The Collinwood City Commission met on Monday, May 13th, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. in the conference/courtroom of the Collinwood City Hall.
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Glenn Brown. Commissioners in attendance were Vice Mayor Danny Sandusky, Jeremiah Stults, and Debie Pigg. City Manager Gary Victory and Acting City Recorder Stephanie Pearson were also in attendance. Commissioner Butch Kephart and City Recorder Cindy Kephart were absent. The invocation was offered by Commissioner Stults, and was followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
First was approval of the agenda. A motion was made by Vice Mayor Sandusky and seconded by Commissioner Stults to approve the agenda as presented, and the motion carried.
The next item on the agenda was the approval of the minutes from the meeting held on April 8th, 2019. Commissioner Pigg made a motion to approve the minutes, and Commissioner Stults seconded the motion. The motion carried.
Department reports were presented to the commissioners for their review, and no one had any questions. City Manager Victory commended the Utility Department employees for the hard work and long hours they spent repairing numerous water leaks since TDOT began their paving project.
The first item of new business on the agenda was to award the Safe Routes To Schools bid. Three bids were submitted for the project. Commissioner Pigg made a motion to award the bid to the lowest bidder, Ward Construction from Linden, TN, who submitted a bid for $201,540.00. The motion was seconded by Vice Mayor Sandusky, and was passed unanimously on roll call vote. City Manager Victory reminded the commission that final approval is contingent on TDOT.
Next on the agenda was a Tourism Grant Resolution, which is needed to request funds from the Tennessee Tourism Enhancement Grant in hopes of providing adequate amenities and needed improvements to the Collinwood RV Park. A motion was made by Commissioner Stults to approve the resolution. Commissioner Pigg seconded the motion, and it was passed unanimously on roll call vote.
Surplus items were next on the agenda. Three city vehicles were presented to be declared as surplus: a 2002 Ford Taurus, a 1992 Chevrolet Caprice, and a 1990 Chevrolet Caprice. Vice Mayor Sandusky made a motion to declare the vehicles as surplus, and the motion was seconded by Commissioner Stults. The motion was passed unanimously on roll call vote.
Next, City Manager Victory reminded the commission that the Solid Waste Collection and Disposal bid opening would be on May 22nd at 3:30 p.m. He also presented a quote from Stringfellow to purchase 96-gallon curbside containers. These containers would be provided to the city’s garbage customers. A motion was made by Vice Mayor Sandusky to purchase the containers. Commissioner Pigg seconded the motion, and the motion passed unanimously on roll call vote.
City Manager Victory next informed the commission that the state water inspector had visited the city earlier in the day and asked for an update and timeline on the water tank maintenance. Victory said that the city has been given until June 11th, 2019, to present its plans. The City Manager has obtained three quotes and is waiting on two others. He said that the quotes he already received were based only on square footage, and the tanks have not been seen or inspected by those companies. The other two companies whose quotes are pending have previously visited and inspected the tanks, and expressed that they would like the opportunity to address the commission. Vice Mayor Sandusky instructed City Manager Victory to call a special meeting with those two companies.
Mayor Brown then asked for an update on the fire equipment grant. City Manager Victory said that the median income had recently increased, causing an increase in the city’s cost. Victory went on to say that he would check with FEMA to see what might be available.
City Manager Victory then told the commission that the media replacement at the water plant had been ordered and should arrive soon.
Next on the agenda, Mayor Brown read the report from the Wayne County Welcome Center.
Sheriff Shane Fisher addressed the commission next. He stated that he had previously met with City Manager Victory and Police Chief David Martin to request that the City of Collinwood, along with the cities of Waynesboro and Clifton, begin funding the 911 dispatchers’ payroll. The exact amount has not yet been set, but will be determined by population and the total number of calls received by 911. Sheriff Fisher stated that his sole purpose in requesting the money is to provide health benefits to his employees at the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Wayne County Jail. Vice Mayor Sandusky reminded Sheriff Fisher that residents inside the city limits already pay county taxes along with city taxes. Sheriff Fisher said that those tax dollars do not fund his dispatchers; they actually fund other county offices such as Trustee, Register of Deeds, and County Clerk. Acting City Recorder Stephanie Pearson asked Sheriff Fisher if he was only seeking health benefits for his employees and not all county employees, and Sheriff Fisher responded yes, that was correct. Vice Mayor Sandusky asked what Sheriff Fisher would do if the cities do not pay the requested amount, and Sheriff Fisher said that he had been advised to stop dispatching if he did not get the money, although he does not wish for that to be the outcome. Mayor Brown said that he agreed with Vice Mayor Sandusky, and again told Sheriff Fisher that the citizens already pay county taxes, and it seemed to him that the citizens within the city would essentially be paying double for this service. Sheriff Fisher said that dispatching is a service that the residents within the city limits of Collinwood do not pay for. He went on to compare the county’s 911 service to the city’s utility service, stating that when a customer doesn’t pay their utility bill, the city disconnects their service. He emphasized that he was not there to demand that the city begin paying, but had been advised by the County Technical Assistance Service that each city should assist with the cost. After a lengthy and somewhat intense discussion, Vice Mayor Sandusky made a motion to table this subject until the June meeting so the commissioners can discuss the matter with citizens of the city. The motion was seconded by Commissioner Pigg, and the issue was tabled.
Next, Vice Mayor Sandusky encouraged the commissioners to ask the citizens in the city what their opinions are on changing the current beer ordinance. Dennis Smith, a resident on First Avenue South, asked if the city could put something between his house and Collinwood Freewill Baptist Church that would slow down speeding drivers on his street. He said that the current speed bumps don’t work well, and neighborhood kids aren’t free to play outside. Vice Mayor Sandusky said that the police department’s speed trailer could be positioned to deter speeders not only on 1st Avenue, but also on West Tennessee Street and West Martin Road. Resident Johnny Throgmorton then asked when the West Tennessee Street/Indian Creek Road paving project would begin. City Manager Victory stated that TDOT said that the project should begin next spring.
Lastly, Travis Pigg reminded the commission that he was present at last month’s meeting, and recalled the commissioners who voted “no” on lowering the footage of the current beer ordinance. He reminded the commissioners that they were elected to vote based on the consent of the people, and not their personal opinions. Pigg said that if business owners wishing to sell beer meet all the guidelines, they should be allowed to sell it. El Guadalajara owner Saul Rodriguez was also in attendance, and stated that he would meet all guidelines and control the environment. Dennis Smith, who is also a former Wayne County Beer Board member, stated that if business owners meet the guidelines, they must be granted licenses.
With no further business to come before the commission, Vice Mayor Sandusky made a motion to adjourn. Commissioner Pigg seconded the motion, and the meeting was adjourned.