2018-06-14 / Front Page

Mayor cancels fireworks show due to budget and other issues

By KAY TOTO staff writer

The Lincolnton City Council be­gan its June meeting with a small, but disappointing announcement by Lincolnton Mayor Henry Brown. “I will be brief. I would like the citizens of the city, as well as the county to know, that due to budget issues and other concerns, the City of Lincoln­ton will not put on a fireworks show this year. I hate it, but with so many things going on, we really can’t do it this year,” he said. The mayor then expressed hope that they would be able to start again next year.

Conversely, another item on the council’s agenda was a request by Lincoln County Historical Society President Lamar Wade to Council­man Larry Goolsby, asking the city to sponsor one of the structures in the Lincoln County Historical Park. For the sponsorship cost of $250 for two years, a plaque will be mounted on the one of the buildings in the area. The motion was approved.

The Clubhouse continues to be a topic of discussion for the council. Brown stated that lights are left on, tables are not correctly put away, and other housekeeping rules are not being followed. He then deferred to Goolsby for additional details.

“It has come to my attention that the city is allowing the election board use the Clubhouse every year for free. They come over there at 7 a.m., and the doors are open, the air conditioner is running. I just think if everyone else pays, then they should as well,” said Goolsby. Brown spoke up at that time to remind the council that when the city has an election, the city pays for that election. Council­man Kyle Reese then suggested that the board delay the decision until next month in order to do further research and to determine if they pay for other venues as well. The decision was deferred until the July meeting.

At the May meeting, there had been discussion with the water de­partment whether there should be a minimum monthly charge levied on dormant water meters – meters that are available, but not used. Water and sewage employees researched the is­sue, and found that meters, dormant or not, have to be maintained.

It was estimated that approxi­mately 122 meters were found to be dormant at present, some only temporarily, and some that have been abandoned for years. The me­ters cannot be removed, as they also controls backflow, and if removed, there would be the likelihood of con­taminants leaking into the main water line. Locks are inadvisable, due to cost. The City decided upon a $10 monthly maintenance fee at that time, to be paid by the property owner. Mo­tion was made and approved.

Goolsby spoke briefly about the city’s waste water contractor, All­south, and their request for a time extension on their current project. The request was made to council to allow the water and sewer commit­tee to meet with the city engineer, Kenny Green, of G. Ben Turnipseed Engineers in Augusta, and perhaps the contractor, in order to work this out. The contractor had originally asked for a 49-day extension, reduc­ing it to 21 days. Once the details are discussed and a decision made, the city attorney could possibly be called upon to draft any paperwork agreed upon, so it will ready for a vote at the next meeting.

Police Chief Brandon Lively sub­mitted his May report to the council. He reported that the Lincolnton Po­lice Department answered 256 calls for service throughout May. These calls included 20 incident reports, 70 miscellaneous calls, and 10 accident reports. Lively also notated in his report for the third month that the near-continuous downpour of rain has continued to wash out Hogan Street, and the chief’s main concern is access for any emergency vehicle that may need to reach the house on that road.

Also on Lively’s report is a request for Tasers for the police department, but there was some question in the details of the quote for the Tasers. Although the paperwork said un­limited Taser cartridges come with the purchase, it was not outlined clearly in the contract. The council asked for clarification, as the actual contract did not specifically mention unlimited cartridges, and they will wait for that detail before voting. The matter will likely be decided upon at the July meeting.

Lively also stated there have been quite a few accidents in the past months, so the police department is preparing to crack down on dis­tracted driving. Seatbelts are also a concern for the force, as some of the injuries were partially attributed to not wearing seatbelts, he said. The Wilkes County Sheriff’s Office and the Georgia State Patrol plan to help Lincoln County to offer a safety sem­inar sometime in July, perhaps in the parking lot of Bell’s Supermarket. This seminar will be held to instruct people on how to correctly hook up seatbelts and child safety seats. “A lot of people are just unaware that they are hooking up seatbelts wrong. We would not necessarily cite people; primarily it would be informative information,” said Lively.

Fire Chief Matt Ivey, of the Lin­colnton Fire Department, had a brief report stating that there were no fires during the Month of May. He added that all firetrucks would be serviced and tested in the month of June by M/M Fire Apparatus. Brown com­mended Ivey for his hard work.

Jim Butler, interim Building and Code Enforcement official, spoke before the board at that time. He brought back to the board the matter of 286 S. Peachtree Street, a property owned by Hani Mussad. In May’s meeting, discussion was held and it was decided that Mussad would need to reapply for a special use permit to allow him to use the property as residential. The owner complied, and council voted and approved the permit for another two years.

In Butler’s regular report, he re­ported that the Planning and Zoning Department had issued 14 building permits; two inspections on building permits; one planning and zoning board; five meetings with property owners/contractors were conducted; and there were five violations re­ported. Total permits issued netted $891.

Ben Alligood detailed several issues resolved by the employees at the wastewater treatment plant including clearing lines, recording samples, adding chemicals, and repairing and maintaining several machines. Further, Alligood reported the wastewater treatment plant had an approximate influent of 878,000 gallons from the county; a city influ­ent of approximately six million gal­lons; and a treated effluent/discharge of 6,832,700 gallons.

As a part of his departmental re­port, Adam Minyard noted that the plant had an annual visit from the Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Friday, and all went well. He also recorded that the water treatment plant for the month of May produced 15.6 million gallons, and received a total of 7.50 inches of rainfall over the month of May. He also stated that there were nine water meters that showed no usage, and were replaced, with seven meters on the cut off list.

The hours worked for the month of May were 189, with 13,679,100 gallons sent to distribution. The total gallons sent to the lake were 374,900. Minyard also told the council that there was work to be done at the plant, but he was still in the process of collecting quotes. “We have to re­place some meters that are missing,” said Minyard. “We plan to have all the figures ready by the next meeting, so we can decide just exactly how to proceed,” he explained.

Council then entered Executive Session “to discuss legal matters.”

The next regular meeting of the Lincolnton City Council has been moved to Tuesday, July 10, at 7 p.m. at City Hall, due to the proximity of Independence Day.

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