BY DAVID FISHER
GREENFIELD (July 14) — The Greenfield City Board considered employee raises and shared good news during its regular monthly meeting held Tuesday, July 14.
According to Greenfield Mayor Cindy McAdams, the local economy is doing well and sales tax revenue is higher than last year. In light of the city’s financial status, she recommended approval of the pay raises discussed previously at a budget meeting.
Mayor McAdams noted, despite the loss of business in some surrounding areas due to COVID-19 restrictions, Greenfield enjoyed a surge in sales tax collections. She announced local sales taxes were $28,636 during the past month, which is up from the previous month’s collections of $23,549, and represents an increase of $5,087. State sales taxes were $14,384, which is down from the previous month’s rate of $15,956 by $1,572. When local and state sales taxes are combined, it amounts to a gain of $3,514 from month-to-month.
Last year, local sales tax collections for the month of July were $22,535. Compared to this July, collections are up $6,101. State sales taxes collected last July totaled $16,485, indicating a decline of $2,101. However, when local and state sales taxes are combined, July 2020 totals show an increase of $4,000 in revenues over July 2019.
The board unanimously approved pay raises for workers in various city departments, including Public Works employees, who received a two percent increase in pay. The board also voted to make the raises retroactive to July 1, 2020.
Another important item on the agenda was the second of three readings of an ordinance establishing absentee, by-mail voting procedures for non-resident property owners in municipal elections. The city charter authorizes property rights’ voting for people residing outside the corporate limits of the City of Greenfield, who own real property in the city.
According to Weakley County Administrator of Elections Alex Britt, the City of Greenfield has 42 citizens registered for property rights’ voting.
He noted mail-in voting will limit voters standing in two separate lines to cast their ballots — one to vote in the city and/or district where they reside, and another line to vote in city elections where they own property.
The ordinance was approved 8-0 on second reading.
The board unanimously approved the second reading of an ordinance rezoning properties at 201 Garland St. and 308 North Second St. from B-1 business to R-1 residential.
Additionally, board members heard reports from various department heads. Fire Chief Bob Dudley, and Greenfield’s codes enforcement officer, made several recommendations regarding action to be taken on dilapidated properties. He mentioned work on some of these residences are complete, while improvements on others are needed to bring them up to code. (See separate article, “Greenfield Takes Action on Properties Listed For Possible Condemnation and Demolition.”)
Public Works Supervisor Tony Stout announced smoke testing of the city’s sewer system began July 13 and will continue through the end of the month.
This program was undertaken by the City of Greenfield to meet requirements of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation to locate blockages, leaks and cross connections. Photographs are to be made of leaks occurring in the system.
During the testing, white smoke is blown into the sewer for leak identification. Smoke may come through vent stacks on houses, holes in the ground, and other outlets. Stout added smoke sometimes shows up in sewer service lines to old houses that were never capped off.
Stout reported there has been no word yet on a $75,000 Governor’s Grant for street improvements. Mayor McAdams said Stout is retiring the last day of December of this year. However, he will serve as a consultant, as needed.
The mayor said, “My phone rang off the hook for about a week, regarding noise generated by shooting fireworks. She stated the city’s fireworks ordinance stipulates the only times fireworks may be set off are January 1-2; June 20-30; July 1-7; December 25 and December 30-31. A written permit from the City of Greenfield is required to ignite fireworks any other time. McAdams said she will put the matter on next month’s agenda for further discussion and possible board action.
Kathy Watson, of Dr. Nathan Porter Public Library in Greenfield, reported due to COVID-19 precautions, patrons are required to have their temperatures checked at the door and must wear a mask before allowed inside the building. Patrons may also call and tell her what they want to check out and pick it up at the door. She said the library’s summer bash, originally July 25, is canceled. It might be held during Greenfield’s Fire Prevention Festival, unless conditions do not allow the festival to take place. “We still have four computers people can come in and use, but social distancing is enforced,” Watson said.
Kayla Harris was approved as a substitute librarian at Watson’s request.
McAdams said shrubs were replaced at the library and mulch laid down by Robert Rodriguez and Mathew Paschal. Shutters were installed by Public Works employees to “dress up” the library.
“Mr. Jerry Swain donated two crepe myrtle bushes to the library in honor of his parents,” the mayor said.
In announcements, Connie Mitchell Norman, who resides at 805 Crestview Drive, was awarded June Yard of the Month. Wimpy’s restaurant was named the Business of the Month.
Alderman Bobby Morris said a Waste Management truck broke down due to electrical problems and the company has not yet picked it up. City residents are calling and complaining about brush not being picked up.
“This is not the only truck they have,” Pemberton said. “I will give Waste Management until Friday (July 17) to do something,” he added.
The City of Greenfield Board of Mayor and Aldermen meet at 5:30 p.m. the second Tuesday of each month in city hall.
BY DAVID FISHER