Macon County Chronicle

Resignations in Red Boiling Springs

The resignations of two Red Boiling Springs officials were announced last Thursday, April 10 at the regular city council meeting. City Judge Tim Roark stated, in the letter he gave to Mayor Kenneth Hollis on April 10,  that he was resigning due to the increasing case load.

Roark went on to thank the Mayor and council for their appointment, and wished them the best.

Billy Whitley called Mayor Hollis on Wednesday, April 9 to say he was resigning his council seat because he’s moved out of the city.

Both vacancies will be advertised in local newspapers, the council decided, and the positions filled at a special called council meeting to be held at 6 p.m. on April 24.

According to the city’s charter, the mayor will act as city judge until a replacement is appointed. Whoever is chosen by the council to fill Whitley’s vacated seat will serve until April of 2009, when the term ends.

Whitley was also removed from the Red Boiling Springs Volunteer Fire Department, at the recommendation of Councilman Jimmy Roark. Daniel Birdwell, also at Roark’s recommendation, was added to the fire department.

Also on the agenda for the special April 24 meeting will be the city budget and employee pay scales.
After months of negotiations, the matter of setting a rate for Nestlé’s reverse osmosis water was tabled by council, at Nestlé’s request.

“They’re looking at different options,” explained Mayor Hollis.

Ray Bilbrey was pleased to see copies of all checks written to city employees included in council members packets, according to city policy. Although the motion to do so was passed unanimously by the council in March of 2007, last Thursday’s packet was the first to include copies of all checks written to all employees.

“A little something arose here a while ago, we don’t need to say what; but why don’t we do that?” asked Bilbrey – not for the first time -  at last months meeting. “Where’s the list?”

According to City Clerk Coby Knight, she was told by Mayor Hollis after the motion was passed in 2007 that it wouldn’t be necessary for her to include copies of all checks in the packets, and so she didn’t.

“I just want to thank whoever’s responsible for getting us that information,” Bilbrey said at the April 10 meeting. “I wish it’d been done earlier, but it wasn’t.”

Bilbrey also asked about an adjustment that was made to Tony Ferguson’s water bill in the amount of $5,000, in November of 2007.

“That’s a lot of the city’s money,” Bilbrey said.

Hollis explained that – in addition to the policy of adjusting one water bill per year for customers who request it – the $5,000 loss was the city’s responsibility.

“Since we put in the new water lines, it’s just blowing Tony’s two inch supply line all the time,” Hollis said. “All the pressure from that six inch line hits the two inch line, and the pressure reducers won’t hold it. He’s asking us to take over his line.”

The adjustment that was made covered a period of six months. Until the problem was corrected, said Hollis, the adjustment couldn’t be made.

Ferguson has asked to come before the council in May to ask about the city taking over his supply line.
In other business, the council:

•voted, unanimously, to hire patrolman Junior Fields full-time, at the recommendation of Police Chief Terry Tuck. Fields’ 90 day probationary period was up on April 10, according to Tuck.’
•was invited by George McCrary, on behalf of the Library Board, to have supper at the Red Boiling Springs Library at 5 p.m. on Thursday, May 8. Council members’ spouses are also invited to attend.
•reluctantly adopted an ordinance on first reading to set the city property tax rate at $1.1609, with Etheridge and Bilbrey voting no. The rate has to be lowered, explained Mayor Hollis, because of last year’s county-wide property reappraisal. All property in the county is reappraised every six years, as mandated by the state.
The adopted rate may be amended before being passed on second and final reading in May, said Knight.
•passed a motion to have city employees clean out the clear well at the Sabin Spring water plant and let Barge, Waggoner, Sumner, and Cannon do the concrete work to repair the leaking basin. The sealer will be advertised for bids at a later date, according to Hollis.
•passed a motion to advertise for an odorant system for the city’s gas system.
•decided to begin enforcing the Drug and Alcohol Program for utility department employees, adding that they also need to have their shots or sign a waiver.
•heard from City Clerk Knight that 34 people have signed up for clean-up day, April 12.
•heard a report from Mayor Hollis that city employees were mowing the city parks and Whitley Cemetery this year, and they looked good.
•voted to advertise for bids for two pairs of pants and one coat for the fire department.
•decided to put off discussing the Labor Day Parade until next month.
•voted unanimously to have a special called meeting at 6 p.m. on April 24.