.
The board unanimously approved preliminary agreements for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant, which will move the housing rehabilitation program one step closer to reality.
The deteriorating condition of several city streets prompted the board to authorize Mayor Larry Gene Davis to buy 15 to 20 bags of concrete as a quick fix to some of the worst spots. The city will also advertise for bids to work on some of the major problem areas around town. It was revealed the city has about $9,000 in its street account to handle street repair work.
A report was presented to members of the board Monday night showing there are 26 delinquent garbage accounts totaling $6,606.90 and another 70 delinquent tax bills dating back to 2009 and totaling $14,503. The total amount of the delinquent accounts comes to just over $21,000.
The board has decided to use the civil summons process to try to collect the money, and will have Samburg Police Chief James Hack serve the summons.    
In other action, the board:
• Formally accepted the resignation of board member Johnnie Johnson, who resigned due to health reasons.
• Was provided an update on a couple of upcoming city events — the Second Annual Family Day in the Park and a vintage car show.
“We’ve got several things lined up,” Fickle said about the family day event, which is scheduled for June 1 in the Samburg City Park. He said organizers have lined up games, inflatable rides, a dunking booth, give-a-ways, entertainment, music and concessions.
The vintage car show is planned for July 6 and the event will be advertised across Tennessee as well as in Missouri, Mississippi, Arkansas and Kentucky. The top three places in various categories will be awarded cash prizes, according to Fickle.
• Discussed at length a proposed job description policy for the city recorder’s position. The issues of vacation and sick leave dominated the discussion. The board never voted on the policy and decided to table it until next month’s meeting.
• Briefly discussed the need to start work on a 2013-14 budget. City recorder Mary Swain presented board members with the balance sheets from the city’s past two fiscal years.
• Decided to place on the agenda for next month’s meeting a building-use policy for the new City Hall building, cost estimates for a new City Hall sign and a review of bids for the city’s old police car.
Absent from Monday night’s meeting was board member Juni Fickle.
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Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.

Published in The Messenger 4.2.13

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