The Town of Anderson
October 13, 2016
Members Present: Gail Sowell, Mayor, Alderwoman Erna Freeman, Alderwoman Karen McDuffie, Alderman Joe Boudreaux
Anderson Attorney: Michael R. Casaretto
Interim Scribe: Susan Boudreaux
Visitors Present: Cindy Bell, Susan Boudreaux, Louise Sanders, Ken Sanders, Clint Capps, Erika DND, Kyle Childress, Brandon Belinowski, Ricky Bernard, and Daryl Alford
The meeting was called to order by Mayor Sowell at 7:00 P.M. A quorum was established.
Pledges were recited.
Invocation was given by Mr. Ken Sanders.
Public Comments were given. Daryl Alford asked the members about the flowerbeds on Main Street. He wanted to know if more mulch was going to be put in them. Erna Freeman noted that she has spoken to the landscaper who will mulch, replant, and clean out the beds. He will also trim the plants. This should be done within the next month to six weeks.
Mr. Sanders thanked the council for its swift action in getting the property near his house cleaned up and the grass mowed. Mayor Sowell asked Mr. Sanders to let the council know if the grass gets too high again since the house is now vacant. The property owner will be notified to mow it if that happens.
Clint Capps discussed the abandoned house next to him. He said that it appears that the inhabitants have “walked away” and left the house in disarray. Mr. Casaretto will try to determine who actually owns the property and to see if there is a forwarding address. The council will pursue trying to find the owners.
The public comments were concluded and the minutes of the meeting of Thursday, September 29, 2016 were read and considered for approval. There were no corrections recommended. There was no discussion. A motion to approve the minutes was made by Joe Boudreaux. The motion was seconded by Erna Freeman. The motion was approved.
Mayor Sowell noted that Carolyn Ashorn of the First National Bank of Anderson was unable to attend the meeting as planned. A discussion was to have been about fixing the road in front of the new bank building on Buffington and Austin streets. Erna Freeman recommended that a proposal for the work be brought to the council. She will talk with the Malek Brothers, the contractor.
Rickey Bernard of the Anderson Water Company gave a monthly report and discussed an increase in pay for services. For his quarterly report, he noted that there were new sewer taps requested for the bank and for Shawn Stuart. He noted he emailed the town prior to the sewer tap installation for the bank. In the future, any application for a new sewer tap will go before the council for approval before installation. Additionally, Mr. Bernard will report on activity once every thirty days to the council. Mayor Sowell noted that this might cause delay in getting the taps approved if it is only done every thirty days. She did note that the council is looking for a secretary who will be able to process the applications weekly.
Mr. Bernard noted that the city water testing was on schedule and that there had not been any problems with/or bad results with the water. He stated that he did not foresee any issues.
Mayor Sowell noted that she had met with Jones & Carter officials and the construction managers for a preconstruction meeting. Mr. Bernard noted that the 200 AMP power pole had been left off the blue prints. He has talked with Entergy and he was told it would be an additional cost to move the transformer to accommodate the pole. Mr. Casaretto noted that he thought that had been discussed previously. Additional costs should be presented to the council for approval.
Mr. Bernard proposed an increase in pay for services. He noted that the $300 the town is currently paying has been in place since 1999. He proposed $200 per month more for generating the water bills (for a total of $500 per month). The council will discuss the proposal in executive session.
The discussion of the town clerk applicants and mowing maintenance applicants will be discussed out of agenda order.
The Council discussed entering into agreement with the Grimes County Appraisal District for tax assessment and collection for 2017. A motion to approve the contract was made by Erna Freeman. The motion was seconded by Joe Boudreaux. With no further discussion, the motion was approved.
The Council discussed joining CETA for 2016/2017. The yearly fee is $160.00. The approval should have been done by September 30, 2016 but the Council can approve joining CETA at this time. A motion was made by Joe Boudreaux to approve joining CETA for 2016/2017 and paying the $160.00 fee. The motion was seconded by Carol DeBose.
Mayor Sowell discussed the upcoming Trunk or Treat event that will occur on October 29, 2016. She noted that the Council had previously determined that the event was to be free for all and that there would be no vendors allowed. She further noted that there had been further requests that vendors be allowed. Pastor Kyle Childress asked to speak and was given permission. He noted that the Anderson Baptist Church would like to be able to charge for the Bouncy House, food concessions, and other enterprises. He noted that the church has expended at least $2000 per year on Trunk or Treat and would like to recoup their expenses. He noted that the event has grown and that it is very difficult for the church members to continue to donate what is required without charging. Mayor Sowell noted that the event is a gift that the town gives to the community and has traditionally been free of any charges to families. Erna Freeman suggested that a committee could be formed to help work on proposals for next year’s event. Volunteers were asked for and Erna Freeman, Gail Sowell, Daryl Alford, and Kyle Childress will serve on the committee.
The Council was asked to approve payment of invoices that are currently due and payable. A motion was made by Erna Freeman and seconded by Joe Boudreaux to approve payment of current invoices. The motion was approved.
The Council discussed the town clerk applicants and mowing maintenance applicants. Erna Freeman and Gail Sowell noted that there were two applicants who were interviewed for the position of Town Secretary. They noted that the position requires that the person work on Tuesday and Thursday with a starting salary of $15.00 per hour. After interviewing both applicants, Erna Freeman recommended that Cynthia Olivieri be hired for the position. Joe Boudreaux asked Mayor Sowell if that was her choice since she must work the closest with whoever is hired. Mayor Sowell indicated that would be her recommendation. Erna Freeman made the motion that Cynthia Olivieri be hired for the position of Town Secretary. The motion was seconded by Joe Boudreaux. Karen McDuffie asked if Mary Bostelman could be considered to return to her old position. Erna Freeman stated that Mary Bostelman had been certain that she wanted to spend more time with her grandchildren. Karen McDuffie stated that she would agree to the recommendation. The motion was approved.
The Council discussed mowing maintenance applicants. Brandon Belinowski was present to ask questions of the Council about the scope of the job. Michael Casaretto noted that the scope of the job may change as new properties are added. Mr. Belinowski asked if he could have the opportunity to see the properties and to determine what was needed to be done. Erna Freeman noted that the job may first need to be paid hourly because there may be more that needs to be done first, and then it could be changed to a monthly fee once all the properties have been properly cleaned. It was recommended by Michael Casaretto that this item be revisited next month and put on the November 10, 2016 agenda.
Members entered into Executive Session at 8:10 P.M. and re-entered open session at 8:38 P.M.
Upon re-entry, a motion was made by Karen McDuffie to raise the water company fee increase from $300.00 per month to 500.00 per month. The motion was seconded by Carol DeBose. There was no further discussion and the motion was approved.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:40 P.M.
______________________________ Attest: ______________________________
Mayor Mayor Pro-Tem