At the Crouch Council Public Hearing, Wednesday, August 11, Council passed the motion to approve the proposed budget for the fiscal year from October 1, 2010 to September 30, 2011, at $591,033.
County Clerk Kim Bosse gave an update on the Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant (EECBG) the City received to fund energy conservation. There is no space under the building to allow for installing insulation. The discovery of a profuse amount of fecal matter of the rodent kind, in the attic, will add $1,000 to the cost of the project. The unwanted fertilizer will all be vacuumed up with the funky old insulation. Of course, this is pending on the removal of the lone bat who has taken up residence—which will add another $800 for trap and catcher. No problem though; the City has $15,000 for lighting and will make adjustments.
However, this is a problem: The City is in need of a person who is properly licensed to do the interior texturing (for government jobs). Contact the City Clerk at Community Hall.
Waste Water Treatment is moving forward...there is serious talk about purchase of property for the collection system. Gary Ashby, of Forsgren & Associates, said that in preparation for the public hearing, identification of the property is critical. Council Richard Messick said it has been difficult to arouse interest, because he can’t quote a definite user’s fee. Ashby still maintains it should be around $58 a month, but of course the price of the property factors in. There should be no hook-up fees during the initial stage, but if a resident hooks up later, it would apply.
Council President Dawn Smith will serve as the designated City rep to meet with the Bond Council and negotiate land acquisition for the tank site and distribution lines.
Council approved Forsgren’s Scope of Work for the project. They will be forming a Citizen’s Advisory Committee of about 8-10 people, including Council members, area residents and someone from outside the city, in Boise County.
Chamber of Commerce President Greg Simione made an appearance in answer to two items of concern. One was the City Noise Ordinance. There have been some complaints regarding music from the Longhorn Restaurant. It was discussed and residents have admitted they can also hear the Starlight Mountain Theatre and any other loud music, when they are outside their homes. The council assured the merchants in the audience that they had no intentions of closing anything down—just making sure everyone was aware of the situation. Reggae was one irritating culprit and as City Attorney John McFadden remarked, “’Repetitive’ is not in the ordinance!”
The second item Simione addressed was the street closure on Market Street. There has been voiced concern over how merchants might feel, due to parking problems, etc. All merchants present acknowledged it was their idea. Simione said, “After the crash of 2008, there was lots of downward business activity. The merchants wanted to make the street area a gathering place for music, dance and dining (al fresco), which they felt would encourage shopping.” The merchants have organized, planned and designed the area. In the future, they plan on installing benches, seating and even presenting classical ensembles; it will be a good place for Trunk or Treat and Christmas celebrations.
Simione stated, “Our economy is visitors. This area is not an easement, not County, not Utility—it is the Longhorn property. This time next year the big beer truck won’t be in the parking lot, it will be over at the new store location, where there will also be parking.” He asked Council to simply direct concerned residents to the merchants.
John McFadden reported on City Engineer and Attorney duties: “Architects, engineers, lawyers, accountants and surveyors are professional services—you don’t have to go out and bid. It’s definitely not the lowest cost. That’s why you have short-term contracts, not 6 months—you can move on if you are not satisfied.
“$25,000 is the initial amount to go to bid, for public service; $25-100,000 is three contractors; and over $100,000 is for more than three.” He added that the City should do what is in its best interest, if they want it to be competitive. You pick from the best proposal and negotiate a fee.
The City of Crouch Council meets on the second Wednesday of the month. The next Council meeting is September 8, 2010, at Crouch Community Hall. For information, contact the Clerk at 462-4687.