By Jim Young
Crossville City Council holds their regular December meeting tonight at 6:05 p.m. with two public hearings and the audit committee meeting scheduled before hand.
Because of an error in a public notice for a public hearing on the issuance of some housing bonds the council meeting will start at 6:05 p.m. for this one night. The audit committee meeting will be held at 5:15 p.m. and another public hearing is set for 5:45 p.m. on the proposed plan of services for the annexation of property on Lantana Road at Dunbar.
The vast majority of the city council's agenda is included in the consent agenda usually needing little or no discussion. The council meeting could go pretty quickly because of that or items could be pulled out of the consent agenda for discussion if a council member requests. Included in the consent agenda is the final reading of the annexation of 4.52 acres on Lantana Rd into the city limits and final reading of the ordinance closing a portion of Lillian Court, an undeveloped right of way.
On the consent agenda for second readings, requiring one additional reading before becoming final are ordinances amending the budget for the Northwest Connector, the improvements to the Snodgrass building and an ordinance to add a section to the municipal code concerning public records. The item on public records does not change the rules, but adds them to the code based on a recommendation from the city's consultant the Municipal Technical Advisory Service.
Other items for council's actions under the consent agenda include recognizing additional federal holidays not currently observed by the city including Martin Luther King Day, President's Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day, recognizing student artists for their city Christmas card design and the swearing in of a member of the Crossville Housing Authority board of commissioners.
During the council's work session last week, several items were discussed including a question about the wetlands mitigation project from several years ago on the Baisley Farm. City manager David Rutherford explained to the council at the work session that as survey's had been done as parts of the farm are being sold, it was discovered that the property used by the city was not the 16 acres expected but closer to 27 acres.
The property owner is requesting additional payment of $32,000 from the city though the original paperwork on the easement does not specify an amount of acreage. The council could decide on a course of action during tonight's meeting. The wetlands mitigation originally came from the development of the property where the StonePeak factory is constructed.
Rutherford also told the council that they were moving forward with repairs to the tennis courts at Centennial Park. Repairs to the courts are estimated at $20,000 and some additional cost for drainage work should get another 3 to 4 years use without having to completely rebuild the courts.
Changes to the city's regulations on signs are coming. New technology will require changes and a committee worked on the issue about three years ago. Those changes will be reviewed again and are scheduled to be discussed at January's council work session.
Councilman Pete Souza discussed what he saw as two related items. Souza is proposing dropping the council members' health insurance coverage and using those funds to restore some of the disability coverage to city employees. The disability coverage was dropped in the 2013-14 budget as it was costing the city much more than it was used.
Souza had requested an item to discuss what he described a “the mayor's possible conflict of interest.” Souza said he would put off discussion until after the holidays. Mayor J.H. Graham read a letter he had written to city attorney Ken Chadwell in his position as the city ethics officer.
In the letter dated November 21, Graham explains that he is in business to prepare tax returns and the only real estate property he owns is his office/residence and farm located on South Main St.