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Town mulls water agreement

Thursday, September 17, 2009

RUSSELLVILLE -- Town council president Don Reddish presented a proposal from Reelsville Water Authority to lease the town's water and tank.

"This is just a proposal," Reddish stated during the Wednesday night council meeting.

The current proposal states the water company would pay $800 per month to Russellville, assume all responsibility of the utility department and bill payments. However, Mike Varvel would keep his position of water superintendent should the proposal be accepted.

In addition, Russellville would still own the water and tower. Reddish made it clear there is no intention to sell it.

A public hearing with representatives from Reelsville Water Company will be held for residents to present questions and concerns. It is tentatively scheduled for 7 p.m. Oct. 13 at the Russellville Community Center.

The town's attorney Jim Ensley will review the proposal and be present at the public hearing.

"It's a very serious proposal," said Reddish. "It could be a win-win situation."

Last month, Russellville resident Devon Davis presented information regarding the hiring of a deputy-clerk and a conflict of interest between two town employees.

She contested the town shouldn't hire a deputy-clerk because the position doesn't warrant two people. She also challenged the hiring of Jim McAfee, husband of Clerk-Treasurer Sally McAfee, for temporary street superintendent.

The council turned over her concerns to Ensley, who presented his findings during the meeting. He said, according to state statute, there is not a conflict of interest between McAfee and her husband.

The statute states there is a conflict of interest when a public servant knowingly or intentionally has a pecuniary or financial interest in a contract or purchase connected with an action by the governmental entity served by the public servant.

"The argument falls short," he said.

He went on to say when Jim McAfee was given the position of street superintendent the Equal Opportunity Employer laws were not violated.

"There was another application submitted for the position," Ensley said. "I have a copy of it."

He added it might be a good idea for the council to post jobs in an area visible for the community to see in the future, but nothing was necessarily done wrong.

The council chose to vote on and accept Ordinance 2009-2, which states a deputy-clerk could be hired if ever needed. McAfee clearly stated she didn't want a deputy-clerk.

"If I can't do the job, I will resign," she said.

In other business:

* The council approved to have a drain fixed at the cost of $1,500.

* Town clean-up day was a success. Reddish read a card from several residents stating how grateful they were for the town providing a dumpster.

* The Jonah Fish Fry was also a success. There are plans to have it again next year.

* Quotes were reviewed for the sandblasting and repainting of the inside of the water tower. Quotes ranged from $20,000 to nearly $40,000, with only one offering to remove the lead.

"This is something we need to take a look at quickly and make a decision," said Reddish.

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Would this elivate the fact that every russellville resident pays the same amount each month despite how much water they actually use???? What a novel idea....pay for the water you actually use??? I am paying the same as a family of 5.... for me and my husband. What is wrong with that picture???

-- Posted by giveusabreakpc on Thu, Sep 17, 2009, at 10:15 AM

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