Fillmore Town Council hears updates, follow-up on Liberty Industries
FILLMORE -- With the absence of one council member and its attorney, the Fillmore Town Council heard updates regarding recent police activity and the town’s upkeep at its monthly meeting Thursday evening.
Town Marshal Darrel Bunten attended the meeting and informed the council that unlawful activity has been kept at a minimum. He said that no burglaries or theft had been recently reported, but that drivers continue to speed through town.
He attributed that issue to not having enough manpower to cover the roads in and leading into the town, and that he hoped to be able to have reserve officers to assist him.
Bunten also discussed three particular properties that have been neglected for a long period of time, and encouraged the council to explore legal options soon to ensure their renovation and upkeep.
The council also heard some clarification and feedback regarding the approved continuance of a tax abatement for Liberty Industries Inc. Kurt Clearwaters, Liberty’s president, along with Kristin Clary, executive director of the Putnam County Development Center, came before the council in support of the approval.
Clary began by invoking the report of the August meeting by the Banner Graphic, during which town attorney Jeff Boggess provided feedback about the company keeping to its commitments. She said that while the reporting was not necessarily inaccurate, she suggested that the wrong impression had been made.
Clary said that Liberty Industries currently employs more than 30 people, but that they work only one shift. She relayed that the company had two shifts, but that this was abandoned in 2015 due to the shortage in the local workforce. Besides this, she said that the company had indeed kept to its commitments.
Clearwaters then addressed the council, saying that he had heard negative statements claiming that the company’s abatement meant no taxes were to be paid. He also provided an up-to-date log of property taxes that have been paid.
Clearwaters felt that the Banner Graphic report did not give a positive image, and felt it necessary to present this additional information, even though the tax abatement was unanimously approved.
Afterward, the council said that new road signs for the town had been recently ordered, and that they were expected to be shipped on the 28th of this month. The total costs of the signs would equal to $909.40.
The next regular meeting of the Fillmore Town Council is scheduled for Thursday, Oct. 4 at 7 p.m. in the Fillmore Town Hall.