The Clifton City Commission met in regular session on Monday, November 23rd, 2020. Commissioners in attendance were Mayor Randy Burns, Eva Ruth Warren, and Mark Staggs. Also in attendance were City Recorder Barbara Culp and City Attorney Michael Hinson. City Manager Doug Kibbey, Vice Mayor Layton Packwood, and Commissioner Bill Willoughby were absent.
Mayor Burns called the meeting to order. The invocation was offered by Austin Clark, and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.
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.
The Oath of Office was administered by City Recorder Barbara Culp to newly re-elected city commissioners Eva Ruth Warren and Mark Staggs.
Next on the agenda was the election of a mayor and vice mayor. Current Mayor Randy Burns stated that he did not wish to be considered again for the position of mayor. Mayor Burns then made a motion to nominate Mark Staggs for mayor. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Warren, and carried unanimously. A motion was then made by Mayor Staggs to nominate Commissioner Warren for vice mayor. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Burns, and carried unanimously.
The first item under new business was a street closure resolution for the Stroll Through Christmas. A motion was made by Commissioner Burns to approve the resolution authorizing street closures for the event scheduled to take place on December 12th, 2020 from 3-9pm from the intersection of Main Street and Water Street to the intersection of Main Street and Elm Street. The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Warren and carried unanimously.
Next was a discussion concerning changing the speed limit on Route 128/Golf Course to 30 mph. Commissioner Burns said that he felt that the speed limit needed to be changed to 30 mph all the way to the city limits. A motion was made by Vice Mayor Warren to change the speed limit within city limits to 30 mph with the exception of the city streets that are already set at 20 mph. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Burns and carried unanimously. Mayor Staggs suggested that some leniency be extended to drivers until they get used to the speed limit change. Vice Mayor Warren asked how long it would take to get new speed limit signs installed, and Public Works Director Austin Clark said he could have the signs up the following day.
Next, Wayne County JECDB Director Rena Purdy explained the Tennessee Downtown Program. She said that she would love to see Clifton in the Tennessee Main Street program, and then into the National Main Street program. In order to be in the program, the City of Clifton would have to commit $15,000.00 for a part-time Main Street Director. Following a brief discussion, Purdy said that to enter the program at this point, the city would need to pass a resolution to support it, and commit $15,000.00 for three years. A motion was made by Vice Mayor Warren for the City of Clifton to commit to the Tennessee Main Street program. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Burns and passed unanimously.
Under department reports on the agenda, Public Works Director Clark reminded the commission that at the previous meeting he had told them that the gas border station needed to be rebuilt. He said that this is now scheduled to be done in the spring of 2021. He then said that Christmas lights were being installed, with a lot of people helping on the weekends.
Clark went on to say that his department had been repairing leaks and making taps. The Westec company checked the water plant and identified some issues, both large and small. Clark said that the city has already spent over $60,000.00 for repairs to the plant, and will need to spend more to keep it going for the next two years until a new one can be built. He said that they also need to replace some items at the prison sewer plant due to the inflow of trash.
Mayor Staggs said that there needs to be a “Children at Play” sign installed on Cypress Street.
Parks Director Eddie Simmons reported that he had been preparing the parks for winter. The bathrooms at the river park have been closed, and the sprinklers have been blown out. He said that he had also been doing some work on the walking trail. Public Works Director Clark said that it was his intention to have the walking trail repaired when Lapa Loop and Lapa Lane are paved. A brief discussion followed regarding the best way to repair the walking trail. Mayor Staggs said that he would like to meet with the Parks Commission to discuss this.
Police Sergeant Timmy Harris reported that Police Chief Jerroll Henderson was battling the COVID virus. He said that there are two part-time officers filling in.
Fire Chief Lindsay Roberts said that his department would be selling chili at the Stroll Through Christmas event. He also said that he was looking to recruit new firemen, and to let him know if anyone knows of someone who would be interested.
Finance Director Kiersten Rainey recommended that the December city meeting be skipped, considering everything going on with the COVID-19 virus. She said that City Manager Kibbey had also suggested that the meeting be skipped. Mayor Staggs said that he would like to have time to think about it.
Commissioner Burns said that a street sign needed to be installed on Sunrise Drive.
With no further business to come before the commission, the meeting was adjourned.