By KEVIN BOWDEN
Planned improvements to Obion’s Public Safety Building moved one step closer to reality Monday night with the Obion city council’s approval of a resolution to use a USDA grant to pay for more than $8,100 on building additions.
The resolution essentially accepts a $4,786 bid from CAM Electric for a central heating and air conditioning system, a $994 bid from Lanzer’s Printing & Office Supply for new office furniture and a $2,373 bid from Obion Glass for a new awning for the front of the building.
Also during Monday night’s half-hour session, the council accepted bids for surplus equipment, renewed its lease with the Obion Housing Authority, renewed the city’s health insurance policy with BlueCross/Blue- Shield and took action on several unoccupied properties around town.
The council moved briskly through its 16-item agenda, which included a broad range of city matters.
Obion Public Works Director Randy Evans submitted the winning bid of $500 for a surplus Polar Kraft boat and trailer. Tim Smith’s $530 bid was the highest of two bids for a surplus 2000 Dodge Ram pickup truck, which had been used by the city’s public works department.
The council decided to renew its lease with the housing authority, keeping the $5,000 annual lease agreement unchanged. The council also renewed the city’s health insurance plan with BlueCross/BlueShield’s S Network, with a 7 percent increase in the premium.
“It shouldn’t be too bad on us this year,” Mayor Rodney Underwood said.
The 7 percent increase means the city will pay $652.01 per month per employee, up about $40 from the previous premium. The city has its health insurance coverage through Union City Insurance.
Under the city’s slum ordinance, the council approved using city workers to clean up properties near the Obion Grain Co. on the southeast side of town.
The properties to be cleaned up were identified as the Holloway property and the McDaniels property. They will be cleaned up and the bill for the work will be sent to the property owners.
In a related move, the council will seek bids for two vacant properties in town — a vacant lot next to the Cherokee House on West Palestine Avenue and a second vacant lot known as the Bruce Button property on Seventh Street.
In other action, the council:
• Was informed by the mayor that work has begun on a new city budget and work is continuing on a new website for the city. Underwood also announced a retirement reception will be held from 2-4 p.m. June 2 for retiring Obion Police Chief Royce Aker. The reception will be held at the Obion Community Center.
Underwood also updated the board on his efforts to use a $17,000 state grant for the purchase of new playground equipment for the city. He said he is working with grant administrator Barbara Tuck and the PlayPower Lt. Farmington Inc. playground equipment company out of Farmington, Mo.
• Unanimously approved the hiring of J.R. Jones as a part-time summer worker with the Obion Public Works Department. He worked as a part-time employee last summer, according to Underwood, who said he will be paid $7.55 per hour. The city had received five applications for the part-time position.
• Agreed to look into a complaint from Barry Harris of 309 North Seventh St., who said he is experiencing flooding from clogged culverts in his neighborhood. The council decided to take no action on a request from Evans to do away with the city’s building codes, and all the accompanying expenses connected to building permits and inspection fees.
Evans said he is planning to build a shop on his property and the city’s building codes are pushing up the cost for his shop.
Absent from Monday night’s meeting was board member Bob Anderson.
The meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance led by Underwood and a prayer by board member James Depriest.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 5.8.13