The Clifton City Commission met in regular session on Monday, August 28, 2023 at City Hall in Clifton. Commissioners present were Mayor Mark Staggs, Vice Mayor Eva Ruth Warren, Commissioner Tammy Prince, and Commissioner Jeff Letson. Also present were City Manager Doug Kibbey and City Recorder Kiersten Rainey. Commissioner Michael Francis was absent.
Mayor Staggs called the meeting to order. The invocation was given by Police Chief Steve Wilson, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
Commissioner Prince made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Letson and carried unanimously.
Old business was next on the agenda. City Manager Kibbey presented Budget Amendment #1 Ordinance for the second reading. City Manager Kibbey briefly explained the ordinance that was presented at the last meeting. The ordinance states that there is an increase in General Fund revenue for the River Resort Act, going from $38k to $52k for tourism. The General Fund appropriations for city events will increase from $12k to $52k, which represents the city’s match for up to $40k for the Beech Creek Benefit. Contributions to the Senior Center will increase from $14.4k to $26k due to taking over the county’s delegations to the Senior Citizens Center from the waterline proposal. The Historic Preservation Grant will decrease from $62,189 to $29,189. City Manager Kibbey stated that the Stribling Museum is a tourist attraction; therefore, the city can increase its spending from the River Resort Act and decrease its spending in the General Fund for tourism. The Dog Park grant will increase from $0 to $18k, the concession stand/bathroom line appropriations will increase from $35k to $90k, and the softball field extension will increase from $0 to $35k. These are items that were not fully expended in the last fiscal year. Kibbey added that the Water and Wastewater Fund appropriations increase is to account for the depreciation of the four miles of waterline that the city has taken over from the county, from $308,195 to $318,920. Commissioner Letson made a motion to approve the second reading of the ordinance, and Vice Mayor Warren seconded the motion. The second reading of Budget Amendment #1 Ordinance passed unanimously.
New business was next on the agenda. City Manager Kibbey presented an agreement between the city and Wiser Consultants regarding the construction of a new sidewalk along the west side of Walnut Street and the north side of West Water Street from West Pillow Street to the intersection at Main Street. A motion to approve the agreement was made by Vice Mayor Warren. Commissioner Prince seconded, and the motion carried unanimously.
City Manager Kibbey next stated that the city had received a Section 26A permit, and they are now allowed to begin work on the Ferry Landing project. He mentioned that the bid was approved back in October of 2020. Since prices have increased since then due to inflation, Kibbey asked Mr. Tommy Tinin to come in with an updated quote that reflects inflation. After the commission heard the updated quote, Vice Mayor Warren made a motion to approve. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Prince and carried unanimously.
City Manager Kibbey added an item to new business on the agenda. He presented an ordinance regarding the city charter for public advertisement and competitive bidding policies. Kibbey stated that the State Assembly passed a bill last year that went into effect in May 2023 allowing the city charter to increase bidding and advertisement thresholds from $10,000 to $25,000. Vice Mayor Warren made a motion to approve the first reading of the ordinance, and Commissioner Letson seconded. The motion carried unanimously.
Departmental reports were next on the agenda. Public Works Director James Evans said that his department had been staying busy, and everything was running smoothly.
Parks and Recreation Director Eddie Simmons said his department had been running smoothly as well. Turney Center recently sent two inmate line crews to lay sod. Simmons thanked Mr. Tinin for bringing in dirt and chert for the ballfields and said that all of the new ballfield area is lacking in sand and fencing. Mayor Staggs suggested looking into purchasing a metal wall with posts and eventually having sponsors purchase advertisements to be put on the wall.
Fire Chief Lindsay Roberts said that everything at the fire hall had been running well, and said that the gas line had been hooked up to the generator.
Police Chief Steve Wilson said that the new speed trailers had been doing their job. He said that the problem area is on Holt Road, and Mr. Donnie Warren was going to fix a place to have a speed trailer set out there. Chief Wilson went on to say that Highway 128 East had also been having a speeding issue.
Chief Wilson stated that his department had issued 110 citations in the last two months. He commended Lt. Timmy Harris for doing a good job with scheduling.
Commissioner Letson addressed the commission about the rising number of food trucks in the area. A discussion followed regarding business licenses, sales tax revenue, and looking at surrounding small cities to see what food truck ordinances are in place. The commission decided to table the discussion until the next meeting in order to look further into the matter.
With no further business to come before the commission, the meeting was adjourned.