LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – The discussion of homelessness reared its head again at last night’s City of LaFollette workshop. WATCH the meeting on demand here. Councilman Bill Archer requested signs be placed on the city’s bridges stating, “no loitering.” Archer continued that someone has a recliner under one of the bridges, while others discussed bridges where homeless individuals were living. Police Chief Bill Roehl spoke to council about what his department is doing to address the issue. He presented council with a plan of things that can be done to impact the issue of homelessness. Roehl stated that officers can check people to see what they are doing in the city but told council “homelessness is not illegal.” Councilman Lonnie “Hot Rod” Wilson would like to see officers have overtime to address the issue. The overtime would allow for officers to have a greater presence in the city.
Discussion of applying for a new capital outlay note with the Bond Fund $1,500,000. This note was discussed during planning for the 2020-21 budget. Council will need to have an itemized list before it applies for the note.
Jon Finley of E.E. Hill and Son Insurance spoke with the council about the employee medical insurance renewal. The plan is scheduled for renewal Jan. 2021. The council requested he look at Humana and Blue Cross/Blue Shield rates for the city.
The Beech and 13th Streets and Cumberland Avenue projects came back higher than were originally expected, somewhere between $125,000 and $150,000 higher. Some of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) compliance could be done in house and possibly save around $40,000. The total cost of the project is $457,125. The council will need to decide how it wants to proceed at next week’s regular monthly meeting on Tuesday.
The council will discuss approving an investment grade audit with TRANE for LED lighting in the city.
The public works department needs two mowing tractors. The first tractor has a side mower at a cost of $90,000 and the second tractor with a boom mower at a cost of $115,000-$130,000. Council will discuss placing these items on the upcoming capital outlay note.
Three employee changes will be voted on at next week’s council meeting. This first is the promotion of Monica Gibson to full-time dispatcher in the police department effective Oct. 10. She has been with the police department for six months. The public works department will have the next two changes with Torey McDonald being promoted from part-time to full-time on the garbage truck and James Suttles to operator. Both of those promotions will take effect Oct. 10.
Ordinance 2020-04 amending a Parks and Recreation Ordinance as set forth in Ordinance 2012-04 will have its final reading next week. Resolution 2020-15 amending the original 2020/2021 budget adding in $178,000 from the State of Tennessee. The monies will pay for a rescue truck and paving. Resolution 2020-16 authorizing the City of La Follette to participate in Public Entity Partners (Driver Safety) Loss Control Matching Grant Program which is done yearly. Resolution 2020-17 amendment to the original 2020/2021 Budget for the imminent threat grant. This grant will pay for the Cherry Street repairs.
City administrator Jimmy Jeffries updated council on the old post office windows. The windows need to be resealed and Jeffries has contacted Tim Brown who originally installed the windows to estimate the cost of resealing. Mayor Mike Stanfield suggested that Postmark LaFollette have a fundraiser to pay for the resealing of the windows.
Recreation director Johnny Byrge spoke with council about applying for a 50-50 grant for the recreation department. Funds from the grant could be used to pay for the amphitheater that is part of the recreation departments 10-year plan.
Trunk or Treat will be held Saturday, Oct. 31 from 5 to 8 pm. Social distancing will be observed, and masks are suggested. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 09/29/2020-6AM)