Sunman Council discusses clean-up issue

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

A report from Parks and Streets Manager Dan Eckstein at the Sunman Town Council meeting September 17 brought much discussion about how the town should go about recouping money for time spent on a clean-up project.

Eckstein reported that several town employees spent several hours at an abandoned property at 110 Jackson Street recently. He said they hauled four dump truck loads of brush away and a dump truck load of trash following the clean up detail.

Council member John Campbell was adamant about finding the property owner and charging them for the clean up. “After all,” he said, “we take our fellows away from their regular work to do this.”
While he wanted to charge a high fee to hopefully deter homeowners from letting the property get in such a condition, he was cautioned by town attorney Amy Streator the fee should be reasonable.

In the end it was decided the town employees and clerk-treasurer Kris Schneider would get together and make a recommendation as to what would be charged to the property owners.

They have also mowed a property at 119 Western Avenue twice this summer with Eckstein saying it will have to be mowed again.

In other business:

• Council members unanimously approved the 2010 budget. The total budget was reported at $437,160.

• Approval was given for the 2010 fire contract for $15,360.

• The 2010 Economic Development agreement was approved at 12% of the 2010 income tax disbursement, which Schneider reported to be about $2100.

• A request for financial support for the Ripley County Community Foundation in the amount of $1500 was approved. This will be taken from Riverboat money.

• Trick or Treat hours have been set for October 31 from 6-8 p.m.

• The shot clinic set for September 24 was postponed by MMCH due to not getting enough doses of the vaccine. It will be announced when it is rescheduled.

• Schneider reported usage of the community building has increased.

Discussion was held with ordinances proposed to prohibit first floor apartments in commercial buildings on Main Street; a no burn ordinance; and a golf cart ordinance, which would allow the usage of golf carts in the town - even on the state highway.

Marshal Bill Dramann was asked for input on the golf cart ordinance proposed. “I have mixed emotions,” he admitted to the council citing some reasons for his feelings. While he realizes people enjoy the use of golf carts in town for convenience and a cost savings of buying gas, he also realizes that SR 101 is a busy highway with a lot of truck traffic. He noted that some towns require golf cart operators to take a special course. He agreed there needed to be a “considerable amount of time and research put into the idea of permitting golf carts in town.”

The matter was tabled with the marshal being asked to work with the council on the proposal.
In the marshal’s report he praised reserve officers Dave Bruns and Brian Maynard for working so many hours. He reported 9 VIN checks; 47 traffic stops; 10 citations; 8 investigations; 9 citizen complaints; 4 criminal arrests; 4 parking warnings, among many other duties for the month.

The marshal reported a new mandate that will take place in 2011 requiring police to have audio and video recordings of interrogations and investigations. He was given the go ahead to get some estimates on the needed equipment.

A portion of Eastern Avenue is in bad need of repair, according to council member Campbell. While the town originally thought they would be getting some stimulus money to take care of this problem, they recently learned they will not get the funds needed. Campbell suggested getting some local bids to do as much as possible. The council agreed for Campbell to pursue getting the bids so the work could possibly be done yet this fall.

All council members were in attendance along with clerk treasurer Kris Schneider and attorney Amy Streator to advise the council.

The next regularly scheduled meeting will be held October 15 at 6:30 p.m. at the town hall.