CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council's first meeting of the year Tuesday involved such issues as the election of new officers and updates from the utility manager and building inspector.
The council, having several new faces this year, began by electing officers. Both Gary Bennington and Don Sublett were nominated for the position as president. Sublett won by a vote of 4-1 with Larry Fidler voting against.
The role of vice president was given to Dennis Padgett after he won in a 3-2 vote against Coweta Patton with Padgett and Fidler voting in favor of Patton.
A major portion of the meeting was dedicated to concerns of the community. Several community members voiced concerns regarding Cloverdale police response time, stating they had poor response and it was just not good enough.
Board members assured the community they would look into it. However, it was also noted that there is only one Cloverdale officer on patrol during the evening hours.
Interim utility manager Rich Saucerman, preparing to leave his position, gave one final update on town utilities as well as introducing the new utility clerk, Brittney Duncan.
The final wastewater contract between the town and the ethanol plant POET has been signed and permits have been received, Saucerman said. POET will soon begin discharging any overflow of corn mash into the town's sewer systems.
Saucerman also gave an update on a well located at the sewer plant. He suggested the board approve the building of a shed over the structure as well as approving installation of a heater within it.
"It's an open structure," explained Saucerman. "When it gets cold, it automatically turns the water on to keep it warm."
Due to the nature of the structure it has been causing an increase in water bills for a few months.
"We're running way high in the red on the sewer side," said Padgett. "Either we do this or raise rates."
Saucerman provided the board with an estimate from Ralph Lockwood who agreed to build the barn over the well. The city will purchase the materials themselves and will cost around $9,500, depending on the door chosen for the barn.
The council approved Saucerman's proposal under the condition the cost of the structure not exceed $10,000.
Town building inspector Mark Cassida gave an update regarding the addition of a new upscale RV park that will soon be located in Cloverdale.
"This development is currently in the planning process," Cassida said. "It will be done in three phases, the first one including around 50 units."
Cassida brought the park to the council's attention because the construction fees do not address water, sewer and the cement pads on which the RV's will sit upon. Cassida also proposed a random inspection of the units to ensure things are done properly, which the council approved.
Meanwhile, Patton suggested she herself be appointed as the town manager. Patton said she would work free of charge and make herself available to the community each day to answer any questions or concerns they may have.
"It's an excellent idea," Padgett responded. "We're just looking for someone to step up to the plate."
The council agreed that she instead would become "Council Community Representative." As she was not allowed the title of Town Manager, as advised by the town attorney Allan Yackey.
Patton, will not have authority to make decisions that might bind the council to anything.