Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Clay to get mowing assistance from jail trustees

J-E News Editor
Clay City Council met last Tuesday night, with all members except Jackie Edens and Jerril Rich present.
Topping the meeting was a discussion of a drainage tile on Park Street that has been backing up during recent rains and causing flooding.
“The water is draining, but it’s really slow,” said council member Paul Cowan. “I’m not sure if that is our tile or the county’s. It’s right on the line.”
Mayor Rick Householder suggested that city employees take a look at the tile and see if there is anything they can do to fix it.

In other business, effective with the city’s May 2014 utility bills, Clay will no longer be sending customers late notices. 
“Right now, on the 20th of the month utility bills are mailed out,” said City Clerk Julie Rhye. “If they are not paid by the 7th, they are charged a late fee. Late notices are mailed out on the 10th. Services are cut on the 17th.”
Mailing two bills to customers is a cost that the city no longer wants to handle.
“It’s costly to send late notices every month,” Rhye said.
Webster County Jailer Terry Elder attended Tuesday’s meeting at the request of council member Todd Vanover. Officials say that the city is short handed this year, and there was some growing concern on how they were going to manage the mowing of the city park.
“Through the jail trustee program, we try to help in every city in the county,” Elder told the council. “We even took care of mowing the Dixon city parks for several years, until they decided to do that themselves.”
Elder explained that the trustee program mows about 30 locations throughout Webster County. The only requirement is that someone show them where  and how often they need to mow.
“We don’t charge,” Elder said. “This is a free service we offer to the citizens of Webster County. I feel like the tax payers elect the county officials and pay us. We already work for you.”
“If we decide to let you take care of the parks, would we need to provide anything?” asked Vanover.
“You don’t have to,” Elder said. “Dixon always paid for our gas, but that was because they wanted to. You don’t have to pay anything unless you want to.”
Inmates that take part in the jail trustee program receive one day off of their sentence for every 40 hours that they work in the community.
City employee Paul Stone presented the council with a proposal to deem a 2002 utility truck, a fuel tank and an air compressor as surplus equipment. Council members agreed, and the equipment will be sold at an upcoming silent auction with the proceeds to be used to purchase a new 4X4 service truck for the city.
Stone also presented the council with a proposal to purchase a new mosquito sprayer.
“For the last several years we have borrowed Wheatcroft’s fogger,” he said. “They’ve worked with us really well. The problem is scheduling is difficult. We’ve always managed to get it done, but its been a good bit of trouble.”
After looking at several different models, Stone located a new London Fogger. The purchase and delivery price for the unit would be $7,988. The city currently has the funds available from LGEA to pay for the unit, which qualifies as public health and safety.
It was also discussed that the city needs to change the chemical it uses on the  mosquitoes soon. According to Stone, with each spraying the insects build up an immunity to the chemical being used. After several generations with the same spray, the effectiveness is drastically decreased.
The council voted on a first reading of an amendment to the fiscal budget, in order to assign LGEA funds to the purchase fogger. They also voted to proceed with the purchase of one barrel of a different chemical to use on the mosquitoes.