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Middlebourne Council Meets

By Staff | Mar 28, 2019

The Middlebourne Council held a regular meeting on March 11 at 6 p.m. at the city building. Mayor Steve Seago began the meeting by inviting Rosanne Eastham from the Tyler County Public Library in Middlebourne to speak with the quorum.

Eastham first thanked the council for having a levy which gives the library between $5,000 and $6,000 for books. Eastham explained this levy was supposed to have been passed in 1966, yet was only just recently passed five years prior. She then asked council for the same levy when the current one ends. Eastham said the library currently receives funding from other sources such as the Tyler County Board of Education, in the amount of $23,000; the county commission, which gives up to $5,000, and the state, which gives $18,000. However, Eastham explained the town is supposed to be the main source of funding as the library needs local funding to match the same amount from the state.

Eastham went on to say the library has continued to offer story hour to children, and she told council there is a book club available, as well as the Learning Express website – with college practice tests, and help with resumes. She also reported the library currently employs two substitutes and one part-time worker. The funds given from all entities help to support these things.

The council then discussed when the levy would need to be passed, as it would expire in 2020. It was decided it would be beneficial for all parties if it would run in the current election year. A motion was made to make a new five-year term for a levy for the library to be voted upon. This motion was later carried.

The council then thanked Eastham; Seago told her the town was fortunate to have her.

In other business, an update on the water project was then given. There was a resolution from Drawdown Seven, which covered one invoice for $141,741.70. This amount was said to cover store materials, work on the access road, site work, and work related to the generator pad. A motion was then made by one council member to pay this invoice, and it was quickly carried.

The next order of business was the reading of the previous minutes. All members of the council were supplied with a copy of these minutes, and a motion was made to approve of them. The motion was carried.

Following this was the Recorder’s Report. It was said the budget revisions approved in a previous council meeting were made; however, there was a mistake. It was explained the wrong amount was recorded, yet necessary changes were made. Paperwork detailing the arrangements were then provided for all members.

Council was informed there was an area which stated $20,000 was needed, yet these funds were already received from grants. It was said this change would be made as well.

In other matters, a meeting was set for Monday, March 25 at 6 p.m. to construct the budget for the next fiscal year. Town Manager Tena Lemasters also said council is required to meet on April 16 at 6 p.m. in order to officially lay the levy and budget.

The Treasurer’s Report was then provided to all council members, and it was said it was just an update for information. A motion was made to accept the report, and it was quickly carried.

Under Old Business was an update on the election. Lemasters reported two more individuals declined a position on the Middlebourne Council. It was also said two people have yet to accept or decline, and said they have until March 19 to do so.

Lemasters then reminded the council about the Uniform Drawing on April 2 at 10 a.m.

Following this information, the issue with the street lights on Main Street was discussed. In a previous meeting, the council spoke of concern over the street lights either not working or flickering on and off. An individual was contacted and was supposed to investigate the matter further. However, Seago reported he has yet to show up. As a result, Seago decided to order more bulbs in the meantime. When the new bulbs arrive, the mayor said the city workers would replace them. It’s council’s hope that this issue would be resolved within the week.

It was also said a water leak would be fixed within the same week as well, though the council was not sure where the leak was.

Under New Business, financial statement bids were discussed. Lemasters said an ad was published for people to bid to do financial statements for the audit. She reported there was only one bid in the amount of $1,600. She said she was satisfied with the work of this individual, and a motion was made to approve of the bid. The motion was quickly carried

The mayor then asked about the right-of-way discussed in a previous meeting. It was noted the property is not being purchased, only the rights. It was said there would be a second meeting coming up soon on this subject. A motion was made to accept this, and it was subsequently passed.

Seago then brought to the council’s attention an issue in regards to parking. He explained a “big truck” parks in front of an individual’s driveway every evening, which makes it hard for them to back their own vehicle out of their driveway. It was said the person with the truck refused to move the vehicle when asked. Seago suggested the city personnel paint the curb yellow in order to effectively make it impossible for this individual to park there. However, some council members disagreed with this notion. It was argued if they would do it for one person, they’d have to do it for others.

Discussion was held on this subject and the best way to resolve this matter. It was later decided to once again attempt to ask this individual to move his vehicle before taking further action.

In other business, a building permit was to be reviewed by the council. A motion was quickly made in order to issue this permit, and it was carried.

It was also said a contract was needed for the Middlebourne Volunteer Fire Department as the department is applying for a low-interest financing in order to secure a rescue truck for the station. One council member reported the fire department understands and has agreed to it as well. A motion was then made for the council to create a contract, and it was carried.

Immediately following this, a motion was made for the council to enter into an Executive Session.

The next regular Middlebourne Council meeting will be on April 8 at 6 p.m.