By Tommi O. Peters
For The Tribune
SPRINGVILLE – City Council members tackled a full agenda at the regularly scheduled Oct. 15 meeting, which was immediately preceded by two work sessions.
A special work session provided time for presentation of the Traffic Operations Study. Springville resident Richard Caudle presented the study results on behalf of the Advance Planning, Programming, and Logical Engineering (APPLE) Program. After significant discussion, the Council passed a resolution approving expenditures of up to $65K for installation of a temporary red light at the intersection of Hwy 11 / Main Street and SR 174 / Murphrees Valley Rd.
Ordinance 2018-13 Sweetwater voter district passed unanimously, which places residents of the Sweetwater subdivision into District 2 per recommendation of the city’s voter district consultant.
Mayor Isley commented prior to the vote, “I believe if the annexation of Sweetwater had happened earlier in the time between the censuses, the recommendation would have been to add Sweetwater to District 1 to equalize the districts. I believe this recommendation unfairly, though not unjustly, places these additional citizens into District 2.”
District 2 is represented by councilor David Vinson and will now include over 950 citizens. All other districts will have approximately 650 citizens with the exception District 1, which will have 280 citizens.
District 2 Councilor David Vinson commented, “I’m happy to help. I think they need good positive representation and I’ll do everything I can to help the residents in Sweetwater. I hope they’ll free to contact me with anything they need.”
The FY 2019 Budget also received final approval at the meeting. Budget Chairman Chip Martin presented highlights budget, which includes funding for hire of three additional laborers to support the workload of the Public Works and Parks & Recreation Departments. A cash reserve of 10% is included in the budget, which has been standard for the city’s budget.
The budget also includes a recommendation from the Benefits Committee for a 5% Cost of Living Adjustment increase rather than the 2.5% increase that has been in place for the past 10 years.
Martin noted, “Something positive I’d like to point out is that if you compare July 2017 with July 2018, there was an 8% increase in sales tax revenue, which is the largest in recent years. But we still stayed conservative in the FY19 budget with 5% projected growth.”
Resolution 2018-27 was passed to pay $225 per month towards the premium related to or associated with “Family” or “Dependent” health insurance coverage for all employees of the City who are eligible for and elect to receive coverage through the City’s health insurance plan. The $225 premium payment will be referred to as the “City’s portion of the Family Coverage.”
City employees that opt out of the City’s Health Insurance Benefits received approval to be compensated monetarily in the amount of $225 per month through the passing of Resolution 2018-29.
Resolution 2018-28 also passed, which will provide longevity pay for full time employees to be paid in the month of December each year. A sliding scale of the payout varies by length of employment and ranges from $405 to $910.
As part of the ongoing efforts to develop clarity of roles and distribution of workload between the Public Works and Parks & Recreation Departments, Building Inspector Asa Sargent presented a 3D rendering to propose an office buildout in an unused space within a current maintenance storage building. The project will include three offices for the Parks & Recreation Coordinator, the Planning & Zoning Director, the Building Inspector, reception area, and small kitchen. The build out will also include ample storage above the offices for plans that are required to be kept indefinitely. The Council approved a $50K budget for the project. Sargent made note that he will personally handle the electrical needs, decreasing the cost of the project by up to $15K.
“This isn’t just about office space. This plan also includes significant storage above our offices which we are in desperate need of because we have to keep commercial plans and subdivision plans indefinitely,” noted Sargent.
Additional Expenditure approvals:
Library – Cybrarian Software charge of $749.95. This is a budgeted annual purchase that provides a notice of print fees to users prior to something being printed. The program also assists with safe internet usage for children.
Library – Book Systems Software of $2185.00. This budgeted annual item is the circulation system for print materials, allowing users to view availability of items and reserve them online.
Fire Department – Alabama Fire College Executive Development Conference fees of $1,150.00. The conference will serve as continuing education for Fire Chief Harvey Richard Harvey and three additional members of the fire department.
District 7 Councilor Sherry Reaves presented a motion that passed in which she request $1285 in funding to offer a Movie in the Park event on Nov. 16th. The funds will be dispersed directly to the Chamber of Commerce who will disperse to organizations needed to put on the event.
A change order $1650 change order to the current project of modifying the maintenance building near the sports complex was also approved, which will allow the drain within the floor of the building to be filled.
Other approved items include:
– Minutes of October 1 work session and regular meeting;
– August-September 2018 budget report
Discussion of Newcastle Development and Application of development was tabled until the Nov. 5 regularly scheduled city council meeting.
The next regularly scheduled meeting is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. on Nov. 5.