The Ashland Council held their very first meeting at the new location, the former PNC Bank. Mrs. Zeola Echols passing was recognized during invocation and prayers were sent out to her family.
The safety of the maintenance dept workers was discussed with the limb route, where some of the crew were having to pick up limbs in areas that could be potentially dangerous with oncoming traffic. Police Chief Joseph Stanford said that he would be glad to get his on duty Officer to assist with traffic control when they were in these dangerous areas. The League of Municipalities has a strict policy to avoid getting on private property while performing this task, which is what created most of these safety concerns.
Council member Brad Wolfe was concerned with a issue in his district at the produce stand across the Blue & White. Wolfe said they needed to get in touch with the management at Dollar General to see if there was a better way to access that store. Wolfe said he had personally seen three severely busted water meters, which Wolfe learned had to replaced every couple of months by the Water Department. Stanford said the truck drivers had always used that particular road as an access route to the store as long as he could remember and it had also caused another problem with another businessman in the same area. ” Its a tough spot, a real tight area they are having to back for store access”, said Stanford, “It’s an area that needs to addressed but unsure of direction. Maybe possibly widening the road would help to get those trucks some space to maybe maneuver in and out of that parking lot.”
“You just can’t continue to tear up somebody’s property and there not be an issue” said Wolfe. Fetner said that acting Maintenance Supervisor Jody Brown was working on some kind of solution for this, but that the trucker’s insurance is paying for these broken water meters that have to be replaced.”
On that note, Brown had inquired to the Mayor beforehand about getting more pay for being the acting Supervisor until someone was hired to fill that position. The council agreed to raise Brown’s pay to the same salary that former Supervisor Jeremy Nash was receiving, a sum of $16.56, with no overtime, but will be reverted back to his original pay when someone was permanently hired for this position. Fetner said he was very pleased with the job that Brown was doing in this role. Nash is now employed with the Water Department.
Options for custodian to maintain all of the city buildings was briefly touched upon and it was decided to get some estimates from Cleaning Services and then come back to it at a later date.
Wolfe wanted to clarify that just because he wasn’t supportive of the new building purchase or approving any monies for improvements for City Hall along the way, did not mean that he didn’t think the new building wasn’t a good thing and was going to make a nice home for the city.
Stanford spoke of the Officer involved hostage situation that took place in Randolph County a couple of weeks, in which two of his Officers assisted in mutual aid. Stanford said with all the recent police shootings, he had extensive conversations with his Officers on how they carried themselves and addressed various situations for safety reasons. Stanford did not that it was mandatory wear policy for bullet proof vests.
There was more discussion about the amount of monthly rent the Water Dept would pay in the new building, which had began at the previous meeting.
Catrett thanked the maintenance guys for their hard work in the move and also thanked the council for the new window partition because sometimes it was a safety issue during traffic court.
Chamber Director Tiffany Young gave her monthly briefing to the Council. Young thanked everyone for attending the Chamber Office’s Grand Opening that took place on June 24, 2016, which was very well attended.” We are very pleased about having an Office again, and we believe it will help restore the communities faith in the Chamber”, said Young.
Young also reported attendance was down drastically at their free monthly movie night on June 24 and the Chamber had decided not to hold this event in August, until they could figure out how to boost attendance. The Chamber had one new member, Charter HR.
Young was also happy to announce the Chamber was partnering with the Ashland Housing Development Corporation with the first annual Southeast Tiny Home Festival. Accompanying her with his presentation on this event was AHA Executive Director Stan Gaither.
As Gaither handed out an information packet to the council members, he explained this event would be held September 16, 17, 18th, 2016 at the Ashland Industrial Park located on hwy 9 N across from Airport Rd. The AHDC has leased the warehouse at the Economic Development site where the construction of these tiny homes will also take place in the future. Gaither said they were expecting a huge turnout of anywhere from 2500-4000 people over this weekend event. There will be numerous vendors at this festival and more details would be released at a later date.
Capping off this event, a tiny home shell ( exterior finished, interior ready to finish) valued at $15,000-$20,000 range will be given away by drawing to a lucky recipient.
“We’re looking to expand our opportunities to do economic development that will benefit our community and to do this, we’re looking to venture into the tiny home manufacturing business”, said Gaither, “The tiny home market is one of the hottest emerging market trending in this country and we are hoping to bring some people and money into the county, which will hopefully increase job and tax revenue here as well.”
Gaither encouraged everyone to support and promote this event through sponsorship and to hopefully bring in more foot traffic for the festival. This concluded Gaither’s presentation.
Tammy Meeks, from Air Med Care was there to make a presentation to the Council about the expense of a city-wide municipal site plan ( MSP), an offer to the cities that would cover the residents who live within the city limits in the event they have a medical emergency and have to be flown out via lifesaver, which is a common thing here in Clay County. Any citizens participating in this MSP who have to be flown out from some medical emergency will have no out of pocket cost. Sometimes a life flight can cost anywhere from $25,000-$60,000.
Meeks said in addition to city residents be being covered throughout Clay County, each household, regardless of size, could also upgrade to full membership that would cover them in any other county or state they were visiting in, if they had to be flown out, for just $35.00.
The city of Ashland’s cost that would cover all households within the city limits, would be $7909 annually. Fetner thanked Meek and said they would certainly consider this option when budget time came around.
Other agenda items approved were:
- Accept resignation from Equipment Operator Jeremy Nash
- Open Maintenance Position and advertise for two weeks and to also move Corey Robbins from part time maintenance employee to full-time position at starting pay for $8.24 hourly.
- Accept resignation from part-time library worker, Tiffany Higgins
- Approval to pay M2 Connections $3,989.87 for repair of fiber cables damaged in 2015.
- Approval to hire Peyton England as part-time dispatcher, with a starting salary of $8.21 hourly.
- Approval to purchase radiator for repairs in patrol car for $470.00
The Job description for Maintenance Supervisor was tabled, because they had not nailed down exactly what they were looking for, before advertising.
Resolution No. 07-18-01-2016 was adopted, which appointed City Clerk Chelsey Wynn as municipal election manager.
The meeting was adjourned.