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Greenville Town Council discusses major plant improvements

The Greenville Town Council came together at Town Hall for their monthly meeting on Monday, Oct. 19 at 6 p.m. To start off the meeting, the minutes for the special session meetings held Sep. 16 and Sep. 21, along with the minutes from the final public hearing and final budget/millage rate held Sep. 28, were approved. The first item up for discussion on the agenda was the discussion and possible approval of a contract with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity for a Community Block Grant to construct Phase I Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements. “It's been a long time coming, but we finally have a contract ready for the town to consider approval for a $600,000 CDBG grant for constructing Phase I of the proposed new [sewage] plant,” said Grants Consultant Jim Parrish. “There's still some conditions within the contract to finish, but we're working on those now.” The contract was approved by the board. Town Manager Tim Day thanked Parrish before moving on to the next item on the agenda. “I just want to first thank Jim for all [he's] done,” said Day. “If there was ever a time the town needed it [the contract], it needs it right now.”

Day also welcomed Town Attorney Clay Schnitker back to Greenville. Day took to the podium to conduct the first reading of the proposed ordinance for the town of Greenville, amending Section 2 of Ordinance 206 to increase certain fees for water use; providing for severability; providing for repeal of conflicting ordinances; and providing an effective date. Day informed the board that this ordinance would increase water fees by $1.50 a month this year. This fee increase will fund 45 percent of the new plant. The cost of living will also go up by 2.5 percent in Nov. 9, 2016 after the ordinance is adopted at the next meeting on Monday, Nov. 9. “I just want everyone to know that I am never opposed to increasing rates,” said Councilmember Calvin Malone. “We should remain independent from the government. We're in better shape than most communities and we should stay that way.”

Parrish announced that the construction of the new sewage plant would begin in the first quarter of next year if the town was approved for a $600,000 loan from the DEP along with the CDBG grant. The loan from the DEP will cover approximately 55 percent of the costs of the sewage plant with zero interest at a 30 year term. The total cost of both Phase I and II of the sewage plant construction will be between $1.1 million to $1.2 million. Day introduced the next item for discussion, the first reading of proposed ordinance amending Section 4 of Ordinance No. 184 to increase certain fees for sewer use; providing for severability; providing for repeal of conflicting ordinances; and providing an effective date. Like water fees, sewage rates will also be increased by $1.50 a month beginning this year. This ordinance introduction was approved by the council.

Both ordinances will be up for further discussion during the public hearing that will be held at the Nov. 9 meeting. The last item on the agenda was the closure of Grand Street from 221 South to SW Broad Street for Greenville Baptist Church's Trunk or Treat event on Oct. 31 from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. The council approved this road closure. Public Works Supervisor JC Fead presented the Public Works report to the council, informing the board that the only Public Works project underway is the plant. “That plant is really starting to go,” said Fead. There is significant damage to the wells. Because it is mounted on the outside wall of the plant, the control panel of the plant is damaged. Day reported that the control panel itself would cost $12,000. “You can't just have anybody working on the plant,” said Fead. “You need to be top-notch to work on the plant system.” Day mentioned to the council that insurance does not help with the damage of the plant. “I've never seen such a dog and pony show,” said Day. “We pay almost $28,000 a year for insurance.” Affidavits from the repair team of the plant were also filed.

“I'm on it, but I thought we would have had [a better time],” said Day. Councilmember Malone requested that he see the new design of the plant once it's implemented to look for any adjustments that might be needed, as the current plant obviously has some flaws. Malone also added that, with all the education they have obtained over the years, engineers should not be producing faulty designs. After discussion about the plant died down, Day told the council that the town was approved for a $144,000 grant from the Florida Department of Transportation for the paving of Grand Street, and he is currently waiting on the next grant for Main Street. “We're gonna be able to move this along pretty quickly,” said Day. Schneitker received the grant details from Day and will be working on a resolution to approve the grant money.

Schnitker then thanked the council for hiring him. “I'm looking forward to working with you,” said Schneitker. Town Clerk Kim Reams finished off the meeting with the announcement that she has all of the education needed to get a degree in municipal court. “It won't be long 'till I'll be a certified municipal clerk,” said Reams. “That is very important for this town,” said Day about Ream's designation. “I think she will be the first city clerk to have that designation.” After Reams was congratulated and the applause settled down, the meeting was adjourned. The next meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 9 at 6 p.m.

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