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Thursday, May 5, 2016

Town Council tackles policies

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Greencastle Street Dept. employee Jesse Carmichael mans the leaf vacuum as Ernie Phillips Jr. rakes up leaves to be picked up on Liberty Street Tuesday morning. The Street Dept. began vacuuming leaves off city streets recently, and will continue through November. The leaf pickup is following the schedule of the city trash collection.
It was much to do about nothing Tuesday evening in Cloverdale.

The town's council met in special session to tackle four items, but came away empty-handed.

The council elected to meet in special session to discuss the town's drug testing policy, possible recourse for unusually large utility bills, town right-of-ways, and its procedure manual.

However, the council did not vote on any of the measures. Rather, it opted to have town attorney Scott Hoff look further into three of the issues.

Hoff approached the board Tuesday with a newly-completed drug testing policy, but some of the board members expressed concern with some of the wording.

"I tried to make the language very simple," Hoff told the board. "Very open-ended."

Board member Judy Whitaker said she was concerned with some of the wording in the policy, saying some of it was "too open."

Whitaker asked a hypothetical question regarding a town employee who was off work and was involved in a car accident, would the employee have to be tested.

She also expressed concern regarding terminology on employee-owned vehicles and vehicles owned by the town that employees use.

Hoff said the wording could be changed according to the council's specifications and the board asked him to re-word some of the policy for presentation at its November meeting.

Meanwhile, Hoff recently drafted a possible ordinance for the town regarding unusually large utility bills and possible recourse for citizens.

He told the board Tuesday he wanted the State Board of Accounts to investigate the wording of the proposal prior to a vote, saying he didn't believe the town could adjust sewer rates, but it could adjust water rates.

Hoff said he didn't believe there was a state code for adjusting sewer rates.

Several board members expressed concern for citizens who have swimming pools or hot tubs and the amount of water being used to fill them.

"There needs to be a stopping point," Council Vice President Dennis Padgett said. "There needs to be common sense used.

"To me, the people say they are getting fleeced."

"I don't disagree, but I don't think you can adjust sewer bills," Hoff said.

Whitaker noted she was apprehensive about the proposal, saying it could open a "Pandora's box."

Council member John Davis agreed.

"I think you are opening up a box, regardless," Davis said. "I can fill my pool once a month."

The council asked Hoff to contact the State Board of Accounts regarding the issue, to which he agreed.

Town Utility Manager Mike Gray then approached the board regarding town right-of-ways.

"I've seen a lot of areas that have trees planted in right-of-ways, bushes in right-of-ways," he said.

Gray's approached the board Tuesday seeking a possible ordinance where people had to contact the town before placing items in right-of-ways.

"It's going to get worse," he said.

Hoff asked if the proposal should be brought to the attention of the town plan commission or board of zoning appeals. Gray responded saying it should addressed to him and then the council for an appeal process.

"If there is a question, I'm going to bring it to the council for approval," Gray said. "But we need to get this in black and white so people can see it."

The council asked Hoff to draft an ordinance regarding the issue, which he agreed to do.

The board also looked over a proposal for its procedure manual. The manual had been proofread twice by board president Don Sublett and town clerk/treasurer Patti Truax.

However, board members took a gander through the manual, further finding errors. Sublett agreed to make the board's proposed changes and asked Hoff for help regarding some re-wording in certain portions of the manual.

The council meets regularly at 7 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month at Town Hall. It has scheduled a special session, however, for 7 p.m. Monday to open bids for the town's new wastewater treatment plant.

Its next regularly scheduled meeting is for 7 p.m., Nov. 14.

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