Cloverdale looking for extra savings

Friday, February 17, 2012

CLOVERDALE-- The Cloverdale Town Council held its monthly meeting on Tuesday evening. The utility manager position, the draining of POET's holding pond and the vacant Holiday Inn were among the topics discussed throughout the meeting.

Interim utility manager Rich Saucerman updated the board on the status of POET's draining of its holding pond. POET has discharged nine times and the town will begin billing the ethanol plant monthly for its use.

Saucerman also presented the board with a proposal to buy new water meters, a process which is recommended every 10 years.

Saucerman collected a quote from Utility Supply for $1,500 a month for 12 meters at $212 per meter. The new meters also make it easier to collect information on water usage.

"I have no problem with this," vice president Dennis Padgett said. "It's routine maintenance. But, to spend $20,000-$30,000 when you don't know where the funding is at..."

The council and Saucerman agreed that waiting to buy the meters was the best decision due to the changes in command as well as being unsure where the town stands in the funding department.

Saucerman nominated himself for the position of utility manager at last month's town council meeting. The council tabled the item last month and chose to address it on Tuesday evening.

"If you do what you want to do we might lose funding," said Padgett.

Saucerman decided to step back from his position as interim utility manager, a position he has held since July 2010, at the end of December 2011. Currently, he is working as the water superintendent.

"I'm doing this to try and save the town some money," said Saucerman. "I was also hoping to get the other guys a raise."

The town approved Saucerman to work both as utility manager and water superintendent. Saucerman will continue to work at an hourly wage with some likely overtime.

Redevelopment commission president Don Gedert updated the board on the loss of one of its members, Jerry Acrea. The redevelopment commission is now looking for one new addition to serve on the board.

Gedert also updated the board on the status of Stardust Road. The board is working on installing lights from U.S. 231 down to the Cloverdale arena.

"Almost 100 percent of the traffic that uses that road is from out of town," said Gedert. "When the sun goes down it is quite dark."

The board is currently looking for ways to fund the project.

Town attorney Allan Yackey has been working with the West Central Conservancy Fund in hopes of doing an environmental study on the old Holiday Inn, most recently the Cloverdale Inn, (not to be confused with the Holiday Inn Express) in town.

"I sent out a number of emails," said Yackey. "It looked like there was some interest in the beginning of the month."

Yackey is seeking permission from the owner of the motel to agree to let workers in to complete the Phase I and Phase II of the environmental study.

"Sometimes people amaze me," said Yackey. "I can't imagine why a property owner would not be interested in doing this. It's at no cost to them."

The environmental study will be used to determine the status of the building as well as if there are any toxins, lead paint or asbestos contained within the building.

"We're pushing as hard as we can," said Yackey. "This isn't some scam that can't be checked out."

If the town were to gain permission to enter the motel, it may be in the running to gain thousands of dollars worth of funding to help demolish the old motel, which has sat vacant for quite some time.

"We're just wanting to get it flattened," said Padgett. "We'd like to get rid of the eyesore."

The next town council meeting will take place on Tuesday, March 6 at 7 p.m.

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