In a called meeting on Tuesday night the Italy City Council voted unanimously to accept Jimmy Hyles resignation from the council. Hyles resignation was effective August 22, 2008 and cited personal reasons.
“I thank Jimmy for the time he served,” said Mayor Frank Jackson.
The council also unanimously approved a resolution accepting the Sanitary Sewer Collection System Improvements for Phase 3 and Phase 4. Chris Metz, Interim Public Works Director, said that an inspection had been done of all areas and there were very few hiccoughs and the contractors had come quickly to take care of them. The only thing left to complete was to fill pot holes on Taylor Street which would be done in the near future.
“As long as Chris is satisfied, I think we should approve the resolution,” Council member Rodney Guthrie stated.
The council held a 45 minute discussion regarding employee health care. Quotes from four companies were discussed including the current carrier, Blue Cross Blue Shield. United and Humana were less expensive, but the coverage was not as good and the deductibles were higher.
“We may be able to get the premium lowered if we scratch maternity coverage,” Kandy Hubert told the council. “It could save $10 to $20 per month per employee.” This could be a savings of $3,000 to $4,800 per year.
“That is just a drop in the bucket,” said Jackson.
The council voted unanimously to stay with Blue Cross Blue Shield and retain the maternity coverage.
In a work session following the called meeting, the council discussed the $1,163,983 general budget and the $1,247,700 water/sewer budget.
“The meter change out program needs to come to the forefront,” said Metz. “I would like to change them all out as soon as possible. We are losing a lot of water with the old meters. Our water loss rate is 26% which might be a miscalculation or due to meters miscalculating water usage. All the new meters come pre-tested and register 97% to 98%. With the new meters, we would sell more water and increase our revenue.”
Metz reported that Brad Chambers, the current crew chief, has applied with East Texas Ambulance and will go for a two week orientation. If hired, he would be leaving full time employment with the city, but he said it might be possible that Brad would work part time for the City of Italy.
Metz explained that there had been some previous coding errors so the figures in the 2008/2009 budget had been adjusted for that. He also stated that David Bowman is paid $1500 per month to monitor the waste water treatment plant. Metz said he would like for himself and another employee to seek their certifications so the monitoring could be done in house which would alleviate the need for Bowman. This might be possible within one to two years.
The council plans one more work session before approving the 2008/2009 budget.
by Jack on Wednesday, September 3, 22:09
Who is this new public works director?!…Does he have a clue? Do we really want to lose another good worker for the city? The only one that knows what he is doing? I see the new guy Chris riding around in the city jeep all day…Spending the citys money like crazy…From what I hear… I know he has experience..At what spending our money?!!!Get up and Make sure the job is getting done right!!Like Souder did…Isnt he on probation?? Why is he spending so much of our money? Chris you need to find a new job..Things were going good for our little town…Now im not so sure.!.Brad please stay we need someone that cares about our city!!!
by Italy1 on Thursday, September 4, 12:51
I for one, know Brad Chambers, and know that the he wants what is best for this city. I do not blame him for keeping his options open in a time like this. Everything down at city hall is in limbo. We have two interims as department heads. I believe that he would have been a solid and obvious choice for the interim PW position. Someone that knows the city and the way everything is ran, rather than someone that wants to come in with his own ideas and run things from behind a desk. We need a working public works director, whoever it shall be. Has anyone ever even seen this guy? This town is too small to pay someone $40k a year for this position if he isn’t going to get out and work. It seems to me that a secretary could handle his part of the job….it looks like the crew is doing it alone anyways. This is just my opinion!!