Italy City Council approves 2016-2017 budget

During the regular monthly meeting on Monday night the Italy City Council made several necessary changes to the proposed budget then unanimously approved it. They also approved the 2016-2017 Economic Development Corporation budget.

2016-2017 Economic Development Corporation budget

During the budget hearing, Joan Grabowski asked about excess equipment being sold. Mayor Farmer explained there were two pieces of equipment that public works did not utilize. He said that after consulting the city attorney, the city traded the TAC machine to the company that was doing the street work for them fixing another street.

Landon Smith with Mobilitie addressed the council regarding a proposed new utility infrastructure facility to be located near the Corley Bell Tower.

“Mobilitie is trying to make internet and cell service faster,” Smith told the council. “We would install a wood utility pole. Most of them are usually 80 feet tall. There would be a small wireless relay device at the top of the pole. This would boost the speed of wireless devices for everyone in the area no matter the cell carrier.”

Smith also said this would be at no cost to the city and the city would be allowed to place a siren or security camera for example on the pole.

Franchise fees for the city were discussed. The council took no action to give them time to gather more information.

Bob Kirby addressed the council regarding the mosquito problem in town. He said the city had paid him in the past to spray for mosquitos. Mayor Farmer told him that Shawn Holden, Public Works Director, was getting information from different companies regarding spraying. He said when all the information was in, they would seek bids for spraying if the city decided to do so.

Kirby also asked about a new church that is forming being allowed to purchase the old Christian Church on Poplar Street that the city owns. He said it had been vacant for about 30 years. Mayor Farmer explained to him that the city would go through the bid process for sealed bids if they decided to sell it. The council voted to open this up for bids after getting an appraisal.

With the resignation of Council member Henry Wortman, there is a vacant seat on the council. Paul Cockerham made a motion to appoint John Droll to fill the vacancy and swear him in at this meeting. Neither Carl Cash nor Troy Kowalsky seconded the motion so the motion died leaving the seat unfilled.

The council also voted to hire Misty Culpepper to perform the 2015-2016 audit. They discussed possibly hiring a new auditor before the 2016-2017 audit is performed.

Departmental Reports:

Police 121 calls for service
270 citations issued
15 code enforcement letters issued (new computer system utilized)
2 animal control citations issued
3 dogs taken to the SPCA

Public Works 7,735,600 gallons of water pumped
5,111,000 gallons of water sold
1,600,000 gallons used for fire and flushing lines
1,024,600 gallons loss (13.25%)
27 residents utilized dumpster for dump day

During council comments, Paul Cockerham thanked Bob Kirby for bringing up the mosquito issue. He asked all residents to rid their area of standing water when possible so it is harder for mosquitoes to breed.

Cockerham, Cash and Kowalsky thanked the department heads for doing a good job. Councilmember Paul Shearin was not in attendance.