By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News
NEW LONDON ? Improvements will be coming to Cleveland and Elm streets in New London this summer.
On Tuesday night, the New London city council approved the paving of Cleveland and Elm streets with no oppositions. Seven bids were taken into consideration with Four Seasons Excavating and Landscape being approved to complete the project at a cost of $77,255.90. The bid came in $13,000 lower than the estimate and has an estimated time frame of six to eight weeks. The project does not currently have a start date but must be completed by September 30, 2018.
Moving the discussion to indoor flooring started a heated debate over flooring quotes for the new community hall. Quotes have been received but not acted upon. Citizen Mike McDuff argued against the new construction, questioning the necessity.
?Maybe it?s time we start hitting the breaks a little bit. Do you really want to spend that on a building you?re going to use maybe one, two, three times a month?? McDuff questioned.
The new flooring, which would consist of carpet, could cost upward of $30,000. He encouraged the board to not make any hasty decisions and wait until budget members Scott Campbell and Dan Berner, who were absent from the meeting, returned.
Instead he proposed using the money to make improvements at the park, specifically to the shelter.
McDuff argued that the park was a much more suitable space for families and children to gather and it is used much more often. He said the alley outside and the yards next door to the current building are cause for concern as they are not safe places for children to be.
He feels that by using the money budgeted for flooring, on the park, it will service many more people.
?If you?re going to continue to pour money into that place over there, maybe it should be used for the purpose of being used more than a couple times a month,? he added.
?I agree with Mike on this one. That needs to be held off until next month until we get more counsel members here,? said council member Tom Davis. ?(We need to) figure out where this money is coming from and plus we?re missing two members and we probably need their input on this.?
However council member Brad Helmerson questioned the hesitation by saying, ?We?ve gone this far and now we?re not going to finish it because of a little bit??
The motion is to be held until the next meeting when all council members are present.
The idea of a volunteer superintendent was proposed to oversee both the paving and park shelter projects but was opposed by Davis. He felt it was unnecessary to have a private citizen watching over the project.
?I think we?re opening a bag of snakes because then everyone?s going to want to apply to be a supervisor,? he said.
?It won?t hurt to have an extra set of eyes, though,? Mayor Ron Sadler countered.
The motion was approved 2-1.
Larry Meagher, the commander of the VFW, asked the board to create a three person committee that will help oversee the operations. The building is on city property and the city has been taking over their finances for the past several months. He would like to see a committee formed so the city will be aware and able to help, should anything happen.
Council member Henderson volunteered to be on the committee with Meagher and a third person will be decided by Mayor Ron Sadler at the next meeting.
Currently the hall is self run and is slated to complete the fencing on the west side of the park and purchase another tablet for names because they have run out of room on the existing ones.
?It?s looking really good where we?re at,? Meagher added. ?We only have meetings as needed.?
A motion was approved to place an ad for the disposal of the old community hall. Ads will be placed in the local newspapers and the city has 60 days to sell the property. Bids will be accepted before the next meeting on May 1, 2018 at 4 p.m.
A billing correction was made in favor of the City of New London against Stacy Oliver, of New London. Oliver?s water meter had been registered to the same address on S. Maple, even though she lived on N. Maple. The south street property was a rental property and the meter would sometimes measure as zero. The city went out and looked at the reading, but did not correct the mistake in street names for over three years.
The city totaled the total gallons the Oliver?s have not paid for over the past three years and asked them to pay half.
?We feel we should pay some of it because we use the utilities,? she said. The city had two chances to catch the mistake in 2014 and 2016 but failed to do so.
A discussion for new lights on the police department?s 2015 Chevy Tahoe was brought up. Public safety asked for a quote on new lights for the front of the vehicle and a new light bar because brighter ones are available. The board voted not to replace the light bar on top, as it was already functioning but approved the purchase of new lights for the front of the vehicle. Davis opposed.
A possible purchasing agreement for new land from New London Specialty Care for the public works department was denied. The council decided the building they had was suitable and Henderson proposed insulating the building in the distant future.
The Holiday Stroll Committee is slated to host a Fun Day on June 9, 2018. The all day event would take place in City Park beginning with a breakfast at 7 a.m. A basketball tournament, dunk tank, and hot dog eating contest were among the proposed events. Vendors will be allowed to set up around the park and lunch will be provided.
It was proposed that the evening would end with a movie in the park. The city plans to continue the movies in the park series after its past success. ?There?s no reason we couldn?t do it,? adds council member Kirk Miller.
The next meeting of the New London city council will be held on Tuesday, May 1 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.