Climax City Council discusses ways to decrease expenses, increase revenue

Published 4:42 pm Friday, November 21, 2014

Eighteen residents attended the Public hearing held in Climax City Hall on Nov. 10 at 6 p.m. to discuss increasing revenues and decreasing expenses for the city.

Comments to this reporter by Mayor Charles Hadsock were, “The public hearing went well and orderly with all citizens concerned, orderly sharing their opinions and giving their solutions and the council will take these suggestions under consideration.”

At the hearing Mayor Hadsock stated that neither he nor the council wanted to make some of the changes that would be discussed, but due to the change in the speed limit being changed to 65 mph through the city limits, the city was down on revenue and he did not want to raise property taxes.

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The following were some of the suggestions made at the hearing:

1. Do away with the Police Dept.

2. Do away with the Fire Dept.

3. Combine the Police Dept., and Maintenance Dept.

4. Have a Police Substation in Climax

5. Unincorporate the city

6. Increase Utility Bills, water and Garbage

7. Increase property taxes

8. Have Fund raisers

9. Have a farmers market/ bring a circus to town

10. Sale the Depot

11. Increase the City Limits

Some comments were:

Billy Phillips Supported dissolving the Police Dept. and letting the Sheriff’s Office patrol the city.

Several were not in favor of this due to safety reasons

Don Dollar and some others questioned what would happen if the Fire Dept. was dissolved, and if the county would take it over. The Mayor stated that he understood the county wasn’t interested in taking over the Fire Dept.

Joe Salter commented that he wasn’t in favor of combining the Police Dept., and the Maintenance Dept., He felt there would be issues with one person trying to do both jobs. He also stated that he did not like the thought of utility bills going up, and he did not want to see any employees laid off.

Claude Shirley said he was in favor of the employees working 40 hours a week, but he wanted them to work the 40 hours not 39. He questioned the purchase of the Tag Reader. He stated that at the time of the purchase it was said that it (the tag reader) would make money. “Now the city was still making payments on the reader, but it was not being used.”

The mayor responded that at the time of the purchase of the tag reader, the other two Cities did not have one and the city was making money, but since the other cities had purchased one too, the fines had decreased. He also stated that it cost $1,500.00 to keep the system running and the City could not afford to pay that at this time. He also reported that the city was trying to sell the Tag Reader.

In response to the Suggestion of the Sheriff’s dept. taking over the Climax Police dept., John Walker made the statement that he understood the City’s need to save money, but the City needed to be aware that the Sheriff’s office was also shorthanded and did not have the man power to cover what they needed to cover, which could cause a delay in the response time from the County.

Concerning increasing the City Limits, Mayor Hadsock stated that the City could not afford to increase the City Limits at this time and he felt that the people outside the City Limits was not interested in being bought into the City. He said he felt there would be more expense in increasing the City limits than there would be revenue.

At the close of the hearing the Mayor thanked everyone for their input, and assured the citizens that he and the council had a lot to think about and everything that was brought up would be taken into consideration.

The hearing was closed at 6:55 PM.

Regular Climax Monthly City Council Meeting

After the public hearing on Nov. 10, the regular monthly Climax City Council meeting was called to order, by Mayor Charles Hadsock.

Under Old business: Hearing on Joel Jenkins:  Judge Zeese awarded attendant care to Aimee Jenkins for Joel Jenkins. His orders find the attendant care liability runs on April 6, 2011 to continue until terminated. The figures are roughly 187 weeks at $84.00 per hour or 15,708 hours. Using the rates for home attendant care would be an excess of $160,000.00. The Act and Board rules provide that the City, (GMA) have (20) days from the date pf Judge Zeese’ order to file an application for review. GMA will get the application filed on or before November 21, 2014.

Status of Work in the Little Park: Sandra Thomas reported that the work on putting down the slab for the picnic area will start after the first of the year.

Cross training of employees:  Mayor Hadsock stated that he still wanted to do the cross training, due to the fact that City Clerk Karen Toole will be out of work for at least two weeks for surgery on her ankle. He stated that John Presilla would be working in the office some because he was able to perform some of the office duties.

Speed on four lane hwy 84: The City is still discussing the possibility of reducing the speed limit with the Department of Transportation.

Pay off the Fire Truck:  The final County payment on the City’s fire truck of $10,000.00 was paid. The City proposes to pay the $32,000.00 in December of 2014. This will leave a balance of $10,000.00. Plans are for the City to make this final payment in 2015.

Maintenance supervisor Greg Toole reported the phone lines going to the water wells were down and that was why there had been a problem with the City water. He has had to manually turn the pumps off and on.

City Clerk Karen Toole stated that she would not be able to help with Christmas in the Park due to recovering from ankle surgery. Council Woman Elizabeth Phillips made a motion which received a second from Council woman Sandra Thomas for Christmas in the Park to be held on Saturday December 6th beginning at 6 PM, and she, Phillips would be in charge.  The motion passed.

Reporters note: Get well wishes are sent to City Clerk Karen Toole as she recovers from ankle surgery. A big thank you also for her assistance with this article.