Woodland Mills officials encouraged to buy generator in case of emergency

Woodland Mills officials encouraged to buy generator in case of emergency
Associate Editor
The mayor and aldermen of Woodland Mills have a decision to make: Do they make a significant purchase just on the chance that something may happen?
Alderman Tom Menees informed Mayor Wade Carrington and alderman Waymon Reagan that when he attended a recent meeting about local mitigation plans, he was told Woodland Mills is “strongly recommended” to purchase a generator to run either the City Hall or the Civic Center. No money would be provided from the state or federal government to make the purchase.
He said he was told Woodland Mills needed a facility that could be used as a shelter in case an earthquake or other natural disaster took out the bridges to the city.
Menees said he was told in such a case, Woodland Mills could be on its own for several days.
Carrington said the city has a generator, but it is not large enough to run the air-conditioning units at the Civic Center. The building is heated with natural gas.
The mayor  said the building does not have showers and he is unsure that it would work as a shelter.
Menees said Woodland Mills First Baptist Church does have a facility with showers and it is set up to be used as a shelter, but it also does not have a generator to run the facility.
He asked how the city can justify making such an expensive purchase knowing the generator may never be used.
Carrington said the citizens will be looking to them in such an emergency and suggested the city should at least explore the cost of purchasing the generator.
“We may never use it, but we’ll have it if it is needed,” said resident Bill Sowell, who is a member of the Obion County Rescue Squad and was attending the meeting for other reasons.
Menees said he would rather have a generator that could be transported and used at the lift stations if necessary. Carrington replied that even if the city could pump the sewage, Union City might not be able to handle it in the case of such an emergency.
In other business, after the meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Carrington and in prayer by Reagan, the board:
• Held a moment of silence for the bombing victims in Boston.
• Was asked by Sowell what the Ten-nessee Department of Transportation said about Highway 5. Carrington replied TDOT officials said they would look at it, but it is not on the paving list. Sowell said TDOT needs to take up the concrete base, which he said is the root of the problem. He said the concrete is what causes the roadway to buckle and crack and then the cracks become potholes.
• Learned from Sowell there is a water leak on North Thompson Street and he has reported it to Union City. He was told the leak is on the owner’s side of the meter, but he does not believe this to be the case. City records also do not indicate an increase in sewer fees for the residence, which would correlate with an increase in water going through the meter. Carrington said Woodland Mills does not own the water lines and he is unsure what he can do, but he will check on it.
• Heard from Sowell that in January the culvert on Cannon Moore Drive was stopped up because a bucket was hung up in it and not allowing water to flow through. The culvert behind the bank was also stopped up with leaves. He said he was able to get both flowing, but he is “getting too old” to continue cleaning out the culverts. Sowell has taken it upon himself over the years to clear culverts in the city, something city officials thanked him for.
Maintenance employee Perry Carr told Sowell if he will give him a chance, he will clean out the culverts, but it takes time. He also told Sowell he could call him when he sees a culvert which is stopped up.
• Was informed $429 in 2012 property taxes have been paid and that $297 is owed from 2010, $410 from 2011 and $2,541 from 2012.
• Approved financial reports including total assets of $76,847.34 in the general fund from February and $85,105.87 in the general fund, $8,069.21 in the refuse collection fund, $8,036.63 in the street aid fund and $594,693.73 in the sewer fund for March. The February general fund had been tabled in order to correct some figures.
• Agreed to have someone service the city’s fire extinguishers.
• Heard there is a resident on Highway 5 who wants a new culvert. Carrington said he told them if they purchase the culvert, the city will have it installed. Menees said an official with TDOT had told him several years ago that the state can install the culvert. Carrington said he will check.
• Learned negotiations are ongoing for property for a substation near the TVA lines.
• Learned City Hall was to be closed today so the city recorder could attend a funeral. It will also be closed on April 25 so she may attend continuing training for her Certified Municipal Finance Officer certification.
• Reminded residents Spring Clean-up is Monday. Items should be curbside no later than 7 a.m.
• Set a budget meeting for 6 p.m. May 23. The next regular meeting will be May 13 at 6 p.m.
• Discussed the possibility of smoke testing the sewer lines.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by email at dryder@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 4.16.13

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