The Clinton City Council met in open session November 7. A public hearing regarding variances in the ordinance at Gerhart Industrial Park was held from 5:45 pm to the opening of the council meeting (6 pm). Councilwoman Debbie Smith was absent.
The regular meeting was initiated with the recital of the Pledge of Allegiance; the previous meeting’s minutes were approved. Reports were heard from Chamber Director David Lee and Economic Development Director Mark Dawson.
Director Lee’s report for the Clinton Chamber included reporting several new members and multiple business anniversaries. He commented about the fourth year of the “$150 to get $25” program at the chamber wherein a person can purchase multiple amounts of chamber gift certificates and get extra certificates (with limits). Lee reported that Cook Tractor celebrated its 65 year anniversary and also commented on the grand opening for the Henry County Health Center (new location on Third Street).
The snowflakes are up and lit along Ohio and Second Streets, too – largely with the help of CHS and CCA students’ re-bulbing efforts.
Window Clings with QR codes are starting to appear in business windows, too. Pointing your smartphone at one with the camera app open will take you to the City of Clinton app where a few surprises will greet the participant.
Director Lee reminded folks that the Christmas Parade will be the night after Thanksgiving (as is traditional) and this year the upgraded lights will “dance to the music.” Be sure to be there.
Economic Development Director Dawson reported there were three “in town visits” by various potential businesses: one of those is a start up and “has a good business plan.” “Project Taco” is one potential business which would utilize locally grown products for their product.
“It is a diverse group of people,” said Dawson about the folks working to get the business off the ground. “I’d say there is about a 60% chance it will start.”
Other project activity included: Project Diversified, Project Graduate (on hold), Project Custer, and Project Sprocket. “There are several [projects] in the works and a wide variety of them,” said Dawson. He hopes to get a few more before the year’s end so the numbers from previous years can be topped.
Councilman Cameron Jackson gave the Parks and Rec report: two baskets for the disc golf course (at Artesian) have been moved and “no trespassing” signs have been purchased. This is in response to previous problems with properties that adjoin the Artesian Park disc golf course. The Hurt Park renovations are on pace: the door closures have been installed, the old slide removed, and the horseshoe pit has been revamped. At Antioch Park, the city is waiting on the contractor to blade and install the rock roadway and plans for the concrete work are being made.
The boiler building at the Aquatic Center is nearing completion: the plumbing was recently installed. A walk-through at the Artesian Pool pool house was scheduled to get a list of the remaining problems there.
At Waste Water: the recent repair on one of the rotors at the plant did not work and another rotor is showing signs of having problems, too.
The issue with the manhole at the Westbridge Inn (the manhole was covered by a building sometime in the past) is being resolved. For now, a dye test is going to be run to determine who else uses the line there which will lend to determining a solution for the problem (move the building or manhole). A “jetting sewer schedule” is being developed which is, as Councilman Jackson put it, “essentially power washing the sewer lines.” It will involve creating ten sewer line zones and completing one zone per year. The hope is to fully clean the entire system every ten years.
The council approved the plat survey at Englewood which will add 3,940 grave spots to the cemetery. Councilman Jackson reported that the Community Development Director has sought the assistance of Whitehead Associates to produce a survey in regards to the right-of-way at 701 South Orchard Street (because of a fence located there). Also, Street Superintendent TJ Williams is evaluating current mowing locations for the City of Clinton and will be recommending a plan for the 2024 season. The council approved the concrete bid from Do-Rite Construction for the Commerce Drive extension project (amount of $681,000); the Henry County Commission agreed via intergovernmental agreement to contribute $100,000 of that. Councilman Jackson also reported the city has been notified it will be receiving $120,000 in grant monies for the Safety Plan and Supplemental Planning work – this is in regards to creating bike-lanes and more pedestrian friendly sidewalks in town.
The Public Safety report was given by Councilman Gene Henry. The council approved the purchase of 27 police radios (from A & W Communications) and the purchase of a new repeater tower for the total amount of $60,000. Captain John Scott, present at the council meeting, explained that the older police radios are not digital and the current police radios are at least 10 years old. He said the repeater is “at the end of its life cycle.” After discussing the budget items, Councilman Henry suggested the city use ARPA funds for the purchase, of which motion was approved.
Also, Councilman Henry reported a grant opportunity for the Clinton Fire Department. The grant (CIIEG) will allow the City of Clinton to use the purchase of the fire truck (about $1,000,000) towards the match of the potential grant amount. The idea, if the grant is awarded, is to use the money to construct a training facility for CFD.
The facility would allow for the potential training of other departments, too. The council approved the motion to advance the application for the grant.
Mayor Carla Moberly’s recommendations for the reappointment of Dan Wallce (to the Clinton Airport Board), and the reappointment of Troy Bohannan (to the Planning Commission) were both approved by the council.
City Administrator Christy Maggi reminded the council of the ground breaking event for the new airport terminal next week, and also hoped that an agreement for the SPSP grant might be in next week as well.
Unfinished business: the council held both readings for Bill No. 2023-36 (approving the replat of lots 11 and 13 at Gerhart Industrial Park). The approval for the request for variances at the industrial park were handled during the public hearing just before the council meeting proper.
New business for the council included the approval of a request for a street closure from Clinton Main street. The Clinton City Council entered closed session at 6:38 p.m.