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Talk of drainage redirection and water infrastructure improvements flooded the regular meeting of Southwest City's board of aldermen on Tuesday, May 28.

Mayor David Blake announced that a special meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on June 4 at City Hall with representatives from the USDA who specialize in securing grants and loans for water infrastructure projects in rural communities.

"We are way overdue for an upgrade," Blake said.

Joyce Britton approached the council to speak about the flooding the Senior Center regularly experiences during the wet season. Britton provided photos of previous flooding along Academy and School streets. She said that, on May 1, water covered the parking lot and ran into the building -- which sits below grade.

Mayor Blake noted that the topography of the property directs water flow toward the building's entrance. He said the Commercial Club is responsible for maintenance such as this, but he agreed that something needed to be done.

"I don't know if we could ever truly fix the problem, and the city doesn't have funds to do so," he said. "It's not our building and not our problem when it comes to flooding."

Council members discussed a possible water diversion path that wouldn't interfere with the parking lot. Clark agreed to fix the washout of the lot.

Departmental Reports

Fire Chief Shane Clark reported the department responded to one traffic control call, four medical calls and five weather spotter calls.

Public Works Director Shane Clark reported the street department has cleared debris from several culverts around town, including Liberty Road, and removed a tree that had fallen across the walking trail at Blankenship Park.

Workers also got the concrete bathrooms at the ballpark in working order. The bathrooms currently have all the sinks mounted and toilets set, the only thing left to do is hook up the plumbing to the sinks and run electricity to the hand dryers.

The department hung a new banner on Main Street and replaced burned out light bulbs in the scoreboard at the ballpark as well.

Alderman Steve Reece noted a culvert on Mill Street was clogged, and Clark assured the council he would check on it.

Clark reported the water department made repairs at 524 Birkes Street and 509 Birkes Street. The council discussed removing a culvert along Highway 43 to prevent flooding and overflow.

Clark reported the wastewater department repaired the lift station at the park, removing another mop head.

Police Chief Bud Gow reported responding to three agency assists, filing two reports and resolving nine lock-outs. He said one of the reports filed was in regards to a travel-trailer stolen from a storage facility and the trailer has since been recovered in Newton County.

Gow also noted the department received a pair of Gen 3 night vision goggles from the Department of Defense. They are estimated at a $4,000 value and have already been put to use -- spotting severe weather fronts.

Gow reminded the council that a patrol vehicle is in need of new tires. The council voted to purchase four new tires at a cost of $545.

City Clerk Missy Zinn relayed a message from Joe Serda, of the Word of God Bible Ministries in Anderson. Serda inquired about holding a Christian tent revival at Blankenship Park during the month of July. The council voted to approve the revival.

Zinn said she was recently contacted by a company interested in buying the city's unused employee cell phones. Compensation would depend on the models of the phones and shipping would be covered. Chief Gow chimed in to note that the department has at least five unused phones that could be sold. The council agreed to further research the item.

KURM Radio contacted the council regarding 30-second advertisements to promote the 51st Annual Third of July Celebration. An individual spot costs $7 and 20 spots costs $120. The council voted to purchase 20 of the 30-second commercial spots.

Zinn also inquired about donating unpurchased Southwest City shirts or selling them to a local business at a discounted price. The council agreed to offer them as a donation to the library first and sell if unclaimed.

Assistant City Clerk Danielle Smith updated the council on her recent court clerk training. She noted the city needs to have a more strict separation of duties or the rural, municipal court will be taken over by the state. This would mean that the court fees collected by the city would be collected by the state and redistributed.

In other business, the council:

• Voted to sponsor the cost of worms for the kid's fishing derby, with a cap cost of $280;

• Approved a building permit for Craig Martin at 616 Honey Creek Drive. He will be adding 1,500 square feet to the home;

• Hired Jason Layermore as the newest street department employee.

General News on 06/06/2019

Print Headline: Drainage, Water Infrastructure Tops SWC Council Discussion

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