Mayor Says Cut Offs Will Be Evaluated On Case-By-Case Basis
The City of Burgin is offering extensions on water cut-offs for residents during the national emergency.
“We share everyone’s concerns about financial situations,” said Mayor Jim Caldwell. “We are willing to address shut-offs and extensions on a case by case basis.”
Burgin’s water system was down this month due to storms that went through Tennessee.
“The storm wiped out the server and Alliance was actively working until it was restored,” said Caldwell. This is why we don’t have a water loss report this month as the system was still down and unable to retrieve any reports.”
Also the previous contractors, HD Services, gave notice and dropped the water contract. The council decided to send the contract out for sealed bid again.
Mayor Caldwell hired Herman Margard as a backup part time employee for the current water superintendent.
“I apologize to the council for not telling them prior about hiring,” said Caldwell. I hired him so that Wally doesn’t have to work 7 days a week, 365 days a year.”
Caldwell said Margard holds the same certification as the current superintendent and can do all the same job requirements. The council approved a job description and hours.
In response to the governor’s emergency recommendations the city also adopted emergency measures.
“Burgin city hall shall remain open but will be closed to the public,” said Caldwell. “Payments may be made by mail, phone or thru the drop box. Questions and other concerns may be addressed by calling 605-9652.”
Caldwell said the measures would allow the city to maintain service while minimizing the threats.
“All emergency services shall continue but responses may be modified by the appropriate chiefs based on the best practices for health and safety,” said Caldwell. “These policies shall remain in effect for the duration of the emergency.”
The Burgin council opted to not increase pay for the next council at this time as well.
In other business:
• Burgin City Attorney David Patrick said delinquent taxes for the city could be taken to the Mercer County Clerk’s office for recording.
“He will record them and when people pay for them, they will be able to go to there to get them released,” said Patrick. “This will stop properties from being sold and taxes not being paid.”
No other past administration has sought revenue for delinquent taxes.
Caldwell said he didn’t feel comfortable selling the taxes to a company to collect.
“So many records were destroyed prior to us taking office,” said Caldwell. “Generally speaking, it’s not known if it was deliberate or incompetence by previous staff, but either way.”
Caldwell said there were a lot of property taxes collected in 2018 but not recorded.
• Resident Marceline Adkins asked the council to annex her home inside the city limits of Burgin. Her land was originally owned by Temple Burgin, who donated the land to Burgin. She wanted to get preliminary permission before paying for a survey.
Her parcel located on Kennedy Bridge Road was approved contingent on a survey to be annexed in to the City of Burgin. Adkins is looking to start a historical society for Burgin.
• Resident Alvin White asked who was responsible for cleaning up after the floodwaters. Mayor Caldwell said he would see it was cleaned. White also requested the city spray for mosquitos. Mayor Caldwell asked the City Clerk, Angela Stewart, to contact the state agricultural department about spraying.
“We are waiting on the Corps of Engineers to get quotes from them and a plan before we move forward with the flooding issues,” said Caldwell. “The state has passed an emergency for flooding that will possibly be available to us once we can apply.”
Councilman Sid Dunn said that an open-air quality test could be performed by the state to check for mold spores and to get a baseline to have from here forward.
• The city has been granted an extension on thier audits to Dec. 5, city accountant, Noel Turner said his goal is to have it finished by July 31. It was noted that the city budget would need to be updated to reflect the new office codes.
• Executive session was called to discuss legal issues.
Following the executive session it was decided that all legal matters between the current seated mayor and the City of Burgin shall be dealt with using only the following committee of council members: Frances Cord, Jamie Keebortz, Sid Dunn and Joe Monroe.
“This committee was formed to avoid any conflict in the matter,” said Dunn.
The next meeting of the city of Burgin will be announced following the federal and state guidelines of social distancing.
It is tentatively scheduled for Tuesday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m.