The Town Council held a regular meeting at the Eagles building on 9th St on 1/18/2018 at 7pm.
Members Dave Taylor, Lindsay Washmuth, Deb Wainscott, Tony Pearson were present, neither Michael Cates nor Bill Byer (Town attorney) were in attendance.
Lindsay Washmuth (Vice President) began a lengthy discussion on the parking ordinances by explaining that people had been interpreting the "word of the law and not the spirit of the law".
She read out the residential/recreational and commercial parking ordinances and clarified some concerns and addressed some misconceptions residents had expressed over the wording of these ordinances.
- Recreation vehicles such as RVs can be parked in your driveway, in a side yard, rear yard or under an enclosure BUT they should not be parked on the street.
- If you do park such vehicles on the street you are allowed a period of 72hrs per 30 days to load/unload said vehicle.
The Council also clarified that what they consider a commercial vehicle does not include work trucks, it was intended to be for larger vehicles such as box trucks or 18 wheelers.
The Council added that School buses should not be considered commercial vehicles.
The rules are in place for safety reasons and to allow emergency vehicles to travel town streets without impediment.
The Town Council will get with the Planning Board to have the definition of Commercial vehicle added to the ordinances or the ordinance itself clarified, with the Town Council then voting to approve the change.
A brief discussion was held about additional ways to inform residents with the idea of an email mailing list or newsletter touted as a possible method beyond the existing Facebook page and the Website. Nothing was decided.
The Town Council then elected Deb Wainscott as Council President for 2018 and Tony Pearson as Vice President for 2018.
Bill Byer will be retained as Town Attorney.
The Town Council discussed coming up with an ordinance to lower the speed limit on 700 South to 45mph due to deteriorating road conditions, and will ask Bill Byer to write the ordinance. Additional signage may also be added for "rough pavement" signs or similar.
The Town Council discussed and dismissed the idea of switching the control of the Town storm sirens back to Madison County. In the interests of public safety as Hamilton County is usually hit by storms before Madison County.
The Town Council approved paying USDI around $17,000 to install gas lines at the latest Montgomery Farms additions. The Town Utility department could not install these lines themselves due to specialist equipment that was needed.
The Town Council agreed to an on-call contract with RQAW to cover day to day needs for engineering and assistance with infrastructure.
RQAW will request bids for Community Crossing grant road projects, with the bids expected to be back and opened at the February 15th Town Meeting.
Discussions on an Attendance policy for Town Employees was tabled until February.
Council members agreed that common sense needs to be applied to allowing authorized passengers in Town vehicles. Washmuth reiterated her "word of the law, not the spirit of the law" statement from earlier in the meeting. People doing work for the Town, or assisting on Town projects should be allowed to ride in Town vehicles. As should emergency personnel.
Gary Shuck (Planning Board President) thought the Town may have to consider raising its planning budget in the future, as there are a lot of projects coming along the SR13 corridor and some may need the assistance of consultants. There may also be a future need to hire a full-time building inspector.
The drainage issue at Bulldog Park is expected to cost around $10,000 to fix and RQAW will seek contractors to complete the work at a Town Council approved value not to exceed $12,000.
The fix could involve re-grading, installing some new drain pipe and tying into an existing drain on the north side of the property.