By Lorcan McCormick
On Monday night, the City of Gleason Board of Mayor and Aldermen met to discuss city business. Not present at the meeting was Alderman Keith Radford. Old business pertained to the review of Swimming Pool Policies & New Business pertained to the Police Impound Fence & gate install at City Shop, which the city dove into shortly after roll call and approval of the prior month’s city minutes. The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Vietnam Veteran Danny Snider.
Department Heads offered their reports and made themselves available for questions from the board; of note were Mayor Charles Anderson complimented and thanked the work done by Public Works during Tater Town, and Water Department Superintendent Tony Terrell discussing apprentice Clay Wright’s testing, “Clay is in a conference and the test has been changed; he is going for his third certification in wastewater. The test, it used to be on site, but now they open the test like the first of the month and run through so many days of the month you get to choose what day you take it but you have to take it at the testing center and it is all computerized.” Wright’s apprenticeship was described as imminently completed, with his four thousand hours of on the job training completed, and all he needs are these imminent tests and a final test in May to be completed.
On the matter of old business of in-ground swimming pools, Gleason has never had a concrete policy regarding it; faced with an increase in swimming pools in the municipality has led to a solution being required.
“The water goes through your meter, and then you get charged 110 percent for sewer,” Mayor Anderson commented, “so we have citizens who are concerned about that.”
The dollar point was identified in a discourse between Alderman Wade Cook and City Recorder Marsha Hatley as being roughly $50 per customer. After the discussion the board moved to leave the policy as is for the time being, with a unanimous roll call vote in the affirmative.
Police Chief Marcus Hopper took to the podium to discuss a range of topics. “It is considered a secure facility but,” Hopper began, referring to the impound, “I got a quote for it is going to be right around right under $8,000. It’ll be a 40 x 8 fence, and it can be totally funded out of the drug fund; it won’t come out of the general fund.” He was asked how long a person has to retrieve a car, Hopper stated it was 90 days unless there is a lean out on the car. The fence was unanimously passed on a roll call vote. Hopper and the board moved on to a few further separate issues; the first was the matter of naming heretofore unnamed streets in Gleason.
“They’re what I call orphan streets,” City Attorney Beau Pemberton commented. Chief Hopper stressed the lack of names leads to confusion and difficulty directing EMS on 911 calls to the appropriate locations, and identified two if not three streets which require naming. An example was if an emergency is at the dog park, EMS has been going to the Pavilion on Lowery Street. “Normally this issue will come up when individuals need streets and dedicate the right of way, for example it was a private street and you need the city or county to maintain, we dedicate the right of way, but here these are already existing roads for whatever reason never got named,” Beau Pemberton elaborated. The Board agreed to address the issue. Finally Chief Hopper explained to the Board that semi-truck traffic during school hours has become dangerous and he will be shutting it down during the school rush traffic, “actually this morning a semi almost turned over its load. You know where that light pole is near the Gazelle Ground, his back wheels almost fell off into the ditch back there. I don’t know how I’m going to do this yet but I am going to do this, it’s just not safe for the kids.”
Pemberton explained to the Board Chief Hopper’s authority is plenary in this regard for public safety, and irrespective of whether the Board has complaints, he is within his rights. That said, the Board seemed to side with Hopper’s logic to protect parents and children returning home and that limiting semi traffic briefly during this time frame is the right course of action.
Mayor Anderson closed the meeting with an announcement that the office of the County Mayor Jake Bynum had contacted him saying a countywide church service will be held Oct. 18 Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Downtown Gleason in the main parking lot for the county’s 200th anniversary. Mayor Anderson said, “plans are already proceeding; stage and security, we expect a huge crowd.” Also announced was the Hometown Christmas for Dec. 2. The next Board meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen of Gleason will be Monday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m.