The Princeton City Council met in regular session Monday night at the Tourism Center in downtown Princeton.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer, Mayor Danny Beavers called the meeting to order and City Clerk Julie Key called roll, Councilmember Brian Conger was absent. Mayor Beavers then welcomed special guests Don Hershman, who would address the council later in the meeting, and Carl Copeland.

The council then unanimously approved the minutes from the regular session meeting on June 18th, and the special called meetings on June 21st, 25th, and 26th. Mayor Beavers then presented the check register.

The council then heard reports from the Princeton Fire Department, Code Enforcement Board, ABC Council, Water Commission, Princeton Electric Plant Board, Finance Committee, and the Airport Board. Princeton Police Chief Chris King then addressed the council and reminded attendees to be safe during the Independence Day Holiday and to remember to respect others by keeping noise down and to not shoot fireworks off after 10PM. Public Works Director David Sullenger then addressed the council stating that the sidewalk project should hopefully be completed in about a week or so, weather permitting. Director Sullenger then stated that Good Street will be closed from July 17th through the 19th and Varmint Trace will be closed from July 23rd through the 27th as the railroad crossings on both roads will be updated.

The meeting then moved to the Mayor’s Report and Mayor Beavers gave thanks to the Public Works Department for the superior job clearing the roads during flash flooding last week. He also gave thanks to the Princeton Electric Plant Board for fixing the ripped and tattered and twisted flags hanging on the light poles throughout town. Mayor Beavers also told those assembled about the reading of the Declaration of Independence on Wednesday, July 4th at 10AM at Planter’s Park in Princeton.

Special guest Don Hershman then addressed the council with a citizen concern. He stated that he has noticed the poor drainage issues around his property and across town that leads to hazards during intense downpours and wished to suggest a potential course of action to the council. He mentioned that he believed it was in the city’s best interest to begin taking preventive measures instead of waiting for a large problem to happen and then trying to fix it. He admitted that he knew that it’s highly unlikely that flooding issues will be completely resolved in Princeton but, suggested that the council form a committee that could continuously monitor the situations and help city officials find solutions. Code Enforcement Officer Dickie Thomas then stood and stated that FEMA has not issued Princeton any violations concerning flooding and didn’t think the city needed to jump into action to fix problems that had the potential to be extremely costly. Mr. Hershman then stated that he was not expecting the city to pour money into construction projects but rather, he was suggesting the city put a little energy into examining the issues to prevent them from getting worse. Mayor Beavers then stated that he would explore Mr. Hersham’s suggestion.

The meeting then moved to unfinished business, of which there was none, so the meeting moved to new business, of which there were several items. The first item of new business to open and accept bids for paving throughout the city and for a new fire station roof. The city received one bid for the fire station roof from Pettit Home Services in the amount of $21,400. That price would only cover the cost of removal of the old roof and installation of a new metal roof. There would be no interior work on the ceilings of the fire station. After a motion and a second the council unanimously approved the bid. Mayor Beavers then opened the only bid for paving from Rogers Group in the amount of $83.50 for surface asphalt, $89 for binder, and $90.75 for base asphalt per square foot. Public Works Director Sullenger then stated that the city paid about $87 last year for base asphalt and that he had estimated the price would now be around $90. He then estimated that it would take about $103,000 to $105,000 to pave one mile. After a motion and a second the court unanimously approved the bid for paving.

The next item of new business was the first reading of Ordinance 07-02-2018-1, which concerned the repeal of Ordinance 04-20-2015 which established a city officials training incentive program. The repeal would effectively eliminate the training incentive program due to current budgetary constraints. The council will vote on the ordinance during the next regular session meeting.

The next item of new business was the first reading of Ordinance 07-02-2018-2 which concerns the issuance of $2,739,000 of Princeton Water and Sewer Revenue Bonds for the purpose of financing the cost of the construction of extensions, additions, and improvements to the existing water and sewer system. The loan and project will be completed through the USDA. The council will vote on the ordinance during the next regular session meeting.

The next item of new business was the first reading of Ordinance 07-02-2018-3 which concerns the amendment of Ordinance 06-25-2018-1 relating to the city’s Personnel Pay Plan. The ordinance will amend the Personnel Pay Plan as follows: the Fire Chief’s salary shall increase by 3.9 percent, the Assistant Fire Chief/Rental Property Inspector/Alcohol Beverage Control Administrator’s salary shall increase by 1.6 percent, the Public Works Director’s salary shall increase by 3.1 percent and the City Clerk’s salary shall increase by 5.3 percent. The amendment also raised the pay for Rank 2 for Public Works labor from $13.53 to $14.19 and raised the pay for Rank 3 for Public Works labor from $15.31 to $15.93. The council will vote on the amendment to the Personnel Pay Plan during the next regular session meeting.

The next item of new business was the approval of Resolution 07-02-2018 which concerns the withdrawal of the TAP Grant for the Big Springs Park Project. The city would have to provide matching funds if the grant was approved but due to current budgetary constraints the council decided to withdrawal the grant application for the project. After a motion and a second the council unanimously approved the resolution withdrawing the grant application.

The last item of new business was the approval to advertise for bids for an auditor to perform the Fiscal Year 2018 Audit. After a motion and a second the council unanimously approved to advertise for bids.

Mayor Beavers then entertained a motion to adjourn and after a motion and a second the meeting adjourned. The next regular session Princeton City Council meeting will be held on July 16th and is open to the public.

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