Thursday, April 12, 2018

City Council Approves Seven Properties for Removal

The Warren City Council meet Tuesday, April 10th and conducted a considerable amount of business.  On of the major items acted upon was the approval of contracts to cleanup and remove seven structures that had previously been ordered cleaned up by the city.  This will include tearing down the remains of vacant houses that the owners have refused to clean up.  The cost to the taxpayers will be around $14,000.00.  If the property owners fail to pay, a lien will be filed against the property.  In addition, the council declared an emergency and voted to remove the Mt. Zion AME Zion Church on North Myrtle Street as quickly as possible.  Efforts have been underway to get the owner to cleanup the Church which is falling in and is a danger to the public, including a city street.  Mayor Martin indicated the city had secured a price for the owner to have the site torn down and removed and he thought progress was being made.  Recently, he has been unable to get his calls returned.  He state he was willing to travel to the owner and discuss the matter but action must be taken soon.  The cost of this project will be around $12,000.00.  The Mayor sated the historic cornerstone has been saved by the city.  Alderman Burks voiced his concern that owners are not maintaining and keeping up property in an appropriate fashion, making the city conduct the cleanup.  He called it "lack of pride."

Council Members reviewed and approved the financial statement.  City Clerk Helen Boswell reported the city received $65,293.45 in city sales tax revenue in March and $44,674.09 for the city's share of the county wide sales tax.  Mayor Martin stated that the sales tax is up abut 1% for the year to date.  Other reports were provided by the City Clerk, the Mayor and Department Heads.  Minutes of city boards and commissions were presented to the council.

The council voted to authorize the closing of streets in the downtown area for the 2018 Pink Tomato Festival and set the parade route.  Vicky Tapia, First Vice Chairman of the Festival Committee, made the request.  The council also voted to allow a march through city streets by a group advocating an end to drugs and violence in the city and schools.  No specific incidents were mentioned.  The Warren Police will provide an escort and traffic control. The event is scheduled for April 14th at 10:A.M.  It will begin near the city park and go through Main Street and back to the park area.

Len Blaylock, III, Executive Director of the BCEDC  reported on workforce programs and indicated plans were moving forward for the new plant to open in the city industrial park.  He expects some 80 plus new jobs to be created.  The city has been working with the company for some time.

The following appointments were confirmed by the council:
*Chuck Cannon-Planning Commission for 3-years
*Jessie Lambert-Planning Commission for 3- years
*Nick Callaway-Civil Service Commission for 6- years
*Irma Brunson-Warren Public Housing Authority Commission for 5-years

The council members then renewed a note on land purchased for the shooting range, adopted an amendment to the city's energy standards ordinance and approved an agreement for the operation of the new rifle and pistol range.  The Mayor informed the council the city is working on an affordable way to rebuild the bridge that washed out on Boyd Street.  It could cost up to $80,000.00.

Announcements were made and the bills for March, 2018 were approved.  Council Member Tolefree stated a Job Fair is planned for April 26th beginning at 10:00 A.M. at Immanuel Baptist Church.  Council Member Henderson is involved with implementing the fair.

The next scheduled council meeting is May 14th at 5:30 P.M.

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