Councilman Brooks Mitchell then rose and announced this as his last meeting, having resigned as of that day. City Clerk Tracy Smith also resigned as of the next day. No one ran on the last election and Tracy has remained six months after her 4-year term. Brooks said to appoint the deputy city clerk and Tracy stated she didn’t want to do it. From the audience, Lorie Horner questioned the assistant’s responsibility.
Under Public Comment, Eileen Benson wanted to know any progress at the trailer park. City Public Works Director Nancy Rogers stated the City had agreed with 1/3 of the legitimate residents to sign contracts to pay water bills. She stated the squatters would get no water when the water bills go out the next day. Nancy said they cannot evict illegal residents but can shut off their water. She added Housing of Community Development had done nothing and the City was accruing $5,000 a month in unpaid water and sewer bills. The mayor called the City “doing its due diligence.”
Under Finance Committee, Brooks suggested using the 2016-17 budget for the 2017-18 proposed budget and make adjustments to meet legal obligations. It was seconded by Vandaam and approved.
It was approved to spend $40,760.06 in monthly bills.
Brooks gave the update on the wastewater treatment plant settlement with Cox & Cox for $965,000 to fix the system. From Stantec, the City accepted $2,700,511.00. In addition, according to Brooks, the remaining amount of the 100% loan, “around $500,000,” will not have to be paid back and could be used to fix Beckwith Street. Legal fees of 10% ran close to $300,000.
In addition, Brooks felt the City would be “remiss to spend the money back on the project,” further calling it a “flawed system.” He spoke to the problem of infiltration. It was agreed the full council come up with a solution with the engineer and not spend on the flawed wastewater system.
Rick Maddalena gave discussion on the proposed fire district. Mayor Marin felt they were “beating a dead horse,” and asked for a draft of some kind. Rick told of a “number of questions,” if he were willing to participate. Brooks wanted to look at administration fees, stating 95% of calls are first responder and if they’d pay anything. He talked of “fine print.”
As to the Verizon yearly contract, it was stated the $10,800 will be made in monthly installments with 5-year extensions and a 7% increase with each expansion term.