City Takes Action on Carson Road

By Kaileigh Deacon

 

At the city council meeting last Thursday, the council made a move to take action against the issues residents out on Carson Road have been experiencing. At the last meeting in March, the council heard the concerns of residents on Carson Road of people driving up there to the dirt roads late at night, creating noise, leaving debris and setting fires.

There had been discussion about possibly making the road gated but it was deemed not feasible at this time. At the previous meeting, the possibility of putting up new signs to deter visitors was discussed as was increasing police presence out there, especially as the dirt roads cleared and became passable. City Manager Jim Porter presented the council with the newly crafted draft of the sign they would post out on Carson Road. The signs will be 2’ x 3’ and posted on either side of the road. The police will also increase their presence along the road. As always, the police encourage residents who notice any irregular or disruptive behavior to call and report it.

The council started discussions on the policy for tax and sewer lien acquired properties. The idea had gone before the Finance Committee at an earlier meeting but without a quorum no meeting was held. The council as a whole started discussion on what should be required for such a policy and whether a written policy was needed.

“I think we should have a policy, and I think it should have a distinction between personal and commercial property,” said Councilor Mike Sherrard.

The council agreed that, aside from the distinction between personal and commercial, a uniform policy to look at properties with the same guidelines was appropriate. While the council feels that a policy is necessary, they also feel that anyone can bring concerns they have about their property before the council to be heard as there can be exceptions to the rule.

No official policy was adopted at the meeting as the language needed to be looked at. It will be brought back before the council at a later date when this has been done.

The city got the go ahead to proceed with the proposed changes to the International Festival Street Fair. The changes include extending the fair past the stop light on Main Street from D&G Auto all the way up to Jo’s Diner on the Saturday of International Festival. Chief Randall wanted to make sure that the Department of Transportation was okay with these changes to the route before proceeding.

According to Chief Randall, the DOT had no issues with the changes to the route but stated that additional signs would be needed to ensure that traffic was directed appropriately. The city will look into purchasing signs that would help cordon off traffic that can be used year after year, making it a long-term investment into the future of the International Festival.

When the city and school separated accounts two years prior there was as balance of $317,000 that the city held of the school’s money. $50,000 of that was the Trustees’ money that has been since transferred back, leaving a balance of roughly $267,000 which has been carried by the city in their general fund.

“It’s simply cash reserves that helps cash flow,” explained City Manager Jim Porter. “It’s already been booked for school audit purposes so it’s in the school’s audit numbers.”

When the auditors were here they recommended to the city that they and the school work together to create a plan for repayment that wouldn’t stress the city’s cash reserves. Jim Porter talked to Superintendent  Ron Jenkins who was agreeable to paying that back over a three year period. Porter stressed that this money will affect neither the city nor the school’s budget as it technically had already been budgeted.

The city and the school hope to continue their well-working relationship in the upcoming budget time and throughout the year as well.

In other business, the city approved the March 31, 2018 sewer commitment, a sewer abatement request, water and sewer write-offs, and the 2017 Water Department Budget.