By PJ Martin
Editor, The Herald-News
The Edmonton City Council met for the regular June session on Monday, June 7th and again in special session on Wednesday, June 9th.
Special guest BRADD Executive Director Eric Sexton presented information about the Community Strategic Planning and the local Steering Committee.
Sexton explained that BRADD must, “update a hazard mitigation plan, and a community comprehensive economic development plan by the Economic Development Administration. We do that every 5 years like a big rewrite.”
The committee covers past community goals and objectives and creates new goals, creates action items for implementation, develops projects, and hosts public hearings to gather to review plans and gather input. He asked for council members to join the committee and add their input. He will also be presenting this information to fiscal court.
By completing these plans, which are sent to the Federal level, the counties and cities are made eligible for FEMA funding and for state and federal grants.
Next, the council approved a request for advancement of funds to the Edmonton-Metcalfe County 911 Dispatch. The $8,997 will be taken from the 3rd quarter budget fund of 2021. Up until this year the 911 Dispatch had been operating from funds left from the end of the year, but this year audit fees have taken the residual funds.
Next the council heard the 1st reading of Ordinance No. 2020-21-09 amending the 12-month budget for FY 2020-2021 beginning July 1, 2020 and ending June 30, 2021. The 1st reading was approved. The second reading was held at the June 9th meeting and was also approved.
Mayor Doug Smith presented his budget proposal to the council for fiscal year July 1, 2021 to June 30, 2022. He voiced his concern for the small retail businesses in the city and noted that the grant offered to these businesses through the CARES funding helped 36 businesses.
In summary, the city’s CERS pension contribution requirements have increased this year and the health insurance premiums have increased slightly as well. The property insurance has decreased slightly and liability insurance has increased slightly; however, Workers Compensation has decreased $30,000 for the FY 21-22.
The administrative offices requested funds for updated technology, updating and codification of the city ordinances, updating the personnel policy, and general maintenance.
The Police Department has requested funds for new handguns, taser batteries, taser holster, leads for the software and general maintenance. Also budgeted is matching funds to apply for the Rural Development grant for replacing two older cruisers and a GPS system for the vehicles.
The Public Works Department has requested funding for a crew cab 4×4 truck, garage door openers for the maintenance shop, meter reading software, a snow plow, salter, repair of the old salter, barricades, a GPS system for the vehicles, and a new building at the waste water treatment plant.
City Attorney Sharon Howard is working on the Fire Dept. Policy and Procedures manual and the Standard Operating Guidelines plus an Interlocal Agreement between the city and the fire dept. Once completed grants can be researched for new equipment and vehicles.
The Edmonton-Metcalfe County 911 Director has requested an $11,000 increase to cover half of the payroll expenses for the department.
Mayor Smith added that he has included in the budget for employee compensation, a 35 cent cost of living raise for all city employees based upon evaluations.
The first reading of the FY 2021-2022 Budget – Ordinance 2021-22-01was approved at the June 7th meeting and the second reading was approved at the June 9th meeting. You may view the budget ordinance in this issue on page xx.
Public Works Department
Public Works Superintendent Moe Hensley gave an update on the water project stating that the pump stations at Summer Shade have both been set, plumbed, and are being bricked. They are waiting on Farmers RECC and Tri-County Electric to complete their parts. The work at Blueberry Hill is being completed on Tuesday and that will make way for work to be done on the Edmonton and Gascon tanks.
Police Chief Delaney Wilson presented the May activity report. There were 47 traffic stops, 79 complaint answered, 27 arrests, 58 citations written, 5 animal calls, 6 warrants served, 7 domestic disputes, 10 non-injury accidents, 2 new investigations, 3 incomplete 911 calls, 2 fights, 2 alcohol intoxications, 1 DUI, 8 drug complaints, and 10 medicals for a total of 267.
Chief Wilson advised that Officer Harper has turned in his resignation effective June 17.
Edmonton Fire Chief Jerry Clemmons advised the council that they had 15 runs in May with 8 medical, 4 lift assists, 2 public service, and 1 hazardous.
The July meeting of the Edmonton City Council will be held on Monday, July 19, 2021.