The Greenville Town Council met for their regular meeting on Monday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m. During the meeting, two public hearings were held for proposed ordinance 236 and ordinance 237. Town Manager Tim Day did the second reading of Proposed Ordinance 236 and Ordinance 237. Day explained that the town's sewer plant is obsolete and a new system must be put in. The project itself for Phase 2, construction of the plant, would cost about $638,000, but $354,000 would be covered by a zero interest rate loan. Debt forgiveness will cover approximately $284,000. However, to afford the monthly debt payments water and sewer rates would go up every month by $1.50. There are currently 581 total accounts within water and sewer for both commercial and residential. The town would have this obligation for a total of 30 years. The cost of living would also go up by 2.5 percent. The board approved the second reading, and then the floor opened up for public input; many members of the public were concerned about the cost of living rate increase and were confused as to why there needed to be an increase in water and sewer fees when the sewer system only serves about 160 people. There was also a concern with the time frame of the cost of living.
Councilmember Calvin Malone reminded the public that the increase isn't much. “We can't hope to grow by standing with our hands out asking for grants,” said Malone. “This is our town. We should take charge.” Mayor Barbara Dansey agreed with Malone, informing the public that the cost of living rate increase wouldn't be forever and won't take effect until Oct. 2016. “I'm a person to move forward,” said Vice Mayor Elesta Pritchett. “I'm for [the ordinance].” Ultimately, both ordinances were approved by the council, 4-1. Both FDOT grants for the paving of Grand Street and Main Street were also approved. Item #5 on the agenda covered an engineering service agreement with Hatch Mott MacDonald Florida LLC for CDBG Sewer Plant Phase 1 construction. This was approved 5-0. The next item on the agenda, item #6, invoice for Rowe Drilling Co., Inc. for sewer plant and piping was also approved. The cost of the sewer plant and piping totaled at $10,000. JC Fead of Public Works presented his department report and announced that, because of a wreck on 221 South, a fire hydrant was busted. It would cost $12,000 to replace both the hydrant and the water line, but before assessing the situation, the town needs to receive the police report from the accident. Morris Bell of the Recreation Board took to the podium next and thanked the council for their support.
“It's a pleasure to be working with the council and recreation board,” said Bell. He announced that the football league he started has been a great success. There are five honor roll students on the football team, and they will be moving forward to the League Championships in Madison. “[Bell] has done an awesome job,” said Day. “I'm proud of him. He's already lining up the activities for spring.” To conclude the meeting, Day had several announcements to make. The Town of Greenville has received $1.2 million in grant funding, and a gentleman contacted Day asking if his 10-acre property could be burned down. Day announced that the gentleman offered to pay $6,000 to the town, but the council members discussed the issue among themselves and asked to see the legal aspects of the request first. A Family Dollar is going to be put in place of the old convenience store on U.S. Hwy 90. Day informed the council that a site plan should be available next meeting. The next item on Day's list brought much discussion. Day asked the council members to approve a non-recurring $700 supplement for all those employed by the town by Nov. 15. There are approximately seven town employees. Day recommended that the payment be approved of, as many of the employees of the town are always putting extra work into their jobs outside of work hours. If the supplement was approved, there would be no Christmas bonus for the selected employees and the funds would not affect the town's budget.
Malone and Councilmember Kovachevich Arnold were both concerned about the extra costs and requested further discussion, but Councilmember Alphonso Young disagreed, stating that there wasn't anything else to be discussed. “[The employees] get out there and do what they need to do,” said Young. “They kick butt more than we do!” Ultimately, the supplement was approved 3-2, with Malone and Young voting against. With that, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held on Monday, Dec. 14 at 6 p.m.