addresses municipal issues
By Brenda Boykin
The Alderson City Council meeting for March had a full agenda, including several changes to municipal law.
The second reading of the resolution to amend Chapter lb criminal code to include Conspiracy to Commit a Misdemeanor was passed by council. The resolution to amend Chapter lb criminal code Assault and Battery was read due to a change in the state code including physical force capable of causing harm or injury. The amendment passed. Amendment to the criminal code Obstruction, Giving False Information, and Fleeing from an Officer was also passed.
The first reading of the Municipal Levy passed. The levy will be posted in the paper, and upon the second reading at next month’s meeting, if passed, it will go into effect the second Tuesday in April.
Council voted to approve the new employee handbook. After being reviewed and revised by the city attorney, the new handbook meets both state and federal code. The new handbook is effective as of Mar. 13. The job descriptions of the Town of Alderson Municipal Clerk and Billing Clerk, including the requirement to attend classes required by the auditor and other regulatory agencies were approved by council. Also, time clocks are in operation for departments now.
Alderson Police officer William Nester requested use of a police car to go back and forth to work. He lives in Lewisburg, and the cruiser would prevent him driving to Alderson to get a vehicle on the days he has to go to court and when he needs to be called in from home when it is necessary for two police officers to handle a call. Council approved the request for a three month trial, which will require detailed mileage records. After three months the policy will be reviewed again.
Council member Charles Lobban, who is also a member of the Alderson Fire Department, requested funds from the town to compensate the fire department for the purchase of a fire truck. Lobban said council made a verbal agreement to that effect in 2006, when the fire department purchased the fire truck, and, to his knowledge, the fire department has not been repaid. Council approved payment of $2,500 from this year’s budget to the Alderson Volunteer Fire Department. The payment will come from the contingency fund account. The town will consider another $2,500 payment from next year’s budget. There are also plans for discussions of other ways the town may be able to assist the fire department in the future. The fire department operates independently of the town government.
In other business:
• Town council approved the appointment of Lisa Robinette to the Alderson Parks Commission.
• Kevin Johnson, a board member of the Alderson Community Food Hub, reported that the grocery store project is coming along great and expressed his thanks to the town for its support.
• Council voted to amend the name of the board formed last month from Sewer Board to Utility Board in order to widen its scope. The members will still be the same.
• Floyd McKinley “Kin” Sayre was appointed as Special Judge for a jury trial coming up next month.
• Due to the slow start on the waste water treatment plant, it was thought that the town would not be getting the $550,000 grant from the Army Corp of Engineers, but based on the current progress of the project, the town will be receiving the grant.
• The town has had a savings of $42,478.90 since participating in the municipal league’s unemployment security rate. The rate is now 3.75 percent.
• The town clerks, Michelle Miller and Cori Sparks, attended the budget training work shop.
• Council has determined the water and sewer rates will have to be raised sometime in the near future. The town has been avoiding a rate increase for years, but it has become necessary. The minimum water rate for 2,000 gallons of water is $17.87, the lowest in the valley, and the water loss rate is also the lowest.
• The city crews thanked the citizens of Alderson by letter for their assistance, support, and show of appreciation during the recent snow storms.
• The causes concerning the issues of sewage backing up in two homes on Davis Street have been determined. The incidents were not related and the town was not at fault in either case. They were both homeowner issues.
• Council voted to give $140 toward the new hanging baskets for the town, as requested by Judy Lewallen.