By Sherri Blevins
On Monday, September 3, the Rainsville City Council met for its work session and by-monthly meeting. Pam Simpson, Dekalb County Circuit Clerk, addressed the council during the work session to explain the role of the circuit clerk and express her thanks to the council for their cooperation with the system. She explained that the circuit clerk’s office serves as the “hub” of the court system. All court filings from police officers, sheriffs, attorneys, and judges pass through the circuit clerk’s office to be processed. The main responsibility of the circuit clerk is to manage the money for the court system. Millions of dollars pass through the system each year, and it is the clerk’s job to make sure it is handled correctly and meets the auditors’ specifications. Simpson also wanted to thank the Rainsville City Council and city court system for their help with court costs which helps to supplement the salaries of needed court employees.
Betty Holcomb, the city accountant, presented the council with a proposed budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. She related the proposed budget is just a starting place for the council to work with before creating the final budget. She stated that this year she was able to get input from the different department heads concerning their specific needs. There is an increase this year in revenue of three percent resulting in a $70,000.00 surplus. She advised the council that if they chose to give a three percent cost of living raise to the city employees, it would be approximately $63,000.00 still leaving an additional surplus of $7,000.00.
Mayor Lingerfelt thanked Holcomb for the presentation and asked the councilmen to look over the proposal during the next two weeks. He also urged them to contact him if they had any suggested changes. The budget will be voted on at the next council meeting. In addition, Lingerfelt informed the public of the progress of the George Wallace Street Bridge Replacement. He reported that the Watts Company will raise the bridge, add steel under it, and replace the pads on Tuesday. Chert will then be added, and the bridge will possibly be opened to the public at week’s end. After a couple of months to let the chert settle, the bridge area will then be paved.
The Rainsville Fire Chief announced that fire safety will be highlighted in the month of October and explained that the city is still under a burn order from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management. ADEM issues this order each year between the months of May and October to protect the air quality. The Rainsville Police Chief then reminded the public of the free Sexual Harassment and Rape Prevention Class that will take place Saturday, September 8. Contact the police station for an application and more information regarding the class.
The council then conducted its regular meeting. Lingerfelt called roll and the council then approved the minutes from the last meeting. The following items were next acted upon by the council:
• Approved hiring Eli’s Tree Service at a cost of $3,800.00 to clear trees on the right of way adjoining the Chavies Bridge so power and phone utility work can be completed for the new bridge project
• Agreed to interview and hire a new sanitation truck driver at a starting pay of $13.43 per hour for the sanitation department
• Empowered the mayor to work with the DeKalb County Commission on a dump truck purchasing program to purchase and sell needed city dump trucks at a savings
• Accepted the resignation of Police Officer Anthony Austin due to family issues effective 09/10/2018
• Approved paying $1,500.00 to the Rainsville Fire Department for Fire Prevention Safety Week in October.
The council agreed to pay the bills and the meeting was adjourned.