The Clifton City Commission met in regular session on Tuesday, May 26th, 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, City Attorney Mike Hinson, and City Recorder Barbara Culp.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Burns. The invocation was offered by Bro. Josh Layne, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. 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.
City Manager Kibbey updated the commission on the newly enacted Chaplain’s Program. The program has the intent and purpose to enhance the Police and Fire Departments and provide a faith-based resource for persons in public safety for guidance, counseling, and support in times of need, either as a result of the job, on the job task, or personal in nature. City Recorder Barbara Culp swore in Chaplains Tracy Love, Josh Layne, Randall Runions, and Clyde Carroll.
First under old business on the agenda was an update on the Stribling House project. City Manager Kibbey told the commission that a company from Nashville, TN will be coming to assess the work needed on the home’s foundation.
There was a discussion at the previous meeting of the commission concerning a possible property swap of the property that Mr. Fred Gillham owns across from the city park for the city’s interest in the property located next to the Clifton Marina. No action was taken at that time. Mr. Gillham asked about the liens that are currently against the property in which the city has an interest. The liens total approximately $700,000.00. Mr. Gillham expressed that he is still willing to trade his property, and City Manager Kibbey said that Mr. Gillham’s property could be used to expand the city park. Mayor Burns asked Mr. and Mrs. Gillham what they plan to do with the property if the swap occurs, and they said that they have no plans for the property as of yet. Ms. Stacy Huntingford, owner of Clifton RV and Marina, also expressed an interest in the property that the city has a one-third ownership in. She said that she would like to expand the RV Park at some point in time, and that if the Gillhams acquire the property, she feels that she can work with them on this. Commissioner Warren stated that she is not in favor of the land swap, because some of the Gillham property is prone to flooding. Commissioner Staggs also commented that he is 100% against the land swap. Commissioner Willoughby suggested that the decision be postponed for awhile longer. Commissioner Staggs then made a motion to decline the land swap between the City of Clifton and Mr. Fred Gillham. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Warren, and carried unanimously.
First under new business on the agenda was a discussion of the proposed sidewalk location. Mr. Bob Woodard, engineer with the Wieser Company, is working on the TAP grant for the sidewalk extension project. Mr. Woodard explained to the commission that he will design the project the way that the commission wants it to be designed. The commission discussed two different options for the sidewalk location. Stacy Huntingford suggested that the power poles be removed where the new sidewalk will be installed and move the service underground, but Mr. Woodard advised that it could be quite expensive to do this. Mr. Woodard agreed to come up with cost estimates for each of the options discussed by the commission.
Next, Vice Mayor Packwood made a motion to pass the resolution providing for the calling and notification of the Wayne County Election Commission for the purpose of holding the City of Clifton election on November 3rd, 2020. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs, and carried unanimously.
Commissioner Warren then made a motion to pass the Identity Theft Policy resolution. The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Packwood, and carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Commissioner Warren to pass the Governor’s Local Support Grant resolution, to be used for road improvements to Lapa Loop and Lapa Lane. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs, and unanimously carried.
Next, a motion was made by Commissioner Warren to approve the first reading of the ordinance for Amendment #4 for the fiscal year 2020 budget. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Willoughby, and carried unanimously.
A motion was made by Commissioner Warren to pass the first reading of an ordinance adopting the annual budget and tax rate for fiscal year 2020-2021. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs, and carried unanimously.
City Manager Kibbey next stated that he has been in the city manager’s position without an employment agreement in place. He said that a lot of things have been accomplished since he has been city manager, but there is an upcoming election and he feels the need to have an agreement in place. Commissioner Willoughby asked if an agreement is approved now, could it be enforced if there is new administration in the future? City Attorney Hinson said that if an agreement is passed, it cannot be changed in the future. Hinson went on to say that he has worked many years as a school board member, city council member, and General Sessions Judge, and he has not met anyone in a small town that is as capable as City Manager Kibbey. He said that in his opinion, if anyone deserves to have a contract, it is Mr. Kibbey. A motion was then made by Commissioner Warren to approve the employment agreement between the City of Clifton and City Manager Doug Kibbey. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs, and was passed on roll call vote with Commissioners Warren, Staggs, Packwood, and Burns voting yes, and Commissioner Willoughby voting no.
Department reports were next on the agenda. City Manager Kibbey reported on the status of the proposed water plant project, stating that the city should have a new water plant within two years. He further stated that within three years, he felt that water would have to be rationed due to the condition of the current water plant.
Police Chief Jerroll Henderson complimented City Manager Kibbey and Public Works Director Austin Clark for going above and beyond by helping everyone in the city that needs help. Chief Henderson went on to inform the commission that cameras have been installed in the police vehicles, and new cages have been ordered.
Fire Chief Lindsay Roberts stated that his department is having an issue with one of the fire trucks. He has received an estimate of $9,912.00 to repair the truck, but suggested that the money be used toward the purchase of a replacement truck. He explained that they cannot put the truck they have now on the streets, because they need a truck that is dependable. Mayor Burns told Chief Roberts to check on the cost of another fire truck, and present his findings at the next city meeting.
Vice Mayor Packwood stated that there is brush in Jim and Betty Stricklin’s yard that needs to be picked up.
Commissioner Willoughby stated that he has received several complaints about the property where the grocery store was located, and said that the property needs to be cleaned up. Donnie Warren said that he is the owner of that lot, and he will get it cleaned up. Commissioner Willoughby also said that Jerry Battles has been promised chirt on the street behind his house, and this has not been done. Willoughby said that grass is growing up above the sidewalk from town to the college. City Manager Kibbey said that the utility department workers are getting as much done as possible with the number of workers they have, and there is still no inmate labor for city projects at this time.
Commissioner Willoughby went on to state that someone cut a tree in Mark Russell’s yard, leaving ruts in the yard that the city is supposed to fix. He also said that Ross Creek Road needs to be repaired. City Manager Kibbey said that he would pull the city employees off mowing to fill potholes.
Mayor Burns stated that he has received two complaints about property that needs attention. One is a trailer owned by Commissioner Warren, and the other is a house on Morris Avenue next door to the Charles Linam property.
With no further business to come before the commission, the meeting was adjourned.