Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Grayson City Council had a busy evening last Tuesday, passing three new ordinances, discussing library issues, and hearing and approving various department requests.
Two of the city’s ordinances, passed on second readings were simply amendments to existing law.
The first, an amendment to the city’s existing nuisance code, changed language to replace the term “city building inspector” with “code enforcement officer” throughout the ordinance to reflect that change to city administrative practices. It also replaces “city council” with “hearing board” in instances where property owners wish to appeal a violation. The changes also give authority to the fire chief to provide notice in cases of overgrown weeds or brush that might present a hazard and removes the authority of police officers, other than the chief of police, to provide such notice. It also grants the City Clerk, rather than City Treasurer, authority to suspend licenses to do business within the city in instance of code violation.
The second amended ordinance, related to hazardous materials cost recovery, increases the cost for equipment and personnel utilized in the event of a hazardous materials spill. Cost for use of the specialized response unit trailer was increased from $2,000 to $3,000 for the first eight hours of use, and from $200 to $300 per hour for every hour over. It also increases the cost for use of EM vehicles from $30 an hour to $100 an hour, the cost for on-scene personnel from $90 an hour to $125 an hour, and increases cost for use of the city’s mass decontamination system from $3,000 to $6,000, among other increased costs. These costs are charged to the business responsible for the hazardous materials spill. Similar increases were approved for use of fire equipment and personnel, emergency medical service, and law enforcement response.
The other item on the agenda was related to the annexation of “territory located on the south and west side of Interstate Drive.” Annexation of the 1.64 acres of land, which the ordinance states is “suitable for urban development,” was agreed to by all property owners.
In other action the council heard from new library director Matt Parsons, who asked the city to continue their financial support for the library while noting new library programs. Parsons told councilman Terry Stamper that he would be willing to discuss adding a county wide library tax to the ballot at some point in the future, but at present he is looking at securing already existing revenue streams and growing the library’s offerings through grants and other funding sources. Parsons also submitted the library’s recommendation for a new board member to be appointed by the Grayson City Council.
The city also discussed possible tuition reimbursement for city employees, tabling any action on the suggestion until the city can do more research related to cost.
“I think we ought to encourage education,” Mayor George Steele said.
But, he added, the city has to approach tuition reimbursement in a way they can afford to do.
Council also moved to dismiss a request from Primary Plus to place their sign in a city right-of-way, noting the precedent it would set and citing concerns related to visibility. Council also noted that if future growth includes road widening or the installation of a sidewalk, having the sign on city property could present other problems. Councilperson Pearl Crum abstained from the vote, and Bradley Cotton voted against dismissing the request, with all other councilpersons voting “aye” on the dismissal.
Council also moved to approve a request from Chief Travis Steele to approve selling 33 unclaimed cars in the city impound yard as a lot, rather than individually. Council moved to set a $2,500 reserve for the 33 vehicles, which must be sold at auction per the city’s ordinance. Chief Steele said he preferred to sell the vehicles as a lot rather than individually because many are suited only for scrap and the city needs to make space in the impound yard.
Council also moved to accept various department reports.
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