Council meeting gets heated

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SALYERSVILLE – The Salyersville City Council met in special session, passing the budget and discussing the upcoming Fourth of July celebration.

While discussing the bills, Salyersville Mayor James “Pete” Shepherd explained that they are now invoiced weekly for Action Petroleum and while the totals may look like a lot, he estimated the city’s monthly savings between $1,200 and $1,500 in gas. He told the council that Salyersville Water Works uses the services, as well, and then pays the city back, and he’s offered the same arrangement for the Salyersville/Magoffin Joint Housing Authority.

“Everyone needs to save money right now,” Shepherd said.

The council approved to pay the bills, with only Councilman Tommy Bailey voting against the action.

They held the second reading of the 2018-2019 fiscal year budget, accepting Mayor Shepherd proposal for a $1.58 million budget. While making the motion to pass the budget, Councilman Jeff Bailey explained that they can amend the budget at any time. The budget passed in a roll-call vote with all in favor except Tommy Bailey.

The council also adopted a resolution to enter into a municipal road aid agreement, which will take out 3 percent of their road fund each month, then be usable for emergency road funding. Whatever is not spent out of the fund will be rolled over, and it is an agreement the city has been a part of previously.

Tommy Bailey also voted against this resolution, which he had voted in favor of in the previous meeting.

Like they did last year, the council agreed to keep a $60,000 line of credit open with Salyersville National Bank, which will be repaid when they receive tax revenue in the fall.

Mayor Shepherd explained that in addition to keeping it open in case their funds get too low before the tax money comes in, he said he also wants to blacktop approximately 500 feet of College Heights, as well as the entrance of Allen Drive and the entrance of the Bluegrass Cemetery. He said one of the bigger expenses they will have to pay is the car lease payment in July (at the beginning of the fiscal year before any money has come in), and the line of credit can alleviate that, plus he feels they will be able to handle the blacktopping costs. All voted in favor to keep open the line of credit except Tommy Bailey.

While talking about road repairs, Mayor Shepherd explained that the Emergency Watershed Project has come in and taken pictures of Coal Branch, and if they agree to do the project, they will fix it correctly at no cost to the city, explaining that it’s now in Frankfort waiting on a decision. He said there are roughly five places that need dug out and new baskets and culverts put in, which will be costly. 

Mayor Shepherd also noted that they do have mosquito tablets for people with standing water near their homes and that the mosquito sprayer will be here later this week.

When asked about the timeline for the blacktopping, Shepherd said Mountain Enterprises had given them a good deal on the projects but was a little bit behind with the Parkway construction, but it will be done as soon as possible. 

Tommy Bailey said he was glad to see the projects happening, but insinuated a correlation between the progress and the election.

“If I don’t do it before the election, it may not get done,” Shepherd said. “Now we’ve got one of the guys running that put the city in this shape, and you were on the council when that all happened, so I don’t want to hear it. I’ve worked really hard – this council has worked really hard – to make this city what it is. Yes, I’m running for mayor to keep the city going where it’s going.”

Mayor Shepherd continued the meeting by noting the Fourth of July activities slated for this weekend, which are listed on the front page of this week’s paper.

Since the Josephs cannot attend this year due to a previous commitment, he said they did have to cancel the street dance, but he said there will be music at the City Park, noting to watch Your News Today for updates later in the week.

Shepherd said the fireworks will cost between $8,500 and $9,500, depending on if they want the grand finale, but he said he would rather do it right, opting for the better package.

In other news, a meeting is coming up with the League of Cities regarding how cities can legally deal with abandoned properties. Shepherd said there is a realty sign in front of the old nursing home building, though. That property is one of the reasons why they are interested in finding legal solutions for how to deal with abandoned or unkept properties. 

Mayor Shepherd said they are almost finished with the new flower box at the entrance of Coal Branch, commending David “Bear” May on the project. He said they will be painting curbs and crosswalks later this week.

Keeping with the pattern of the rest of the meeting, when the council adjourned, all voted to end the meeting except Tommy Bailey.

The next regularly-scheduled Salyersville City Council Meeting is tentatively slated for Monday, July 16 at 7 p.m.