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Plenty of city decisions over the week

There have been two Sylvania City Council meetings since last week, and the council has approved a number of resolutions and decided to go forward on many projects.
During a June 11 called meeting, the council voted to approve an amendment to the memorandum of understanding with the Shrivallabh Pittie Group which moves the original July 7 timetable start to Sept. 30, 2014, after the EB-5 investing process and the bond process took longer than expected.
Council members also approved an amendment to the 2013 Budget for the General Fund when auditors found the city had underspent by around $80,000. Some departments went over budget and those that were under were adjusted to balance out everything.
The largest under budget item was the City Manager Stacy Mathis’ fund which was $72,016 underspent. Culture and Recreation department had the largest adjustment to $40,708 largely from the Battle of Brier Creek grant. The Police department was adjusted by $17,982 to a total of $886,437 – which was the largest general fund department by far.
In the regularly scheduled Tuesday night meeting, council initiated the process to pave Pine, Cherry and Rocky Ford street sections with 2012-2013 LMIG money (around $66,000), old SPLOST money (around $40,000), and new SPLOST money (an estimated $400,000). It is estimated about a mile’s worth of road will be fixed between the three streets at the cost of around $100,000.
The city focused on those roads as they are the most torn up, traveled on roads.
Utilities Director Freddie Overstreet got a “birthday present” in the form of a new mini-excavator to help the Utilities Department stay on top of road work, pipe repairs and many other important tasks. Overstreet told the council he was forced to use “wore out crap” and it was starting to delay repairs and have an impact on the amount of work the department could do.
Overstreet said it’d probably been 20 years or more since the Utilities Department had gotten a piece of equipment. The council looked at four bids and took the lowest one from JCB at $37,750, which was Overstreet’s first choice coincidentally. The council meeting just happened to be on Overstreet’s birthday and he jokingly asked for a “present.”
An engineering agreement with Parker Engineering for the 2014 CDBG – EIP Industrial Park sewer and water improvements was approved by the members of the council. This starts the process of running lines out to the industrial park for the Shrivallabh Pittie Group’s textile plant. The total cost will be around an estimated $700,000 of which $500,000 or so will be covered with grants.
Three drug policies were amended Tuesday night, as the council had discovered some discrepancies in what they wanted their policies to be. City Attorney Hugh Hunter updated the CDL Drug Policy, Public Safety Policy, and the Pipeline Drug Policy to be up to federal standards and line up with each other.
Drug use is prohibited for all of those positions and those testing positive or not taking the test would be terminated with a no return to work policy. There were some problems with drug testing and rehabilitation which the city did not wish to pay for if the employee failed.
In their unfinished business portion, the council approved abandoning lanes no longer used by the city’s trash collection service. Two lanes between Hobby Avenue and Dixie Avenue were quit-claimed, splitting the lanes between owners adjacent to the property.
Sharon (Faye) Aaron received retirement recognition for her service to the Sylvania Police Department for 23 years. Aaron had been working in the Department of Public Safety since August 16, 1991 and retired May 31, 2014.
Many members of the Sylvania Police and Fire Departments were in attendance for her recognition ceremony.
Jeannette Moy spoke about drainage problems on St. Andrews, saying she had asked the city to take care of it before but over the years sand has piled up and the drainage section hasn’t been looked after. She said she was just bringing it to the attention of the council.
Willard Lee Hightower asked the city why they had not done anything to clean up the Old City Cemetery near Railroad Street. Stacy Mathis said FEMA had originally asked the city to not pick it up until the State Historic Preservation Office had looked at it. After a period of time two estimates were submitted at FEMA has agreed to pay for 80 percent of the cleanup costs.
Hightower asked Mathis to inform him of the progress.
Finally the council approved the city attorney’s bill of $7,216 and adjourned.