Police Chief Mark Kimsey asked the Sharon board to expand the 20 mph zone in front of the school by 850 feet to be in front of Woodlawn Cemetery and the senior citizens’ center. The speed limit will be effective at all times. Chief Kimsey stated that it would create a safer zone around the school and for the senior center. The board voted to decrease the speed limit in that area.
The board also discussed for Chief Kimsey to apply for the Violent Crime State Grant. Sharon is applying for the grant for itself, but again with the City of Greenfield. If the city receives the grant through either of those applications, they will be eligible for up to $2 million. It would be split with Greenfield if both towns received the grant under the joint application. The board will be presented with a resolution during Thursday night’s special called meeting to pass for Chief Kimsey to apply for the grant.
Citizens have expressed an interest in an update on the old city hall building. The current renter signed a ten-year lease agreement with the city to turn the building into a pizzeria. He is currently the owner of Pizza DiRoma & Pasta in Martin. There is no movement on this restaurant opening, according to city attorney Jeff Washburn; there are several reasons the city could have a lease agreement canceled. The renter is still paying rent each month and asked the board for two additional months before any conversations begin over the future of that location.
In other news, the board passed this first reading to amend the Water and Sewer budget. The second reading will be during a special called meeting on Thursday, Jan. 12 at 6:30 pm for a public hearing, with the public being invited to attend. The board also hired Regina Lewis to be the new city clerk. City residents will also notice that their water bills are slightly lower this month due to readings being completed before the holiday season. Next month’s bill will be slightly higher since those additional days during the holidays will be included.
The city received $136,000 in November from a grant given by the state, which can be used by the board on what the city needs. The board has until 2024, according to Mayor Donna Stricklin, to use these funds.
The city hall had a pipe burst during the harsh cold at the end of December. The water was cleaned but Greg Evans suggested the board may look into having the roof inspected. The city has already reached out to the insurance company on what they need to have certain areas inspected.