New London recovers from storm damage

By Gretchen Teske, Mt. Pleasant News


NEW LONDON ? The storm that raged through Henry County on Tuesday, Aug. 28, effected not only Mt. Pleasant, but emergency vehicles offering assistance.

During the regular meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 4, the New London City Council announced their 2010 Crown Victoria police car was totaled during the storm. An officer was driving the car to Mt. Pleasant to help with damage when they were directed to drive down Monroe St. in front of The REC Center. The officer drove into unmarked standing water and flooded the interior. It was reported that the water came up to the seat on the inside of the car, effectively totaling the vehicle and all electronics inside.

Temporary City Clerk Dawn Sines reported everything will be covered by insurance and the total property damage cost is yet to be determined. Sines has taken over clerk responsibilities as City Clerk Kasi Howard is on maternity leave.

The meeting was held in the New London Community Center, as rain water had leaked into the council chambers and mold was found on the walls. The water seeped in through holes in the roof, a pre-existing condition the council was aware of. Insurance will not cover the replacement of the roof because the damage was not caused by the storm. It also will not cover the mold on the walls because it is an effect of the leaking roof, not the storm.

Council member Kirk Miller felt strongly that this was an issue that needed to be handled immediately and will seek assistance in its removal.

City Hall will remain open and operational as no mold has been found in the office. Until further notice, all meetings will be held at the New London Community Center.

In other news, New London citizens are one step closer to being able to drive golf carts and UTV?s to local sporting events this fall. The council approved the first reading for limited operation of off-road utility vehicles on city streets. According to city law, three readings with at least two being approved are required for the ordinance to pass.

If the council approves the second reading in October, the ordinance will be in effect immediately. Drivers must have insurance and working lights on the vehicle in order to operate after dark. The city will sell stickers for a cost to be determined at the next meeting and put on the back. The decal will change color every year to help city police determine whether or not the vehicle has been registered for the year. If the ordinance is approved in October, the stickers will be available for purchase and will last the rest of 2018 and for all of 2019.

Moving into old business, the council discussed the grading of the S. Pine St. subdivision. The council determined that 30,000 yards need to be graded with 9,000 of it being future streets. The council can use tax increment financing (TIF) for the roads but not the existing 21,000 yards. TIF dollars must be used for the betterment of public property and because the council plans to sell the land to private citizens, it cannot be used for that purpose.

The advantage to using TIF dollars is that the city would be reimbursed for the cost of the grading, but would extend the life of the project. The council felt the project had gone on long enough and decided to pay for it themselves with no help from TIF to complete the project faster. The council will hear bids for the project during the next meeting.

In other news, the council:

? Approved the temporary closing of a public way on Oct. 20, for the Holiday Stroll Monster Mash 5K

? Approved Halloween trick-or-treating on Oct. 31, from 5 - 7 p.m.

? Approved the homecoming parade route and use of city vehicles for Sept. 28

? Approved reinvesting terms of CD?s for sewer and sanitation funds

The next meeting of the New London City Council will be Tuesday, Oct. 2, at 6 p.m. in the community center.