Holly Pond Council meets to pass budget and appoint officials


HOLLY POND – The Holly Pond Town Council met Monday evening at the Guy Hunt Library.  In attendance were Mayor Bill Oliver, Clerk Linda Pope and all council members: Carla Hart, Gladys Wisener, Paul Brown, Michele Bell and Lou Thomas.

The minutes of the previous meeting, along with the town's financial report, were approved without discussion.

The floor opened to public comment with only one taker: an unidentified audience member pointed out a non-functioning street light to Hart.

The council then moved to committee reports.  First, Hart (Lighting/Streets) noted 12 to 13 street lights out around town, several (unspecified) roads in need of repair and several (unspecified) street signs in need of repair or replacement.  The council also discussed a discrepancy over the name of Pond View Drive vs. Pond View Road, noting that the name needed to be resolved for postal and 911 purposes.  No decision was made on this matter, as the mayor was awaiting more information.  The council then discussed the needed replacement of lights at the water treatment plant.  The mayor pointed out that old business signs have been removed, and that new security lights have been installed around the Carpenters Cabinet food bank.  Members concluded discussion of streets business by talking about possible designs for new city limit signs, with no decision.

Wisener (Sewer) brought no report, but wastewater plant staffer Barry Levinson spoke up, stating that the plant was running smoothly, and had had no violations in 3 months. He then invited the Council to visit the plant.  It will do so on Monday Dec. 12.

Brown (Safety) reported no new developments on the construction of a town storm shelter.

Bell (Parks and Recreation) brought no report, stating that the town is currently in the slowest season of the year for the park.

Thomas (Beautification) stated that the town is in good shape in preparation for the upcoming parade and "Christmas Cards in the Park" event this coming weekend.

The council moved to old business.  First came the appointment of a permanent town clerk.  Linda Pope, already serving in that capacity, was voted in with a three-day, 15-hour work week at $1,100 per month.  The council then voted for Dan Willingham to serve as the town attorney, to serve as needed at the discretion of the mayor or council members at a rate of $200 per hour.  Next, Peoples and Traditions Banks were designated as the official financial institutions for the town's accounts.

Still under old business, Oliver gave a detailed explanation of the meeting rules and procedures handout he distributed to the council.  The guide, which is based on “Robert's Rules of Order,” passed unanimously.

The council then moved to the adoption of an annual budget.  Using a proposal drawn up by an outside agency, the presented budget totaled $378,263.  Being described as basically the same as last year's budget except for a small projected increase in income, it passed with little discussion.

The last item of old business was a review of the recent 2014-15 audit.  Oliver said that the issue of lack of paperwork brought up by auditors had been addressed and resolved, and that it was otherwise clean.  The audit report was accepted.

Under new business, the council first voted to declare certain materials at the wastewater plant and town maintenance building to be scrap, so they could be removed.  Then a motion was brought and passed to create a reimbursement policy for members based on actual presented costs per receipts, plus mileage at the current state rate.

The mayor then followed with his report.  There were several items, a few of which had to come for votes:

The council adopted a leave/holiday policy following the state holiday schedule.

$1,000 was moved from the General Fund to the Library Fund to allow the purchase of need supplies for the facility.

$1,000 was moved from the General Fund to the Parks and Recreation Fund to prepare the park for the start of sports seasons in the spring.

Seeing that the town's two maintenance workers were doing the same job but at differing wages, Oliver asked that the council approve a raise on the lower wage to bring the two in line.  The motion passed.

Oliver also noted the installation of high-visibility hazard lights on city maintenance vehicles, the upcoming installation of heaters in the town maintenance building work area and possible upcoming training for Pope.

The last item on the mayor's report involved ethics training for all council members.  Oliver stated that Hart was the only member to have completed hers already, and that Wisener was currently in process.  All others, including the mayor, have 90 days from taking office to complete the online course.

After informal council statements were given, Wisener brought up one previously overlooked item of business.  She presented the matter of a $300 per month salary to be paid to the mayor for his secondary duties as superintendent of utilities.  That motion passed, and the meeting was adjourned.

The Holly Pond Town Council meets at the Guy Hunt Library on the first Monday of each month at 7 p.m.  The public is welcome to attend.


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