Clifton City Commission Tables Discussion on City Retiree Insurance

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   The Clifton City Commission met in regular session on Monday, October 28th, 2019 at City Hall in Clifton. All commissioners were in attendance, including Mayor Randy Burns, Vice Mayor Layton Packwood, Commissioner Mark Staggs, Commissioner Bill Willoughby, and Commissioner Eva Ruth Warren. City Manager Doug Kibbey and City Recorder Barbara Culp were in attendance as well.

   Mayor Burns called the meeting to order and offered the invocation. Following the invocation and the Pledge of Allegiance, Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the minutes from the September meeting. Commissioner Staggs seconded the motion, and the minutes were approved.

   Next on the agenda was New Business from the Audience. Clifton Police Officer Byron Skelton presented to the commission an agreement he had drawn up by an attorney that would guarantee his health insurance would continue to be paid by the city from the time he retires until he reaches age 65. The current board of commissioners previously approved a policy to pay health insurance premiums for all city retirees until they reach age 65, but as City Manager Kibbey went on to explain, future commissioners will not be legally bound to continue that policy. After a lengthy discussion, Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the agreement presented by Mr. Skelton. Commissioner Staggs seconded the motion. However, the motion failed to pass on roll call vote, with Commissioner Willoughby and Vice Mayor Packwood voting no, and Mayor Burns passing on the vote. The commission agreed that it would be best to have City Attorney Mike Hinson review the agreement and make a decision on its legality before a decision is made.

   County Commissioner Tom Mathis then spoke to the commission regarding the proposed Highway 641 extension. He said that he and County Commissioner Stephen Pevahouse, who are both Clifton residents, attended a meeting last week at the Wayne County Courthouse with the current TDOT Commissioner. Commissioner Mathis said that the TDOT Commissioner seems to be in favor of the extension, but that everyone who is in favor of the project should voice their opinions to County Mayor Jim Mangubat and Waynesboro Mayor Jeff Howell, who are both on an administrative board that will need to approve the project moving forward.

   Old Business was next on the agenda. City Manager Kibbey briefly addressed the following items of old business:

-the recent Clifton Community Day went well;

-Tommy Tinin, who was awarded the bid for the water line project, has signed the contract;

-board vacancies have been announced and advertised, and one person has expressed interest in being on multiple boards.

   Next under old business was the second reading of the water/sewer rate ordinance. Commissioner Willoughby made a motion to approve the second reading of the ordinance. Vice Mayor Packwood seconded the motion, and the ordinance was passed unanimously.

   Budget amendments were the only item on the agenda under new business. City Manager Kibbey presented several line item budget amendments to the commission for their approval. No money was added to or taken from the budget, only moved from one line item to another. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the budget amendments, and Commissioner Staggs seconded the motion. The amendments were unanimously approved.

   Under department reports, City Manager Kibbey told the commission that recent studies have shown that the most efficient and cost-effective way to get city water extended to Eagle Creek would be through Waynesboro, due to the elevation differences. Public Works Director Austin Clark said that running the water to Eagle Creek from Clifton would be an estimated $5 to 6 million dollar project.

   City Manager Kibbey then informed the commission that the city was not awarded the CDBG grant they applied for that would have provided funding for new water meters, which is an approximately $200,000 project.

   Public Works Director Clark reported next on his department. He said that the water department is currently undergoing their annual inspection, and he would have a report from that inspection next month. He said that the sewer plant inspection earlier this month went well, coming back with a good report.

   Parks and Recreation Director Eddie Simmons reported that his crew mowed last week, and he doesn’t yet know if another mowing will be necessary. The bathroom at the park has been closed and winterized, and the sprinkler system has been blown out and winterized as well.

   Fire Chief Lindsay Roberts told the commission that the city should consider purchasing a generator for the fire hall to use during power outages. He said that a generator costing approximately $6,000 would run half of the fire hall building and allow the bay doors to be opened mechanically. He explained that it takes approximately thirty minutes per door to open them manually because of the way they are designed, and that could make a huge difference in an event when the fire trucks need to get out quickly.

   Police Chief Jerroll Henderson reported next on his department, stating that he recently ordered three new radars because the department was running low on them. He said that he had been conducting an inventory of the evidence lockers, and had found items dating back to the 1990s. He expressed appreciation to Officer Byron Skelton, who was formerly the Police Chief, for helping get things sorted out. Chief Henderson went on to tell the commission that the city still needs to hire at least one more officer, but the cities of Waynesboro and Collinwood, along with the Sheriff’s Office, are also trying to hire officers right now.

   Vice Mayor Packwood then asked who is in charge of the maintenance of the boat ramp at the marina, whether it would be the city or the person who leases the marina property from the city. He said that the boat ramp is severely washed out, especially on one side, and needs attention. City Manager Kibbey said that he would speak with the lady who leases the marina.

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