Donald Davis joins the Lake City Council
Newly appointed Alderman Donald Davis took his position at the December Lake City Council meeting held Thursday, Dec. 17.
Davis is filling the vacant seat of Linda Stone who recently resigned because she had moved out of her district.
Davis joined council members Jeffery Wisham, Tommy Eakins, Harold Barker, Brenda Hutcheson and Danny Dunigan, who were all present for the meeting.
Planning and Zoning Chairman, Alderman Barker, presented the council members with an update on property currently owned by Jeb Spencer, the old Citizens Bank building. Alderman Barker said the owner has plans to start renovating said property and should be completed with the outside appearance of the building by April 1, 2016. The council voted unanimously to approve the April 1 date to have the outside appearance completed.
Mayor Jon Milligan said he had been advised by City Attorney Arlon Woodruff that even though the 30 days had expired since a condemnation letter had been sent on property located at 90 Skylark, the City should wait a while longer before proceeding with the clean-up of said property.
Mayor Milligan informed the council members that Huffman Custom Hauling had turned in a bid of $2,500 to demolish and clean up said property. The council accepted the bid.
Linda Simpson, clerk/treasurer, read the third reading of Ordinance No. 2015-278, An Ordinance Providing for Election of Alderman to Four Year Terms.
The Ordinance was approved unanimously.
Council members approved a one time end-of-year appreciation bonuses for the responders of the Volunteer Fire Department. The total amount is $1400.
Mayor Milligan asked the council about salary increases for the city employees in 2016.
Bryan Wells was hired in December 2014 as a part-time employee at $9 per hour. He went full--time in March 2015 and no wage increase was given at that time. Council approved to increase Wells' salary to $11 per hour.
Officer Daniel Haynes salary will be addressed on his one year anniversary date in March 2016.
Mayor Milligan asked the council if they had a recommendation for the salaries for the City employees. A lengthy discussion took place with aldermen having a difference of opinions. Alderman Dunigan's opinion was the salaries were out of control and something needs to be done to correct the issue. He also made a comparison of the city salaries and raises to the Riverside School and Medicare recipients not getting raises.
Mayor Milligan offered several different scenarios for the salaries. Alderman Hutcheson suggested a year-end bonus instead of an hourly pay increase. Alderman Dunigan said he was not for merit raises because they would not work. Alderman Barker disagreed.
Alderman Wisham made a motion to give employees a $600 year-end bonus in lieu of a raise which was seconded by Alderman Hutcheson. Alderman Eakins said he did not care for this idea because he felt like all employees were being punished because there were three employees that were at top pay. He felt like a year-end bonus could possibly hurt those on the lower end of the pay scale because they had to wait all year for the bonus instead of receiving on a bi-weekly status. Motion failed to pass.
A committee will be formed to install a job description chart which will include starting salaries and top out salaries to be used in 2017.
Other items included:
*Alderman Hutcheson asked the City to pay for a website for the Lake City Museum at approximately $4-$5 per month. Mayor Milligan suggested the council wait until the next meeting when Alderman Hutcheson had an exact price.
*Mayor Milligan wanted noted the City appreciated the efforts of the staff at Riverside school for the R.E.A.D program, which will be implemented in 2016-2017 school year. Riverside is only one of three schools in the entire State to offer this program.
The next council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Jan. 18 at the city hall.