BY DAVID FISHER
DRESDEN (November 2) — During Monday night’s meeting of the Dresden Board of Mayor and Aldermen, members reviewed bids for replacing existing light bulbs in traffic lights at two intersections with energy-efficient LED lighting.
Pursuant to Gov. Bill Lee’s executive order, the meeting was held electronically for media and the public and via conference call for City of Dresden department heads. The meeting was closed to public attendance. However, the proceedings could be viewed on YouTube Live.
The contract for installing new LED bulbs in the traffic lights at the intersections of Highway 22 and 54 and Highway 22 and 89 was awarded to Shelby Electric Company of Memphis. The low bid was $7,732.60. The bid price includes the cost and installation of 16 red, 16 yellow and 16 green LED bulbs with a 15-year warranty. It also covers eight load switches and inspecting the signal head and cables feeding each light.
Alderman Gwin Anderson made a motion to approve Shelby Electric’s bid, providing it meets all bid specifications, including being 12-inch diameter bulbs. If they do not, the motion was to accept the bid submitted by De Soto County Electric, Inc., of Mississippi, totaling $7,900.
Mayor Jeff Washburn noted LED lights are much more efficient, use less electrical power and are longer lasting. He stated the current type of bulbs the city is using in its traffic lights burn out a lot, and it’s expensive to rent a lift to replace them. He said the city would spend less overall by installing LEDs.
The motion passed 5-0 with Alderwoman Sandra Klutts being absent.
Mayor Washburn stated the city would be looking for a used lift to replace traffic light bulbs, to save the cost of renting one when a lift is needed for future bulb replacement.
The board unanimously approved a resolution authorizing the city to accept an anonymous donation of $100 for the Dresden Police Department.
A resolution budgeting reimbursements for expenses incurred due to COVID-19, was also unanimously approved. This includes $1,185.19 for personal protective equipment in state grant funding, which will be spent for household and janitorial supplies. The budget amendment also provides reimbursement for public health expenses totaling $2,180.48. This includes $1,993.08 for repair and maintenance supplies. The remaining funds will be utilized for household and janitorial supplies. Additionally, the resolution budgets $300 in anonymous donations from individuals, which will be used to purchase office supplies for Dresden Police Department.
The mayor reported more than 1,000 people attended Dresden’s Trunk-or-Treat, and the city plans to make next year’s event even bigger. He said the participation of the Dresden Police Department, Fire Department, Community Engagement Director Priscilla Price and other city employees is commendable. He noted the city received many favorable comments from local citizens regarding the event.
Public Works Department Director Kerry Cooper said an equipment breakdown, due to a damaged part, has temporarily halted leaf pickup, but it will resume as soon as a replacement part arrives and is installed.
Cooper stated Ford Paving has informed him that paving work on city streets will begin next week.
Mayor Washburn stated bridge construction on Old Highway 22 is complete and they will all be paved at same time. He noted the bridges are widened and will be much safer.
The mayor stated he expects a rebuilt sewer aerator will reduce phosphate levels at the city lagoon.
Cooper reported the new tractor the board voted to purchase should be ready for delivery in the next couple of weeks.
Mayor Washburn mentioned the City of Dresden received a certificate from the Comptroller of the Treasury commending Dresden Finance Director Carla Edwards and other city employees for the prompt and professional completion and submission of the city’s budget. It was completed on time, prior to the end of the fiscal year. Additionally, the necessary documentation was submitted to the state within 15 days of adoption. Mayor Washburn said he believes Dresden is the only city in Weakley County to receive special recognition this year for budget preparation and submission to the Comptroller’s office.
Police Chief Chris Crocker reported he would have an accident report on Pikeview Street later this week for board members to review.
Alderman Anderson complained the noise violations have not stopped. Chief Crocker stated motorists have been pulled over for noise violations, and a decimal meter should arrive soon. A decimal meter will provide objective proof when vehicles exceed the legal noise level.
Anderson also mentioned the walking trail needs to be cleared of leaves for safety reasons. Parks and Recreation Director Joey Winstead said it would be taken care of.
Mayor Washburn announced a Condemnation Board meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m., Thursday, November 5. “Our property values should go up with dilapidated properties being cleaned up,” he said.
Mayor Washburn announced a swearing-in ceremony for newly-elected city aldermen, following the November 3 election, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, November 22, during Dresden’s Christmas Open House. However, the location for the Christmas Open House has not been determined. He added the goal of the event is to promote citizens spending money at local businesses.
The next meeting of the Dresden Board is Monday, December 7, at 6 p.m.