Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Warren Fire Chief To Retire

The Warren City Council met for it's regular monthly meeting October 8th in the Warren Municipal Courtroom.  Five of the six members were present.  Mayor Bryan Martin presided.  The council approved the minutes of the September 10th meeting and the financial reports were reviewed and accepted.  City Clerk Helen Boswell reported to the council members that city and county sales tax revenues were up 5% each for the month, indicating a strong local economy.  The city sales tax generated $77,237. 99 and the city's share of the county sales tax was $49,318.23.  The City Clerk noted that the council had copies of the District Court Clerk's report and the amount of overtime paid by the city for the past month and year to date.  Later in the meeting, Ways and Means Committee Chairman, Dorothy Henderson remarked that overtime for the year is down, primarily due to maintaining a full staff at the police department for most of the year. 

Gregg Reep, Sales Manager for salineriverchronicle.com, which is located at 225 S.  Main Street, addressed the council and submitted a petition from a large number of business and property owners on Main Street, and requested the city move forward and redeem the property at 230 S. Main ( known as the Old Bryant Furniture building ).  It can be purchased for a reasonable sum for payment of delinquent taxes.  The building was previously put up for public auction by the state and no bids were made.  The building is in very bad shape and will cost a considerable amount to clean up.  The building is falling in.  Mr. Reep told the council members they could buy it for very little and clean it up on the city's schedule and make public or private use of the lot in the future.  He told them if they go ahead and purchase it, the city will maintain maximum flexibility in how the property can be utilized.  Otherwise, the city may be forced to condemn the building and clean it up, and still not control the site.  The petition was accepted by the city for consideration.

Mayor Martin presented the resignation of Fire Chief Howard Edwards, effective January 1, 2019.  The city will begin the process to select a new Chief, which will be made by the Warren Civil Service Commission.

Reports were submitted by Police Chief Shaun Hildreth, Fire Chief Edwards and Building Official/Sanitation Manager Mike May.  The council members then voted to condemn and order cleaned up the following properties:
*430 N. Martin Street-burned house to be removed and lot cleaned
*513 N. Myrtle Street-remove structure
*523 N. Myrtle Street-remove structure and mow lot
*216 N. Martin Street-remove structure and clean lot
Council members asked the status of several properties that have been previously ordered cleaned up or torn down.  Mr. May stated prices are being sought to conduct the work.

Street Foreman Ricky Joe Davis updated the council on Street Department activities and Council Member Henderson and Mayor Martin provided a status report on preparation of the 2019 budget.  Council Member Tolefree urged the council to maintain city goals and projects in the coming year, although there will be a change in the administration.  He reminded the council they set policy and the budget.

Minutes of the various city boards and commissions that met in September were reviewed by the council.  Council Member Tolefree asked about the status of the Railroad Depot project and Mayor Martin responded that the city has another grant to begin renovation of the old warehouse portion of the facility.  The next phase will provide an air conditioned meeting room.

The next council meeting is set for Tuesday, November 13th at 5:30 P.M.  Prior to adjourning, the council approved payment of all October bills in the amount of over $500,000.00.  This includes payroll and all general and street expenditures.

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