Council accepts EDC offer, Murdock to receive $600 per month

The Italy City Council accepted an offer from the Economic Development Corporation for June, July and August at its monthly meeting Monday evening. At a recent meeting, the EDC voted to give $1,000 per month for three months to the city for the reimbursement for supplies and support staff from the city.
John Droll, council member, tried unsuccessfully, to reduce that amount. He wanted the EDC to use as much of that money as possible toward economic development.

The Council approved a contract with the EDC and David Miracle to set a strategic plan in place with community leaders.

The Council also approved the additional salary of $600 per month to Teri Murdock, city secretary/administrator for her services to the EDC. She told the board that she spends approximately 20 hours per month preparing packets for meetings and attending monthly meetings. Murdock told the council that serving as secretary for the EDC was not in her job description as city secretary/administrator.

In other business, the council voted to install a three-way stop sign at the intersection of Seay Road and South Ward Street. The city received a petition signed by 19 individuals requesting the stop signs due to the excessive speeds driven on South Ward Street.

The council also approved the purchase of two new police cars for the department. Police Chief C.V. Johns said he has two vehicles – a 2001 and 2003 that have high miles and are having mechanical issues. He presented the council a bid for $30,149 for two 2009 vehicles but he has opted to wait until August and purchase 2010 vehicles. Rodney Guthrie, council member, made the motion to purchase the vehicles on a 36-month agreement at 5% annual interest rate. The first payment is deferred for 14 months. Vehicle delivery is expected in late October 2009.

During department reports, Johns said the department had 136 calls for service in June. Officers worked 1,167 hours during the month. The code enforcement officer responded to nine complaints and issued warnings on eight of those complaints. The officer issued 18 citations and 12 verbal/written warnings in June.

Brad Chambers, public works director, said his crew had a water break on Friday causing the city to issue a boil order for all citizens using city water. The city sent samples off Monday morning and results are expected after lunch on Tuesday. He also indicated that the road construction on Park and Poplar Streets are approximately 95% complete. He said the contractor plans on coming back in to smooth up any rough surfaces on those two streets.

Murdock said she attended a sales tax seminar in Mesquite recently. She has also met with Brazos Technology. They sell ticket readers that allow an officer to scan a driver’s license rather than writing that information out by hand. She said this helps prevent any error in transcribing information from the driver’s license. She added that air cards have been purchased for the police department computers and should be in place within two weeks.

The fire department received 17 calls to service last month.

The municipal court filed 416 citations form the police department and cleared 20 warrants. There are approximately 850 citations pending from 2005 and back.

Prior to adjournment, Mark Souder Sr., council member, commended the city crew for their work Friday in repairing the water leak. He said, “Those guys were jumping through hoops and didn’t miss a beat.”

Mayor Frank Jackson also thanked the employees for working together as they did. He also announced a brush clean up day set for Saturday, July 18, from 8 a.m. until 2 p.m. at the city water barn. He said those bringing brush must have a city water bill in their possession.

There will be a grand opening at the park on College Street Monday, July 20, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.