Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Clay Council Agrees to Repair Damage to Vehicle

Until last week there was a pothole on First Street in Clay that one council member referred to as “a crater”. The hole was paved the morning of the council meeting, but not in time to prevent damage to a few cars.

Dawn Adcock of Hopkinsville met with the council to request the city pay for the $350 in damages that hitting the pothole had done to her car.

“Julie (Rhye) and I have talked about this,” said mayor Rick Householder. The hole was bad. I don’t mean a little bad, I mean extremely bad. I’m not sure how we let it get like that.”

City employee Paul Stone told the council that every time the city patched the hole, it delayed the time it would take to get it paved.

“Whether we or the contractor are responsible, there were no signs up,” said councilman Todd Vanover.

“Personally I think we should pay for the damages, but I think the construction company is also responsible,” said Householder. “They didn’t put signs up or tell us that we needed to put signs up.”
“Do we have insurance that will cover it?” asked councilman Jackie Edens. “I think we need to find out what they will pay before we just agree to pay it.”

Stating that either the city or the Timmons paving was responsible and that it would be unfair for the city to make Ms. Adcock wait, Vanover made a motion to pay the bill and then work it out between the insurance company and the contractor.

“If we pay this, how many more people are going to call us wanting money,” asked councilwoman Patty Dennis.

Eventually the council passed two motions. The first was to write Dawn Adcock a check for her bill. The second was to forward that bill and any subsequent bills to Timmons. Anyone else who submits a bill will have to get their money either from the contractor or the city’s insurance company.
“We, as a city, dropped the ball,” said Vanover.

The council then voted to take the compensating rate on taxes for the new fiscal year. When a taxing district chooses the compensating rate, it is setting the tax rate so that the revenue is as close as possible to what it was in the previous year. As property values fluctuate, this tax could go slightly up or down.

In this case it meant a slight raise, taking the rate from 0.02714 cents per $100 of assessed value, up to 0.02766. (The rate set two years ago was 0.0293.) The tax on motor vehicles was set at 39 cents per $100.

The new tax rate would bring in approximately $72,127 to the city, if everyone paid, a prospect that the council does not find very likely.

“You’re never close to bringing in the full amount because you always have the same people who don’t pay,” said City Clerk Julie Rhye. “It's been that way for years and years and years.”

Rhye reported that the city was in the process of getting a list of delinquent taxes together to turn over to city attorney Ben Leonard. The plan is he will start with the residents who owe the most money and start sending them to collection.

Providence has already started following this procedure, which can generate late fees, penalties and even tax liens against the property owners who don’t pay their taxes.

In other business, Paul Stone addressed the council about the natural gas line that crosses Crab Orchard Creek north of the city.

The pipe, which has been in that location for years, crosses the creek about three foot above the creek bed. During strong rains, when the creek rises, the pipe is directly in the path of any objects floating down stream. The pipe is also set in concrete, which could eventually cause the pipe to fail.

“How long until it leaks, I don’t know,” said Stone. “But this is the only place in our entire gas system that worries me. If something happens there, the only place to shut the gas off is on the other side of Providence, which would shut the gas off to Providence, Clay, Wheatcroft and Sturgis.”
He offered two solutions. The first was installing a shut off valve just before the line cross Crab Orchard Creek, which would cost around $9,500. The second option would be to have the line run under the creek the way it should have been done originally. This would be in the neighborhood of $50,000, but would include a shut off valve.

Because this the line in question is the main line that feeds Sturgis, that city would be responsible for covering half the expense.

Mayor Householder suggested they table discussion until Stone could meet with the Sturgis city council and discuss the issue. Julie Moore added that Clay had enough funds in their gas account to cover their part of either project if Sturgis agrees.

No comments:

Post a Comment