The Lake City council met on Monday, April 21, and dealt with city fees, maps, drug dog acquisition and previous flooding.
The council discussed the feasibility of continuing collection of the $100 non-refundable water connection fees rather than changing to water deposits. The decision was tabled at last month's meeting. The motion passed with a 4-2 vote, with Aldermen Mark Mann and Kenneth Winford casting the opposing votes.
"I think we are doing the town wrong by not giving them a dime back when they move out," Alderman Mann said.
"One hundred dollars for people who move here and plan to stay is one thing," Lake City Mayor Billy Anderson said. "It is the ones who move in and out. You should see what they leave. It is a headache."
"You should see what has happened in my neighborhood," Alderman Debbie Davis said.
Mayor Anderson proposed that the council allow the Planning and Zoning Committee to form Rules and Regulations not to allow moving old houses into the city.
The council gave Mayor Anderson permission to accept the lowest bid for paving 400 feet on Cedar Street after opening them on Tuesday, April 22, at 9 a.m. Anderson is to proceed with getting the job done. He announced $11,000 is in the budget for the paving.
Mayor Anderson promoted the printing of new city maps.
"The maps need to be updated," Anderson said. "We can use a plastic overlay in the office map to show where existing water lines are inside the city, so we can avoid running into them. Haywood, Kenwood, and Bare can do the job for no more than $3,000. They have not been done since 1982."
Many residences inside the city do not have visible house numbers posted on them. The new maps will list correct house numbers.
"Anyone who can't get their numbers put up can call the Fire Department and we will do it for them," Davis said. "This is very important during emergencies, as we need to know exactly where to go."
The council voted unanimously to have the new maps printed.
Mayor Anderson reported putting a larger pumping station at the Bush Street location. In order for the job to be done Bush Street would need to be closed in the center section. City Attorney Arlon Woodruff is reviewing the procedure necessary to close the street."
"This pumping station is one of the oldest in the city and it has a load on it," Anderson said. "Adding on to it in that spot will be more cost efficient than somewhere else."
Alderman Tommy Eakins expressed concern about having to turn around in someone's driveway.
Mayor Anderson told about the city's new drug dog, which was acquired from Monette. Police officer Dennis Hiser has agreed to work with the dog and receive necessary training. Hiser and Vox will attend school on May 19-May 23, so Hiser can become certified.
"We originally went in with Monette, and it didn't work out," Hiser said. "They lost the original policeman that trained with "Vox." Mayor Chub Qualls called to ask if we wanted the dog."
"There are already rumblings around town that we have a drug dog on the job," Mayor Anderson said. "I think this is going to help us out.
"The schooling will cost $500," he said. "The dog is not only a drug dog but a tracker as well. This will come out of the General Budget. Vox will be fed out of the Animal Control budget."
Alderman Winford inquired about the extra pay for Hiser was called out on the job. Mayor Anderson will implement a plan to handle pay for Hiser or to adopt one used by other townships or counties.
"This is like hiring another police officer," Mark Mann said. "It will be a good deal but will cost to get started."
City Clerk Linda Simpson said the dog was worth $6,000. The council discussed getting possible life insurance.
"Why didn't we vote on this as it is like hiring a new employee," Mann said. "There is going to be a lot of maintenance and possible liability."
The council voted to list all purchases of $1,000 or over in department asset inventories and kept for 10 years.
Mayor Anderson announced the city had received notice from Alltel of interest in putting a tower in the city along with three other sights. The council voted to give Anderson permission to proceed with any recommendations necessary for ground testing, etc. to meet necessary requirements.
Traveling mileage for city personnel was raised from .32 cents a mile to .42 cents a mile to cover gas price increases.
Bill Reeves addressed the council concerning "The Flood of 2008." Due to heavy rains, many residents experienced severe flooding problems. Some areas were listed as being worse than others. Reeves was left without plumbing for three weeks, when a foot of water stood under his house. He asked the council to not forget what had happened and to please try to do something about it unless it should happen again. He reported the water was not seep water. When adjoining ditches were opened up the yards drained. Lake City drains to the south.
"If it had not been for Jerry Bowman fixing the drain across the street, going under, we would have all the sewer water running under our house also," Reeves said. "Ditches have been allowed to be filled in through time and this has come back to cause the problems."
"Ten people are willing to move their fences in order to get a drainage ditch dug," Alderman Winfred said.
The council discussed installation of a larger pumping station on Bush Street, and other possible ways to be prepared for high water in the future.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on May19, beginning at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.