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Mayor Pollard Addresses Electric Bill Complaints At Tuesday’s Carmi City Council Meeting

Mayor Pollard hoped for a larger crowd than he got at Tuesday night’s Carmi City Council meeting. Other than Stephanie Dennis, there were no visitors as the others in attendance were either press or there because they were specifically included in a portion of the meeting.  Nonetheless, the mayor had a few messages for constituents and will have to entrust the media to help get that word out.    Stating he was “about over the facebook stuff”

“When you’re talking about your electric bill, make sure you realize that the bill is a month behind. So when you’re complaining about how high your bill is and you’re photoshopping your pictures, putting them on there and going on about how it is, remember that’s the hottest month. Your air conditioner has been running. Your ceiling fan’s been going. Your floor fan’s been going. It doesn’t have anything to do with the city raising the rates or gouging or anything like that. If you want to control what’s going on, you can probably turn a few things off.”

In addition, he went on to say that when folks are on budget billing, they need to take into account sometimes they’re in arears.  Beyond that, he’s reminding residents that it’s not just electric they’re paying for in that bill; that it also includes water, sewer and trash pickup.

His final two rants as he called them could be drawn back to that last meeting’s public hearing and also a specific resident that brought to council’s attention a nearby home that she felt should be torn down.

“We’ve discussed this over and over again. It is illegal for the city or legally we don’t have the right to go in on private property and tear down, clean up, close doors or whatever. That’s the responsibility of the property owner. That doesn’t have anything to do with us. We’ve discussed the fact time and time again as far as whether or not we were going to budget x amount of money aside. I have been informed that in the past there’s been a grant that’s been offered. The last time it was offered, I looked it up today and I think it was 16 or 17 for properties, where if we got permission from homeowners that we got the grant we could go in and tear them down. Other than that, that’s the only way we can do it.”

Finally, in reference to the last August meeting’s public hearing which was called for the purpose of discussing and approving a mobile home permit on Kearney, and devolved into an argument between resident Stan Lovell and the mayor regarding infrastructure in Ward 3 and Lovell’s claim that too much money and city employee effort was being placed at Burrells Woods, Pollard had this to say.

“Technically, legally, the only thing that can be discussed in an open meeting has to be on the agenda. If you have any issues you want to talk about, you need to call the office. You need to ask for it to be on the agenda. We’d be more than happy to put it on there and discuss it. Basically, at the end of the meeting when I ask for business or comments from the visitors, that’s just to throw a little tidbit out there or if you want to discuss something, maybe you say, ‘Hey, you want to get this on the agenda for next time because I would like to discuss it from here on out."”

It wasn’t all negative however.  Pollard did offer thanks to Don Ridenour for starting the process of cleaning up a property by the one room school house.  He hopes that other residents will take pride in their property and follow his lead.

He also congratulated Don Davis for being nominated as Outstanding Operator of the Year.  He’s one of only four recognized in the entire state.

The City will also apparently shoot for October 18th and 19th as the Burrells Woods Halloween campout. He says a lottery will be drawn for camping spots and folks can start registering with the City Clerk for lottery spots on October 1st.  You can call 382 – 2001 if you have any questions, comments, and/or concerns.

Of items that were on the agenda, it was approved for Subway to enter into a TIF agreement.  The city will match up to $10,000 worth of demolition costs for the current building.  Holly Healy, on behalf of economic development says it’s a $630,000 project and Josh Harms of Harms Construction was in attendance to answer questions about the effort.

It was also noted that the city will take bids on their Case IH C 100 tractor they’ll be retiring.  Pollard called it “the old bush hog tractor” and expects to have a bid sheet worked up so that the city can begin taking bids toward the end of this year or early next year.