Clinton City Council faced a number of city needs at its April 13 meeting. While the expectation was for the meeting to go long, due to a number of issues brought up then tabled for investigation at the last meeting, issues were dealt with fairly quickly, with a 30 minute executive session at the meeting close.
Police, and police needs, were one of the first items. Chief John Willoughby presented his report first as he had to leave early to attend to a search warrant his department was serving that evening (further details were not disclosed to the council).
His big issue was that the department needs a drug dog “bad.” Fund raising will soon be underway for the animal, Willoughby said, the cost projection in the $12,000 range.
Charles Wilson, head of Parks department, told the council his department was going to need a new mower for the ball field, especially in light of a forthcoming tournament due to be played there. He also reported the new playground equipment has been very well received, although he was concerned about vandalism, as has occurred in the past. Anyone seeing anything untoward near the new equipment is encouraged to call police.
Water and Sewer Department head Dickie Hink presented to the council. While the whole of his report was routine, he did go into the matter of the 10 year master plan for water and sewer department, budgeted for $500,000 in this year’s city budget - as he pointed out to the council. This was about to be acted on, Hink said, with money being allocated to the infrastructure account beginning “this month,” he said.
Councilman Tim Barnes complemented Hink on bringing up the master plan and the need to fund it, referring to it as “the elephant in the room,” he said, adding “We can’t go 15 years and not do anything [about infrastructure].”
The implication was a water rate increase would be forthcoming in order to provide funding for infrastructure support, although nobody made an outright statement to that effect.
Councilwoman Gayla Bradley summed up the position, saying “They want good streets, they want good water, nobody wants to pay for it.”
“Leadership requires doing something,” Barnes responded to Bradley’s’ comment.
Mayor Richard McCormac, in closing the topic, said “There’ll be some tough decisions for the council.”
Hink closed his portion of the meeting by making sure all were aware it was department employees who did all the work to get the department in shape.
Councilman Shon Hastings presented an update to the council in the matter of cable service, specifically the city’s franchise agreement with Media 3. In his report, it became apparent that it is not economically feasible for another group to come in and attempt to set up cable service as costs are figured in. The Media 3 franchise agreement expires Oct. 18, McCormac said, and he would “take any suggestions” regarding how to manage a cable franchise agreement.
In other council matters:Investigation is ongoing, and not resolved, into how to implement a business license. Councilman Jeff Pistole presented local business people were opposed to a fee, but at the same time the city had to protect others from fly-by-night operators, an “incentive for people to do right,” he said.Music in the Park events will begin the last two weekends of April, using the new stage in the park.The new Dollar General store is due to open May 6. A Casey’s convenience store is due to open soon, along with an Eye Clinic, both of the latter on Highway 65 near Walmart.The insurance settlement on the damage to the west sewage plant is dragging. “I can’t get them to return a phone call,” Hink said.Soap Box Derby will take place June 24.The session closed with Bradley calling for an executive session - used to discuss personnel matters. At the end of the council’s 30 minute session, the mayor announce “no action,” and the meeting was adjourned.