By SHANNON WATKINS
Multiple items were brought up for motion at Tuesday’s Pulaski town council meeting, including a proposed increase in fixed service for water charges and the steps to adopt the five-year capital improvement plan for 2013-2014.
Of the water charges increase, Town Manager John Hawley explained to council that a 15 percent increase in rates would help offset the cost of an inundation study that is a necessary part of the operation and management certification process required for Gatewood Dam.
“The increase on the normal residential customer, which I think the majority of our customers are, the increase on the normal residential bill is $1.31 per month,” said Hawley.
He also advised council that it could set a 15 percent increase or any amount below that.
Vice Mayor Joseph Goodman moved that council direct staff to prepare the paperwork to increase the fixed costs of water service in Pulaski by 15 percent using the amounts listed in the legal display ad council had displayed publically. The motion was seconded by Councilman Dave Clark.
After a tie, with Councilwoman Heather Steele, Councilman Greg East and Councilman Jamie Radcliffe voting against and Councilmen H.M. Kidd, Goodman and Clark voting for it, the tie was broken in favor of preparing the paperwork by Mayor Jeff Worrell.
Next was a motion to adopt the 2013-2014 capital improvement plan.
Hawley said, “Again, we’ve been working most of the year on the capital improvements plan. I think we have all realized that there’s a lot of things we need to do in the town that we’re not able to do yet. We had to try to prioritize. I think council has done a good job of working with the staff; I think staff came back and looked at what was left and worked hard to come out with the best solution they had for it.”
Clark made a motion that council direct staff to prepare the paperwork to adopt the capital improvement plan.
East pointed out that the plan had two $2,500 expenditures on it for awnings for the town’s trolley, purchased last year and used for Christmas tours.
The trolley, named ‘Lady Rebecca,’ is currently stored in an alley near the municipal building with no other shielding from the elements.
“I don’t think a $2,500 awning is really going to protect it,” said East. “I would suggest we reallocate that money so that it serve the public better.”
Goodman pointed out, “The covering for the trolley was to go between two structures.”
East replied, “It doesn’t cover the front and rear.”
“By not covering it at all, you allow further damage to it,” Goodman said.
“It’s not truly going to protect the trolley fully,” said East. “I’m thinking that money may better serve the citizens if we use it for something else.” He offered citizen complaints about the state of Gatewood Park bathrooms as an example.
The motion to prepare paperwork to adopt the plan nonetheless passed, with no need for a tiebreaking vote.