By Brenda Boykin
Alderson’s public library is in jeopardy.
Mayor Travis Copenhaver informed the council that the budget for the Alderson Public Library is $8,000 short, but the need for its services remains strong: there were over 11,000 visits to the library last year by citizens using its services, and Alderson Elementary school currently uses the public library as the school library. Copenhaver also said he feels that the loss of the library would also hurt the elderly that don’t drive or have limited transportation.
Although he has written to several people in the state government, Copenhaver has not received any encouragement that the state will offer assistance with this issue. He has discussed the issues with members of the Library Board. The cost of the upkeep of the current building being used by the library is one of the greatest expenses, he said.
He is going to investigate the feasibility of moving the library to the Alderson Community Center. There was no formal action taken by the council, but all options will be pursued to try to save the library.
A public hearing was held before the regular council meeting on Sept. 10 concerning the proposed water and sewer rate change ordinance. The second readings of the water rate change ordinance and the sewer rate ordinance were passed. The rate increase can take effect 45 days from passage of ordinance. There is also a 30-day period to file a grievance with the Public Service Commission.
Council approved the expenditure of $13,170 from the Senate Bill 245 Waste Water Treatment fund.
The plan formed by the Comprehensive Planning Commission was presented to council by Fawn Valentine. Copenhaver pointed out a few changes that need to be made. Council accepted the plan for review but with the understanding that amendments were to be made before the council would vote on it. Valentine was praised by the mayor and council for her work, and the committee’s work, which has saved a considerable amount of money. Stephanie Dickenson was appointed to serve on the Planning Commission.
Before any paving or repairs can be made on Crestview Drive, council had to officially recognize it as a street. The motion was accepted and passed by council.
David Hambrick submitted various retirement plans to be considered by council for the town employees. Council decided to move forward with a simplified Individual Retirement Annuity (IRA) plan. Under this plan the employee will be vested immediately and taxes will be deferred until monies are withdrawn from the plan. The town is considering a 5 percent contribution based on the employee’s salary. The employee will not be contributing to the plan. Hambrick recommended that the employees be given an opportunity to be able to contribute to some other plan if they so chose. However, that will not affect the IRA plan adopted and funded by the town.
Council voted to rescind the motion made at the August meeting to adjust the town boundaries to include the Alderson Ministerial Association’s new location of Rt. 12. Instead, it approved to move forward with an expanded annexation to square up that corner of Alderson. This will be a much longer process, and the lands will have to be surveyed, notifications made to all landowners involved and public meetings held. All affected landowners will have one vote and the majority will rule. The same process will be followed concerning the annexation of the Glen Ray area.
Copenhaver urged a push to get the audit contract bids submitted before November deadline. Repairs to be made by Pittsburg Tank on the Flat Mountain water tank will begin within a week. Two candidates will be sent to the police academy. Upon completion of the academy, the town will then have three full-time police officers.