Clifton City Commission Approves Repairs to T.S. Stribling House


   The Clifton City Commission had their last meeting before the coronavirus pandemic on Monday, March 23rd, 2020. Commissioners in attendance included Mayor Randy Burns, Eva Ruth Warren, Mark Staggs, and Bill Willoughby. Also in attendance were City Manager Doug Kibbey, City Recorder Barbara Culp, and Finance Director Kiersten Rainey. Vice Mayor Layton Packwood was absent.

   The meeting was called to order by Mayor Burns. A motion was made by Commissioner Warren to approve the minutes of the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

   New business from the audience was first on the agenda. Mr. David Tubbs came before the commission to ask for an adjustment on his utility bill, stating that it was excessive, especially since the residents are gone most of the time. The commission reviewed the last several bills for Mr. Tubbs’ account and discovered that they were much lower. Commissioner Staggs made a motion to adjust the bill per the city’s adjustment policy. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Willoughby, and passed unanimously.

   Nurse Practitioner Jessica Sems addressed the commission concerning the coronavirus. She said that the commissioners should read the Governor’s Executive Order about the importance of social distancing. She went on to state that in her opinion, the commission should not even be meeting at this time. Following further discussion, Commissioner Willoughby made a motion to pass a resolution urging the citizens of Clifton to stay at home. The motion failed for lack of a second. Ms. Sems left the meeting at that time, and said that she would return shortly with additional information.

   Next was a report on the T.S. Stribling house. City Manager Kibbey said that the Stribling House is in bad shape; the floors are not level, there are major structural problems underneath the house, and the roof needs replacing. Mr. Ron Arnold said that the foundation footers on the back of the house are gone, and two beams need to be installed under the house. He said that he would be available as a management consultant on the house repairs. Mr. Arnold estimated that it would cost approximately $20,000.00 to repair the foundation. He suggested that the city order the materials, and use the city’s backhoe for the work needed in order to save money. Once the foundation is repaired and the roof is installed, other preservation work can begin on the house. A motion was made by Commissioner Staggs to approve repair work on the Stribling House. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Warren, and was passed unanimously on roll call vote.

   A discussion of retiree healthcare was next on the agenda. The commission discussed which state option to choose for retiree health insurance, and reviewed information presented by the city manager. A motion was made by Commissioner Staggs to go with Option 2, and pay insurance premiums based on a percentage calculated by the number of years an employee has worked for the City of Clifton. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Warren, and was passed unanimously.

   Next, City Manager Kibbey explained changes that have been made to the employee handbook. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the city’s revised employee handbook, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs. The motion was passed unanimously.

   The bid award for Lapa Lane/Lapa Loop was next. Commissioner Staggs made a motion to award the bid for work on Lapa Loop and Lapa Lane to Tinin Contracting. There will be nine culverts installed, and the base will be settled before any paving is done. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Warren, and was passed unanimously.

   City Manager Kibbey then told the commission that Mr. Fred Gillham would like to swap some land with the city. The city owns a one-third share of the property located next to the Clifton Marina, and Mr. Gillham owns property next to where the new stage has been built. Mr. Gillham is proposing to swap his property (six acres) for the city’s portion of the property next to the marina (two acres). There was a discussion, but no action was taken by the commission. The topic was tabled until the nexe meeting.

   Department reports were next on the agenda. City Manager Kibbey reported that the project is moving forward to get the GIS mapping system for the city.

   Nurse Practitioner Jessica Sems returned to the meeting at that time, and presented information on what the governor is urging citizens of Tennessee to do in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Mayor Burns said that he felt that the city should follow the governor’s guidelines. A motion was made by Commissioner Warren for the City of Clifton to follow the guidelines set forth by Governor Lee, and to urge the citizens to abide by social distancing recommendations. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Willoughby, and was passed unanimously. Mayor Burns suggested that future city meetings be conducted electronically, as the governor’s order suggests.

   With no further business, the meeting was adjourned.

   The City of Clifton did not have a meeting in the month of April. They met again on Tuesday, May 26th, 2020. The minutes from that meeting will be published in The Wayne County News as soon as they become available.