The Clifton City Commission met in regular session on Monday, March 25th, 2019 at City Hall in Clifton. All commissioners were in attendance, including Mayor Randy Burns, Vice Mayor Layton Packwood, Commissioner Mark Staggs, Commissioner Eva Ruth Warren, and Commissioner Bill Willoughby. City Manager Doug Kibbey, City Attorney Mike Hinson, and City Recorder Barbara Culp were in attendance as well.
Mayor Burns called the meeting to order, and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited by all.
Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs, and passed unanimously.
A discussion of payday loan and pawn shops was first under old business. This discussion was tabled at the last meeting until City Attorney Hinson could be present. Hinson advised the commission that the city cannot regulate the hours, fees, etc. of a payday loan shop or pawn shop; however, the city could suspend their business license if any city ordinances are broken.
Next was the second reading of Budget Amendment Ordinance #4. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the ordinance, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Staggs. The ordinance was approved unanimously.
The second reading of the Gas Ordinance to set gas tap fees and user rates was next. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Staggs seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.
Next was the second reading of the Solid Waste Ordinance to set collection fees. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the ordinance. Commissioner Staggs seconded the motion, and the Solid Waste Ordinance was unanimously approved.
Last under old business was the second reading of the Water/Sewer Ordinance. This ordinance includes funds to build a new water plant. Commissioner Warren made a motion to approve the ordinance, and Commissioner Staggs seconded the motion. Commissioner Willoughby commented that he would like to have more information on how much the rate increase will cost customers. City Manager Kibbey said that the new rate would not be over $6.92 vs. $4.18. Commissioner Staggs stated that he trusts the city manager’s figures. Mayor Burns noted that there have been several times over the last six months that the city has almost been without water, and Public Works Director Austin Clark stated that the city has had to pay fines to the state because of issues at the water plant. City Attorney Hinson concurred that the city’s water plant is outdated, and the state has a fine schedule for each time there is a violation. City Manager Kibbey said that if the process to build a new plant is started now, it will still take approximately three years to complete. A roll call vote on the ordinance followed the discussion, and the ordinance was passed with three affirmative votes from Mayor Burns, Commissioner Staggs, and Commissioner Warren, and two dissenting votes from Vice Mayor Packwood and Commissioner Willoughby.
The Clifton Marina lease was the only item on the agenda under new business. City Manager Kibbey informed the commission that Mr. Gene Davidson owes the city $34,500 in back rent for the Clifton Marina. Kibbey said that he had done some research and found that the city waived the lease fee for ten years beginning in 2003. The lease waiver expired in June 2013, and no fees have been paid from that time until the present. Ms. Stacey Huntingford, who is in the process of purchasing the marina, stated that she just wants to make future improvements so that the marina can be a place the people can be proud of. City Attorney Hinson said that the city cannot put a lien on the property, but could file for Breach of Contract and try to get a judgment that way. Vice Mayor Packwood suggested sending a letter to Mr. Davidson to inform him of the back rent that he owes. Ms. Huntingford asked the city to grant her the same exception that Mr. Davidson was given. She said that she would provide the city with monthly receipts for anything she does to improve the property. She went on to say that the RV Park at the marina needs some serious work, which will cost quite a bit of money, and that she wants the city to benefit from what she has to offer. It was agreed that the city would send a letter to Mr. Davidson regarding the back rent due, and give him until April 22, 2019 to respond.
Under departmental reports, Parks and Recreation Director Eddie Simmons said that the concrete pad for the batting cage at the ballpark is finished, and there are games going on almost every night now. He said that the bathrooms at the River Park have been cleaned up and will be open to the public sometime in April.
Police Officer Timmy Harris reported that things are running smoothly in the Police Department. City Manager Kibbey said that the new police vehicle is expected to be delivered within the next 14-16 weeks.
Public Works Director Austin Clark told the commission that inmates have been picking up brush, and the dumpsters that were provided after the flood have been utilized. A brief discussion followed concerning the retrieval of the dock that was moved upriver when the flooding occurred, and Stacey Huntingford said that she has a worker that could help.
City Manager Kibbey reminded the commissioners about the Utility Board Training on April 11th from 4-8 p.m. The deadline for bids for the batting cage is 3 p.m. on April 19th, and the bid will be awarded at the meeting on April 22nd.
Commissioner Staggs inquired as to when the sidewalk project would be finished, and City Manager Kibbey said it should not be much longer. Mayor Burns asked how the sidewalk would tie into the marina, and Kibbey said that it would tie into the blacktop there.
Commissioner Willougby said that he still feels that there is a need for a public bathroom on Main Street. City Manager Kibbey said that he would check on the cost for that. Commissioner Willoughby then asked if anyone objected to him placing a drink machine outside his store, and no one voiced any objections. He also asked if it would be possible to get the bricks on the sidewalk pressure washed, and Public Works Director Clark said that he would get it done. Commissioner Willoughby then stated that the Pigg building (formerly the old City Hall) needs repair work done to the front. City Manager Kibbey said that he would send a letter to the building’s owner.
Vice Mayor Packwood said that one of his neighbors had recently filled a swimming pool, and was told one price for the water but charged a different price. Public Works Director Clark asked Packwood to have his neighbor come speak with him about the issue.
Mayor Burns said that he had been approached about the need for repairs on Airport Road, and on the road near Lytle Smith’s residence where a water line was installed.
Mayor Burns then said that he appreciated everyone showing up for the meeting, and with no further business to be addressed, the meeting was adjourned.