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Clerk-treasurer looks for savings in Cloverdale

Thursday, December 13, 2012

CLOVERDALE -- The Cloverdale Town Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday evening, in which it discussed money-saving changes along with insurance needs.

As the year will soon come to an end, Clerk-treasurer Cheryl Galloway, updated the council on several things she has done to save the town money.

Among the changes were changing the trash pick-up at the Town Hall, which is $35. By the utility workers taking the trash to the wastewater plant, the town has saved $1,820 this year.

Galloway also informed the board that she tried getting out of a three-year contract with Cintas, which provides rugs for the Town Hall.

Galloway recently downgraded the package, which was originally $85.90 per month to just the bare minimum at $37.89. This provided an additional savings of $576.12 per year.

Also, earlier this year the council decided to do away with its cleaning service for the Town Hall, which resulted in $2,160 in savings this year.

The council recently decided to raise the insurance rates for some employees. Galloway recently provided the council members with a handout of the new policy. This policy she had separated into the general, water and sewer.

"I had O.W. Krohn approve it to make sure that we were not over budget," explained Galloway. "That came to a savings of $67,824.24, of what would be savings from last year."

The Town Hall has also changed its hours in hopes of saving the town money. The hours will now be 8 a.m.-2:30 p.m. and will be open only Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.

"I think you've done an outstanding job trying to save the town money," said council President Don Sublett. "We thank you."

Galloway also noted that the new billing system has started. It will be saving the town $200 a month.

"By the time you pay for those credit cards, paper, ink and everything you have to do it's easier for you to send the software out and they have bulk mailings. It's a lot cheaper," Galloway said. "Everybody is calling in and saying 'hey I got a delinquent notice in the mail.' It's not a delinquent notice it's the new bill."

The collection agency has also begun working on delinquent bills. Galloway has yet to hear of any results the company had. However, she expects a full report in the coming weeks.

Cathy Tipton also informed the town that the week of Feb. 4 IACT and Hyett Palma will be visiting Cloverdale to continue with the town study.

All council members will be meeting with personnel from Hyett Palma to not only gain a better understanding of the project, but to move things forward.

Following the resignation of Jon Chadd, Charlie Hallam has been appointed to Interim Town Marshal. Hallam came before the board to ask for approval to purchase a set of tires for each car before winter begins.

The price of the tires, for the three Dodge Chargers and the Tahoe, is estimated at $2,000.

"In case something gets in our tires and they say we can't repair it, we at least have a tire to put back on there," explained Hallam. "We go through tires about once a year."

The board made approval for the purchase of four sets of tires.

Following a suggestion from council member Cowetta Patton, Hallam will begin looking into purchasing markings for the Tahoe.

"It was supposed to be marked two years ago," said Dennis Padgett. "I would like you to check into that because I've had complaints and other people have too."

It was suggested by the council that Hallam look into purchasing magnetic markings, which would give the Tahoe better resale value.

The health savings account (HSA) was an issue that was brought up several times throughout the meeting. After a request from town employees to have the town pay into the health savings accounts, the town decided that there was not enough money to do so.

"The advantage of the HSA is that the employee gets to put tax free money into the HSA," said town attorney Allan Yackey. "At this point I don't see anything for the town to put into the HSA."

However, Galloway brought up the idea of giving town employees a raise and that way they could decide if they wanted to put the extra money into the account. The council however did not decide anything on the matter regarding raises.

Also, regarding the new insurance hike the town will now pay $718 for employee only, while the employee will pay $70.85 per month. The town will then pay $1,830.12 for family plan, while the employee will pay $457.54 a month.

Utility Manager Richard Saucerman informed the board that the council will need to approve him for two new testing machines for both the water and wastewater plants.

"The one at the water plant is 12 years old," Saucerman said. "The sewer plant has one that's in worse condition."

By purchasing the two the town will receive a 15 percent discount, at $4,121 per machine. Both machines will come with a warranty.

Funding for the machines will come out of both the water and the wastewater funds.

Saucerman noted that phase two of the wellhead project, which was done nearly 10 years ago, is due.

A non-profit organization Alliance can do the project for $4,000, a $2,000 savings if the town decided to go with another company.

The council also approved Saucerman to purchase new tires for the dump and utility trucks. The state bids that were collected total $1,940.40.

Moving on to old business, the council gave approval to pass Ordinance 2012-9, which adopts the codification.

The town will also move forward with the ADA mapping of the handicap parking and entrance to the town building.

Following all agenda items community members had a time to voice their opinions. One resident of Stardust Hills looked toward Hallam for answers regarding the crime that goes on in his community.

Recently, youth in the Stardust Hills community have begun pointing weapons in windows of people's homes as well as shooting out streetlights, car windows and vandalizing holiday decorations.

"Most of the time in my knowledge of these kids, every time I deal with them they are communicating with someone else," said Hallam. "With two full-time officers we try to do our best. I'm aware of probably most of the people you suspect are doing it. The issue we have of those crimes that have occurred is we have to have proof."

Hallam told community members to call the police any time they see something along with keeping lights on at night.

"It helps us in our patrols," explained Hallam. "When we drive by we can see through some of the roads."

Residents voiced their opinion regarding taking matters into their own hands. However, many noted that due to the vandals being youth, the resident would be a fault. It was recommended that Stardust Hills residents begin trying to catch the vandals by videotaping them, to help assist law enforcement.

The Cloverdale Town Council will be holding a special meeting Friday at 6:30 p.m. There will also be an end of the year meeting on Friday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m.



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