Procedures were reviewed at the Shirley City Council meeting Monday night, Sept. 10, as the council determined the path a check for baseball field repairs had followed. The council also discussed the change-over for city water service.
At its August meeting the council was concerned that a check issued to it by Shirley Schools and earmarked for bleacher repair at the city ball field was missing from records. The check, for $1,500, had been deposited by the city’s baseball association despite being issued to the city, the council heard at its August meeting.
At Monday night’s meeting the council was told by Recorder-Treasurer Melissa Worthing that the check amount had been returned to the city by the association, after the check having been forwarded to the ball association in error. Worthing told the council she had recorded the check as having been received, but the check had not been deposited.
At issues was the city legislation which held baseball funds in the city’s general fund only for 2017. The $1,500 check, along with other monies, had been forwarded to the association as part of its 2017 monies being held by the city. Worthing told the group that when the error of sending the 2018 check to the association was realized, the city was refunded right away by the association.
When the $1,500 was returned, it was posted to the city general fund, Worthing told the council.
Councilman David Cook, recommended, and the council agreed, that going forward, ball field funds would be held as a separate line item in the city budget. Mayor Lisa Hackett asked that, going forward, the to-date budget be included in the monthly report to the council, the same as the previous month’s minutes, so the council would be able to review the budget on a monthly bases, perhaps to avoid such situations in the future.
Hackett went on to express some concern that parent volunteers had only partially repaired the bleachers after materials had been purchased.
“There’s a lot of parents that need to get off their tushes,” Hackett said.
Hackett and the council both agreed that the ball association, despite the issue with the bleachers, had a number of loyal volunteers.
The council also agreed to review the wording of the funding legislation passed last year, to end the 2017 limit so the city could continue to marshal funds issued to the city for the ball field.
The council also heard on the change-over from a city-held water department to an agreement with Community Water System. Currently the arrangement between the city and Community Water is on an interim basis, pending the state Attorney General’s review of the agreement if the agreement between the city and Community Water needs to be put out for bid, due to the value of the contract.
The Attorney General is working to expedite the ruling on the need for bidding, a process which goes through several review steps before being signed off, Cook told the council, adding that Representative Trevor Drown was working to speed the ruling where possible.
Hackett expressed concern that the delay was up against a growing need for some city customers to get new water meters.
Hackett also stressed that the water department operations were changing.
“I’m not making adjustments [to water bills],” Hackett said.
She explained to the council that apparently in the past if a bill was due on a Saturday date and paid on Monday, the customer would have their bill adjusted to remove any late fee. That, she said, was over, explaining that one reason was the department’s billing system software would not allow it.
“Larry [Dollar, the recently-retired water department head] used to make adjustments, and I’m not making them anymore,” Hackett said.
Hackett also presented to the council that it was time to update the phone service for the water department so calls for service would go to Community Water and not the former, now retired, department head, Dollar.
“If you have a problem call Community Water,” she said.
In other council matters:
The body passed a proclamation making Oct. 5 “Go Pink for the Cure.”
Planning began to set up a census committee to inform and advise community residents about the importance of participating in the national census.
An extended conversation was made on the condition of some area roads after the recent rain, including the inadequacy of some gravel-lined drainage. Hackett said she would get with County Judge Roger Hooper about this.
The city needs a Flood Plain Administrator, a position held in the past by Larry Dollar.