Italy City Council approves bid for HRA Grant


The Italy City Council met in regular session on Monday night. After approving council minutes, bills to be paid and earned compensatory time, they discussed a water meter variance request by Josh Trees for the little domes at 772 S. Hwy 77. At present the three domes are on one water meter. The city was requiring Trees to add two meters at a cost of $1,500 each.

Teri Murdock stated that Monolithic only had one meter for the 4 domes at the Secret Gardens on North Ward Street, but they pay a minimum bill for 4 domes, not just one. Trees stated he thought that would be better than paying $3,000. The council voted to allow the variance with those stipulations.

The council also discussed the bids received for the construction contract of the HRA Grant for a home on College Street. Bids were requested from five companies, but only two were submitted. Hyles Home Repair of Italy submitted a bid for $39,400 and Bircher Construction of Tyler submitted a bid for $28,221. Jake McAdams, the Project Manager for Public Managementm recommended they approve the lesser bid. He stated he had worked with them previously and had no problems with them. The council unanimously approved Bircher’s bid.

The council discussed Mayor Hobb’s request to move the court clerk out of the mayor’s office. Murdock said that she had moved one clerk into that office because the court is supposed to be kept secure. She said she planned to submit plans to remodel an area in city hall to keep both court clerks together, which would free up the Mayor’s office, but it is not financially feasible at the present time. The council discussed different ways to make the area more efficient and secure. They postponed the issue pending receiving bids for the remodeling at the next meeting.

The job descriptions for city employees were furnished to the council. Changes to the job description for City Administrator and City Secretary were discussed. The council approved all job descriptions with the exception of the City Administrator/Secretary and Police Corporal which was not available.

The council discussed amending city personnel policy regarding paying overtime vs. compensatory time.

“Our current budget for overtime is $14,000. In two pay periods we have paid almost $1,500 in overtime,” said Steven Farmer. “I just want to make sure when we reach the budgeted $14,000 the employees understand that we will revert back to comp time and pay no more overtime.”

Rodney Guthrie also said that the compensatory time had to be taken in the quarter it is earned according to the personnel manual. The council approved the amendments to the policy manual.

Chief Shawn Martin told the council the new police cars are on the streets. He reported that the department had 644 calls for service in October.

Karen Mathiowetz addressed the council regarding a back flow valve that was exposed at Upchurch Field. She showed each council member a picture of the valve by the walking trail. She told the council when she went to take the picture earlier, there were 3 children playing close to the valve. She stated she had turned in a work order request back in the summer for this. She said she was worried that a child would not see it and run into it causing serious injury and set the City up for a lawsuit. She said she felt the city had sufficient time to take care of the problem.

Dean Carrell stated he had researched valve covers and they were very expensive. Paul Cockerham asked Carrell to have his department build a box to cover the valve and have it installed this week.