BY DAVID FISHER
GREENFIELD (April 14) — One of the top items on the agenda at Tuesday night’s regular monthly meeting of the Greenfield City Board was upgrading the city’s communication equipment and services.
Although the meeting was closed to the public, it was live streamed on the City of Greenfield’s Facebook page to allow local citizens to observe the proceedings. The virtual meeting was also recorded for public record. In an effort to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, board members were spaced at least six feet apart, as recommended by health officials.
The meeting was conducted with aldermen James Roy Pope, Bobby Morris, Karen Campbell, Mark Galey and Mike Caudle attending in person; aldermen Donald Ray High and Thomas Tansil, Jr. participated over the phone, while observing the proceedings on FaceBook Live; and Alderman Paul Grooms was absent.
Attorney Beau Pemberton stated he met with the owners of Mobile PC Guys recently and learned the initial set up cost estimate is $4,954.60 and the monthly bill is projected to cost $967.69. The installation fee includes parts and labor for replacing the internet cables, routers, switchers and telephones.
The contract stipulates Mobile PC Guys will provide: VOIP telephone, high speed fiber internet, email, web hosting and new telephones for all city buildings, including the Public Works Shop, Library, City Hall, Police Department, Fire Department and Senior Citizens Center.
Pemberton stated replacing the current system is necessary because it is outdated. “There is no way they can take an analog telephone system and plug fiber into it,” Pemberton said. “It will be a capital asset to the city, because these are things the city will acquire.”
According to Pemberton, the City of Greenfield is paying approximately $1,000 per month for phone and internet services. However, these funds are going outside the City, because their current service provider is not based in Greenfield.
“It’s not any more money than what we’re paying now,” Pemberton said. “It’s actually going to be a net increase in funds for the City of Greenfield.” He added the Mobile PC Guys are prepared to commit to these rates and lock the price in for at least 12 months.
This takes into account a $205 fee the city was going to charge Mobile PC Guys for allowing them to install communications equipment on the city’s water tower. By giving them a break on use of the water tank, Mobile PC Guys agreed to give the City a more favorable rate for the services they provide.
He stated they are willing to allow the city to pay the system installation cost over a series of months.
City Recorder Smithson said it could be paid for in a one-lump sum if it is appropriated in fiscal year 2020-2021.
Pemberton noted Mobile PC Guys is willing to install the new system without sending the city an invoice until July 1, 2020.
Alderman Pope stated he likes the idea of keeping the money in Greenfield and made a motion to approve the contract with Mobile PC Guys. The motion passed 7-0 with the system to be paid from the upcoming fiscal year’s budget.
Plans call for having the owners of Mobile PC Guys to meet with Greenfield’s police and fire chiefs to schedule installation, in order to minimize an interruption of service to local citizens.
The board voted unanimously to renew the contract with Waste Management of Jackson, Tennessee to continue solid waste pick up for the citizens of Greenfield. Under the terms of the contract, garbage pickup times and dates remain the same. The garbage pickup rates are as follows: residential = $14.71 (inside city limits) and $21.12 (outside city limits); and commercial = $17.85 (inside city limits only).
Another important item for discussion involved whether or not to have a referendum placed on the November 3, 2020 ballot, regarding decreasing the size of the board from eight to six members. The measure was approved unanimously. (See separate article, “Referendum to determine number of Greenfield City aldermen.”)
In department reports, Fire Chief Bob Dudley, who serves as the City’s code enforcement officer, stated several homeowners were notified they are required to correct code violations regarding the condition of their property, have requested 90-day extensions to complete the work.
City Attorney Beau Pemberton stated some of those notified have not yet responded to registered letters mailed to them concerning their property being in danger of condemnation. He requested, by the time of the May 11 meeting, he anticipates the board will advise him how they wish to proceed. He noted, if these property owners do not respond, he is “ready to go after them full force.”
Dudley recommended giving property owners on the list a 90-day extension to complete the work on their properties. He stated these individuals have contractors who have been waiting on the weather to improve before repairing or tearing down these houses.
Attorney Pemberton stressed those cited for the condition of their properties need to show real progress at the end of the 90-day period.
A motion to approve 90-day extensions for these property owners was approved by a vote of 7-0.
Mayor Cindy McAdams reported local sales taxes collected during the previous month amounted to $19,979.19 and state sales taxes were $15,262.21 for a total of $35,241.14 in sales tax revenue. Smithson explained one of the reasons tax revenues were down is due to the City receiving an influx of additional state tax money generated during the Christmas holiday.
In announcements, Smithson reported Shelby Spurgeon, Weakley County Economic Development Director, informed her that all of the due diligence testing for the city’s industrial site (Pentecost property) was complete. Mayor McAdams said, “Callie, Shelby and I spoke to a railroad representative last week and he was very impressed. So, I think everything is going alright with that right now.”
Mayor McAdams said the Fiddlesticks Festival was postponed, but it might be rescheduled by June. The annual festival offers free children’s rides, concessions and other family-oriented activities to local citizens.
Alderman Pope, who organizes and provides the rides and concessions for the Fiddlesticks Festival, said it might be possible to reschedule the event, “providing someone is willing to give up their slot.” He added that his family business, Pope’s Concessions, has cancelled all other events until June because of the pandemic.
“Hopefully, we’ll see the light at the end of the tunnel soon,” Mayor McAdams said. This is a hardship on everybody. I never thought there’d be anything like this. But, I think everything will be alright.” The mayor noted, when she drives through town at night, everybody is doing what they are supposed to do – staying off the streets and remaining inside their homes.
The next meeting of the Greenfield City Board is 5:30 p.m., May 12.
BY DAVID FISHER