Another Marathon Meeting for Grayville
Grayville Commissioners are getting very good at traipsing around to find the fine line on considerations. Another Council Meeting, another marathon hour and a half session discussing and considering 18 proposals and agenda items. Things got underway with the state of finances. The treasurer’s report shows Grayville with $6,488.61 in Bonds, $986,629.47 in Restricted Accounts, Investments worth $886,613.83 and $213,645.65 in cash on hand for a total of $2,093,377.56. Treasurer Sharon Walden reported a CD worth an estimated $117,000 will be maturing in mid July.
Highlights of the meeting included the Draft TIF Agreement. Commissioner Baldwin had concerns with wording about adding payback if the user defaulted. Council also amended Zoning Ordinance in effect doing away with a separate zoning board and making the Council members the zoning board. Members voted to pay themselves $10 per meeting, the same rate zoning board members made.
Council voted to forego the sale of equipment at the old KYOTES business. Some of the equipment was moved in and then the kitchen area built around it, which has complicated the potential moving and selling of the city’s secured interest. With bankruptcy pending, the city voted to wash it’s hands of the equipment and to potentially gain some of their lost funds with the post bankruptcy settlement.
Mayor Travis Thompson reported there hadn’t been enough interest in paperless billing for him to recommend moving forward with the email billing module. He says about 40 to 50 residents expressed interest. Thompson says they’d need somewhere in the neighborhood of 125 customers participating for it to pay off.
The City will sign a new 3 year contract for city workers uniforms after Treasurer Walden spoke with city workers and negotiated prices with Clean Uniform. The changes will result in savings for the city, though the specific amount wasn’t noted.
Grayville will officially be accepting bids for excess real estate located at 142 North Fifth Street. The bids will be opened at the first meeting in August which is scheduled to be August 12th.
Utility Manager Scott Irvine told council he was in favor of Grayville getting a Mini Excavator, saying that the machine does much less damage to residents yards when work has to be done. After further discussion, council is leaning towards leasing rather than purchasing a new or used unit. Leasing is available at around $7,500 per year. The budget allows for a $15,000 expenditure. Irvine and Commissioner Donovan Baldwin agreed to go check out a few companies’ leasing options and models available before making a recommendation.
Grayville updated water rates and meter fees effective immediately. The changes while at first look appear to be an increase are actually no change when you look at both. Mayor Thompson made a point to let residents know that while the water rate on the minimum usage was going up $5, the water meter fee for residential customers is dropping by $5. The move was delayed from last meeting due to Commissioner Jordan wanting to ensure the change wouldn’t affect one of the larger grants the city relies on.
Council passed Ordinance #873, an amendment to the Animal Control Ordinance giving Police teeth to enforce citations against those who fail to clean up waste after their pet. Thompson says the park has been abused as have the sidewalks lining businesses downtown. A signed complaint is required, but passing the ordinance Thompson hopes will help deter offenders and encourage others to begin cleaning up after their pets.
A hefty amount of time was spent discussing the development of a policy surrounding use of the community dumpster and potentially placing fencing around said dumpster. Thompson said he hopes to have better regulation of use. Commissioner Jordan expressed concern over the list of not allowed items, saying “Who’s going to use it if we make it so difficult and squeeze the list of acceptable items down too much?” In the end, Council agreed to meet with Republic Services to get additional details on acceptable refuse for the community receptacle.
Mayor Thompson gave an update on the Water Line Replacement Grant saying the city had turned in enough surveys and met the requirement for income base. At this point, Thompson says, “Greater Wabash and Milano are done with us for now…just cross your fingers.”
Council also formally acknowledged and encouraged the formation of a Friends of Grayville Memorial Park organization. The mayor says he’s talked to Doug Ford about heading up the organization and says they’ll work hand in hand with the park committee to make a positive difference for the community.
Council unanimously agreed to honor their commitment to make their regular donation to the Grayville Senior Citizens Center. The $10,000 donation is partially monetary ($7,500) and partially taken care of in utility adjustment ($2,500).
Commissioner Tyler Howell brought to attention the city’s water tower has no By Pass Valve, leaving Grayville with no ability to take the water tower off line. The valve would be helpful in painting and cleaning as well as if there were ever a problem with it. Council unanimously gave Howell the power to explore pricing for the by pass valve.
A brush route will resume beginning in July. There’s concern city workers won’t have the time or man power to effectively get to everyone if enough people participate. Council agreed to give it a 3 month trial saying they’d revisit it in September. The Brush Route will take place on the last Friday of each month unless that day is a holiday and then it will be the last Thursday. Residents must reach out to the city if they’d like to be included on the Brush Route.
Grayville will follow Fairfield’s lead it appears after placing a policy proposal on Monday’s agenda for non employees riding in city vehicles. The item was quickly tabled however so that City Attorney Jay Walden could further review the proposed policy.
Council agreed to enter into an administrative services contract with the Greater Wabash Planning Committee on a grant application. Thompson says if the municipality is granted the $500,000, they’ll owe 7% to GWRPC, amounting to $35,000. He also says that engineering fees would amount to $80,000. If Grayville doesn’t receive the grant however, they’ll owe nothing.
And finally on the agenda, Grayville Commissioners narrowly approved a policy for delinquent utilities and shut offs. Thompson says there are typically 20 to 35 accounts that are significantly delinquent totaling more than $15,000 accumulatively. The new procedures add payment plan changes and changed the shut off time to 2:30pm. Reach City Hall for a copy of the new policy details.
Commissioner David Jordan reported Oil Income for the month of $1,904.61. Mayor Thompson says the city is enforcing it’s mow your lawn and keep your property maintained ordinance, issuing 9 citations already with more possible.
Council adjourned around 8:30pm.