Council terminates interim city secretary

Image: Agenda pages 1, 2 — Agenda for City of Italy regularly scheduled council meeting for October 13, 2008.

Agenda pages 1, 2 — Agenda for City of Italy regularly scheduled council meeting for October 13, 2008. (City of Italy)

The Italy City Council terminated interim city secretary K.M. Hubert on Monday, Oct. 13.

Following a lengthy executive session, council members returned terminating Hubert’s contract and taking no action regarding the appointment of a city secretary or the court clerk’s position.

According to the council agenda, the council was to have interviewed Susan Delephimne for the position of city secretary but she was not present at the meeting.

From the public

P.J. Libel of Milford, owner of the old nursing home at 101 Dunlap Street, spoke briefly to the council regarding the property.

Ms. Libel said she purchased the property from Howard Morgan of Italy about four weeks ago. She said he cleared up any title and lien issues involving the property and had obtained a clear title.

Libel’s plans were to create a retail and office space on one end of the facility and create apartments on the other end of the 12,000 square foot facility, pending zoning changes.

Since that time, Libel said Ed Bates, owner of The Bandsman, approached her regarding the property. He wants to purchase the facility for his sewing factory along with Dawn Murray, owner of “Got You Covered.” The Bandsman makes band uniforms and Murray, who also works for Bates, makes wedding linens.

Libel said she would file necessary paperwork to request a permanent zoning change for that facility.

Employee comp time

Mayor Frank Jackson said this has been an unusually stressful year due to employee turnovers and said some of the city employees were unable to use their compensatory time and vacation time in the allotted time allowed.

Following a lengthy discussion regarding the situation, Mark Souder Sr., council member, said he did not want to see any of the city employees lose what they have worked for to this point.

The council extended the deadline to use compensatory time to Nov. 30, 2008, with an update of unused time presented at the Nov. 10 council meeting.


The council discussed several ordinances during the meeting.

The council approved the addition of $6 to the water bill for sewer debt service, effective Oct. 1. The bill is currently $10 per month.

The council also approved an increase of 10% on the garbage fees. Currently, residential users pay $12 for garbage service. That cost will increase to $13.70 for residential users, effective Oct. 1.

Residents will see these hikes on their upcoming bill.

The council approved a third ordinance which addresses new water tap fees and cross connection fees.

Chris Metz, water superintendent, said the cross connection fees will be required by the State by the year 2011.

Members tabled ordinances establishing fees for pets, itinerant merchants and alarm systems.

Nick Kinze, owner of the movie store, suggested the council establish a garage sale fee as well.

Additionally, the council approved the purchase of a computer for newly hired financial officer Ronda Cockerham.

Department reports

Italy Police Chief C.V. Johnson said officers responded to 100 calls during the month of September. He said officers worked 994 hours last month and reserve officers worked 32 hours.

Italy Fire Chief Don Chambers said the fire department responded to 28 calls in September and issued seven building permits. He said East Texas Emergency Medical Service is working on the upper floor of the fire department that will house an ambulance and crew in Italy. He said the ambulance should be in place by Nov. 1.

Metz said the city needed to finalize the areas they plan to upgrade water lines by Nov. 17.

He also reported that the department received $65,000 from a FEMA grant with $15,000 going toward firefighter certification training and $50,000 going toward air packs.

Prior to adjournment, Jackson thanked Becky Boyd and Ronda Cockerham for the work they are doing in city hall. “You’ve done a real good job. Hang in there with us and hopefully we will get fully staffed soon.” He added, “Please be patient with us in city hall.”