Closure, controversy at Milledgeville meeting
By Janet Rail
The final meeting for Mayor Leland Alexander and the board of aldermen Monday ended with a heated discussion and controversy on several issues beginning with minutes from the last meeting. Alderman Dorothy Bridges stated, “It should be in these minutes.” The minutes of April 11 did not reflect the word culvert in relation to an issue on Hwy 69 and Smith Lane. The minutes were then approved with the addition as well as the financial report unanimously.
Crystal White, president of the Saddle Club, was asked to address the board during the April meeting. White presented the bylaws of the club and requested the board put in a water meter for use of the club at an estimated cost of $350. Mayor Alexander stated he would like to see a cap put on the water source, the cut off, so that it could be locked to assure other persons could not use the water source inappropriately. “The group needs some volunteers,” continued the Mayor with mowing, etc.
In the past they had a water hydrant broken and resulted in the water running for an extended period of time without being cut off. A decision was deferred to the next mayor and board.
The saddle club stated they have new signage but have to install it. Alderman Don Johnson asked if the group would consider sponsoring a rodeo and White stated yes. There was discussion of a group out of Lexington who hosts rodeos and they would approach them. The mayor requested that the group assure that the group secure copies of insurance to prevent the city from additional liability.
Alderman Perry Smith discussed that they had sponsored a rodeo several years ago and made a small amount of money after all payments were made. White stated the group plans to host shows on the 1st and 4th Saturdays of each month and information can be obtained at www.milledgevillesaddleclub.com.
The Phillip Matlock family requested action from the board regarding neighbors that have children on 4-wheelers and motorcycles who are destroying property and riding all hours of the night. It was reported that this was turned over to the Sheriff’s department and they had taken action and the mayor was served to testify in court on a pending case.
The mayor reported that the Baptist Church had shut down and the people that owned the church have asked if the city would be willing to let them donate it to them.
“We have gone through all we need to go through to assure everything is legitimate on it. There was one question the attorney needed to discuss with the owner about. The attorney has the deed drawn up and as sure as we get the deed in hand, the church will belong to the city,” said the mayor.
“We plan to try to put a community center in it and plan on maybe two Saturday nights a month bluegrass and gospel music in the building. We will try to get some activities started but we will have to buy some chairs. The pews were taken but were not supposed to be, but we will have to put some effort into making it a center,” the mayor said. The city has estimated the utilities and insurance to include in the pending budget for 2011-12.
“Leland, I did not know one thing about this building and anything that was taking place. Someone asked me about it and I told them I had no idea about it. It would be good if you would bring the board in on it,” stated Alderman Bridges. “The document is with the attorney and we do not have a clear title to bring before the board,” stated the Mayor.
It became a heated discussion and Alderman Smith put a motion on the table to vote on whether or not to consider the donation of the church. The vote was ultimately tabled.
“Why would the city complain about someone giving them a $40,000 building? When it comes to us with a clear deed the only costs to the city will be to have the deed recorded and we a family request to have a sign to honor Dr. M.O. Ross,” said the mayor.
“Well, I don’t know either, stated Smith. “Because I am going to vote for it.”
“I am not saying I would vote for it or not. To me it is a church,” stated Bridges.
“We need all the specifics on it,” stated Alderman Johnson.
Children at play signs were ordered and to be placed on Ellis Road. The state repaired the culvert at 69 N and Smith Lane.
Fire trucks passed the pump test and hose test with no problem.
The board passed the first reading of the 2011-12 budget unanimously.
The culvert on the North Road washed out and a replacement culvert has been ordered. The repairs on the road will cost approx $3,500.
The board voted on a salary increase for the mayor of an additional $25 to total $100 month and $50 per month for the city recorder to total $125 month to be effective July 1. A vote was called with 4 in favor and two against Bridges and Johnson.
“I don’t think we should raise the mayor and recorder and not the aldermen,” stated Bridges.
After heated discussion, and review that the alderman’s salary increased a couple of years ago from $10 to $20 per month, when Johnson slammed the desk asking all to calm down and ultimately left the meeting.
Alderman Smith asked to address the board for a final time.
“I’ve loved serving this town and proud to serve on this board and you can call on me anytime. I started serving after my granddaddy left his position in 91-92,” he said.