Clifton City Commission Hears Plans for Fall Festival at Marina


   The Clifton City Commission met in regular session on Monday, August 24th, 2020. Commissioners in attendance included Mayor Randy Burns, Vice Mayor Layton Packwood, Eva Ruth Warren, Mark Staggs, and Bill Willoughby. Also in attendance were City Manager Doug Kibbey and City Recorder Barbara Culp.

   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 Vice Mayor Packwood, and the minutes were unanimously approved.

   First on the agenda was new business from the audience. Ms. Stacy Huntingford, owner of Clifton Marina and RV Park, told the commission that she is putting together a Fall Festival to be held at the marina on October 31st. She said that there are plans to have food vendors, bouncy houses, obstacle courses, and a petting zoo for the kids. There are also plans to use Harry Floyd’s tractor trailer for hay rides, and Ms. Huntingford requested a police escort for the rides. After the children’s activities, there will be a bar for the adults, and a band will be playing music. Ms. Huntingford requested that the noise ordinance be extended to 1:00 a.m. She also asked if the city would provide port-a-potties for the event. Mayor Burns then asked Police Chief Henderson if the city would provide extra security for the event. City Manager Kibbey said that money had previously been set aside in the budget for the Horsheshoe Riverbend Festival, which will not take place this year. He said that this money could be used to pay for extra security. Chief Henderson said that he might have to get officers from other police departments to help with the security. Commissioner Warren asked if the city could donate money to the event, and Mayor Burns explained that since the Clifton Marina is a private business, the city should not make a direct donation. It was mentioned that the Rotary Club or Chamber of Commerce could donate. Ms. Huntingford said that she hopes the city approves her sponsorship of the festival, and said that she will be donating $5,000 of her own money toward the event.

   Under old business on the agenda, City Manager Kibbey said that the land swap between the city and Fred Gillham should be finalized by the middle of September.

   The first item of new business on the agenda was the second reading of the updated Occupational Safety and Health Program Plan Ordinance. Vice Mayor Packwood made a motion to approve, and Commissioner Warren seconded the motion. The second reading of the ordinance was unanimously approved.

   The Clifton Golf Course is set to open in the near future, and next was a discussion concerning the possibility of changing the speed limit near the golf course. Police Chief Jerroll Henderson stated that it is a state highway, and any changes would have to go through the state.

   Next was a discussion of a mural for the city. City Manager Kibbey explained that there are grant funds available that could be used to paint a mural somewhere in the city. The only stipulation is that it must be related to COVID-19. Stacy Huntingford said that there is already a mural on the back of the building she owns on Main Street, and asked if it could be updated to reflect something concerning COVID-19. A discussion followed, but no decision was made. City Manager Kibbey said that he would take a look at the back of Ms. Huntingford’s building to see if there is a possibility of updating the mural to comply with the grant stipulations.

   City Manager Kibbey next explained that the City of Clifton did not get selected for the latest round of the Tourism Enhancement Grant, but he would still like to pursue the original objectives of the grant. Had the grant been awarded, the funds would have been used for a sound system for the new stage, doubling the size of the city’s dock, and a ferry loop road. A motion was made by Commissioner Staggs to give approval to the city manager to get bids for projects where the Tourism Enhancement Grant funds would have been used. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Willoughby, and carried unanimously.

   Next was a discussion concerning the possibility of the city taking over the Route 10 and Route 11 water lines so that the county can get out of the water business. If the city takes over the lines, there would be $33,000.00 in depreciation. Public Works Director Austin Clark asked about the possibility of the county subsidizing the city for taking over the water lines. A motion was made by Commissioner Staggs to give City Manager Kibbey permission to negotiate taking over Route 10 and Route 11 water lines from the county. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Warren, and passed unanimously. Mayor Burns abstained from the vote.

   Department reports were next on the agenda. City Manager Kibbey told the commission that the city has purchased a van to transport a county inmate work crew. The van is in the shop to get new brakes, tires, and a front end alignment. There will be one city employee over the inmates.

   Parks Director Eddie Simmons said that he is staying caught up with mowing. He mows 4-5 days per week, including the river park area.

   Fire Chief Lindsay Roberts said that he is waiting to get the fire truck back from being repaired. He said that he has committed the fire department to helping with the Clifton Marina Harvest Festival.

   Police Chief Henderson stated that things are running smoothly with his department. They are still waiting on getting vests and cameras.

   City Manager Kibbey said that the city has received complaints about the water rate increase, but the rates are still cheaper than any other nearby city. Also, the rates were set by the state.

   Under open items on the agenda, Commissioner Staggs asked about a clean-up day in the city, and suggested that a notice be run in the paper. Mayor Burns said that he would donate time to this.

   Vice Mayor Packwood asked when work is set to begin on Lapa Loop and Lapa Lane. City Manager Kibbey reported that contractor Tommy Tinin has said the project will begin in the fall.

   Commissioner Willoughby expressed concern about the city’s portion of the sidewalk project. He said the city’s match amount on the grant-funded project is $279,000, and he feels that this money could be better spent somewhere else. City Manager Kibbey said that the contract for this project has already been signed. Mayor Burns said that he would like to see the sidewalk repaired where it is buckled up near the Clifton Marina parking lot.

   Commissioner Warren asked when the parking lot at the Clifton Methodist Church would be repaired. She said that it was cut during a water line installation, and is supposed to be repaired with asphalt. Donnie Warren commented from the audience that this should have been included in the original bid.

   Stacy Huntingford told the commission that there is an area at the marina that has a big hole, and requested that a grate be installed.

   With no further business to come before the commission, the meeting was adjourned.