Lengthy Meeting for Carmi Council
In what was supposed to be a brief meeting for the Carmi City Council turned into an hour and a half long session as the council covered a number of issues, taking considerable time on an issue discussed at the last council meeting.
Dave Coston, the city’s electrical engineer and consultant addressed the council at length concerning Generator 11 at the power plant. He covered many of the items touched upon at the March 19 meeting, explaining to the council, the city could lose credits from IMEA, the group that distributes power to a number of municipalities. Coston explained that IMEA wants to know something is being done about the generator which broke down some time ago.
The question for the council was all about spending, as insurance requires confirmation that the generator breakdown was not the fault of the city. However, to find that out could cost up to $60,000, with the repairs costing over $400,000, which the insurance would pay, if its proved the city was not at fault.
Matt McCandless, a mechanic for a company that works on the generator spoke at the request of Doug Hays of the electrical committee. McCandless pointed out the city should be able to determine what caused the problem for less than $60,000.
Following over 45 minutes of discussion, the council finally agreed upon spending $10,000 to hire someone to come in and hopefully determine what caused the generator failure.
Coston also explained to council there is a need for a new breaker at the Bradshaw Substation, as the current breaker sometimes can not be re-set.
He reported two new breakers would cost over $100,000, but explained the city did not have to purchase two. He wanted the council to understand something will need to be done at the substation. No vote was taken on that matter.
In other business; Carmi Chief of Police Jason Carter received permission to begin the process of replacing K-9 Officer Orest.
Carter explained a new dog, and training would run about $16,500, but he pointed out he has much of that funding already secured.
Council also granted permission for Sgt. Dustin Buttry, Orest’s handler to assume ownership of Orest upon the dog’s retirement.
Council also approved Brent Hammell’s appointment to the Police and Fire Commission to replace Braden Willis, who expressed his desire to step down from the board.
Mowing and maintence bids were awarded to Pat Owen, who submitted a bid of $840 to cover a number of properties the city controls. Two other bids were received, but both were for $1240 and the city is required by law to accept the lowest bid.
Mayor Jeff Pollard had a number of items to present to the council and Carmi residents, including a reminder that water line flushing is underway.
Prior to adjourning the marathon meeting, City Attorney Greg Stewart brought the council up to date on efforts to improve the cities nuisance ordinance and how to deal with run-down properties and other eyesores.
Stewart went on to point out he and Mayor Pollard would like input from local citizens about this issue, hoping to upgrade the ordinance sometime later this year. He pointed out, there is ‘no clear cut solution as its all private property.”
In other matters, Mayor Pollard reported estimates had been received concerning fixing the tennis courts. All three could be fixed for about $47,000. The mayor said he was going to see if the city could do some of the work, which might help with the overall cost.
Prior to adjournment, City Supervisor Mike Buckman officially announced his retirement coming later this year. He thanked the city, the mayor and past administrations for allowing him to work for the city the past 39 years. Buckman received a round of applause following his announcement.
Council adjourned around 7 p.m…..a little longer meeting than promised at the last March meeting. The next city council meeting will be April 16.