Monday, July 9, 2018

Council Honors Erma Banks Jefferson/Confirms Kelly Ashcraft

Members of Erma Banks Jefferson family with Mayor Martin
After being called to order by Mayor Bryan Martin, the Warren City Council approved the minutes of the June meeting, reviewed and approved the financial report as presented by City Clerk Helen Boswell and heard comments from two residents.  The meeting was conducted Monday evening, July 9th in the Municipal Courtroom of the Municipal Building.  The comments were from Gregg Reep and Tee Hooper.  Mr. Reep thanked the Mayor and Council for having rented office space to Raptor Productions in the Old National Guard Armory for the past several years.  He stated that the incubator concept at the Old Armory helped get the company on it's feet.  He then invited everyone to a Grand Opening of the firm's new offices at 225 S. Main Street.  He stated that Raptor's owner Rob Reep will be housing, an art gallery, a gift shop and an art studio in the building.  Mr. Reep stated that the company is committed to Warren and the downtown area.

Tee Hooper addressed the council concerning two properties across the street from her home on N. Walnut that are in serious need of being cleaned up and repaired or removed. Building Official Mike May said the city has dealt with some of the property in the past but additional action may be necessary.  Mayor Martin stated he has looked at the site and the city will take some action.

During the financial report by the City Clerk, it was reported that the city sales tax is up 2% and the city share of the county sales tax is up 4%.  Each city department head submitted a monthly report and was available to answer questions from the council members.  Various boards and commissions of the city submitted their minutes for review.

According to Len Blaylock, III, Executive Director of the BCEDC, plans to open the new poultry plant have been pushed back to August due to a delay in getting equipment in that has been on order for some time.  Work is progressing.

Mayor Martin then invited family of the late Erma Banks Jefferson to join him as he read a resolution honoring Mrs. Banks Jefferson for her many contributions to the Warren community.  She was an educator and a advocate for change and progress.  She faithfully served the city as a member of the Warren Planning Commission where see did her job with diligence and according to Mayor Martin, stood her ground as needed.  The Council unanimously adopted the resolution for presentation to the family.  Her son Ricky thanked everyone for the honor given his mother.

The council then approved a bid of $59,148.50 to install a new PAPI guidance system at the Warren Airport.  State and federal grants will pay 100% of the cost.  The grant agreement for the state and federal funds was then approved.

The Warren Water and Sewer Commission, in accordance to state law, nominated Kelly Ashcraft to fill out a term on the city Water and Sewer Commission.  Mrs. Ashcraft will finish the term of Carolyn Curry, who resigned due to health issues.  It was stated that Mrs. Curry did a fine job during her years on the Commission.

Alderman Zack Burks moved that the council authorize the purchase of a new police car using the state contract at a cost of just over $26,000.00 plus the cost of equipment.  The council voted 5-0 in favor with one council member absent.

After being questioned by Council Member Burks about the status of the new bridge in the Pennisterville area, Mayor Martin stated he hoped construction would begin by next week.

The Ways and Means Committee, chaired by Council Member Henderson and made up of Council members Moseley and Cobb recommended and the council approved an agreement with the state department of Environmental Quality to insure the city's closed landfill.  This is done annually.  The council then approved a letter of credit with Warren Bank & Trust Company to cover the insurance.  By following this procedure, the city is out zero dollars if the landfill is maintained properly.

Mayor Martin nominated Maribeth Frazer to a five year term on the city Parks and Recreation Commission.  She was unanimously confirmed. 

The council members voted 5-0 to pay all monthly bills and then adjourned.  The next scheduled council meeting is set for August 12th at 5:30 P.M.

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