The much discussed idea of a sales tax increase for the Town of Cedar Bluff passed the Town Council on June 12, with the increase in funds earmarked for road improvements.
Councilmember Norman Burton led the meeting in the absence of Town Mayor Tammy Crane. Burton noted that the Council had had discussions about passing an ordinance to increase the sales tax in the town by half of a percent.
“In the package on this ordinance the Town attorney prepared, it says we will raise sales tax from 9.5 percent to 10 percent, using the money to improve the streets in the town,” Burton said “We have to let it lay on the table for a month. I know we talked about this at a previous meeting and everyone was in agreement with it. Is there any other discussion on this tonight?”
There was no further discussion, and the Council agreed to pass the ordinance once it had been advertised. “Susie will advertise it. We will put it on the agenda for the next meeting. We will move forward then,” Burton said.
Before receiving the Town’s Police Report, Burton noted that he wanted to thank Police Chief Steve Walden for some extra work.
“I want to publically thank Steve for all the work he has done on that restroom, supervising the inmates, and I want you to know that I appreciate it and the Town appreciates it,” Burton said. The Town has been working on installing restrooms in the Town Park.
Chief Steve Walden then gave the Police Department Report including arrests for UPOCS (3) UPODP (4); DUI (3); Underage Consumption (2) UPOM (2); Felony Warrant (1); Misd. Warrant (4); and 20 traffic tickets issued
In old business the Council approved a submitted contract by Ladd Engineering, and approved a 50/50 grant application to be filed regarding funds for the park.
Burton noted that Mark Collins spoke to the Council during their work session, asking for a letter of support in stocking white bass and hybrid striped bass in Weiss Lake.
“He said it was to increase tourists and fishermen on the lake,” Burton said. “He is asking for a letter of support to Weiss Lake Improvement Association for them to proceed with the state to get this stocking done.”
The Council approved sending a letter of support to Weiss Lake Improvement Association on this matter.
The Council then discussed the progress of the Town Park restroom project. Burton told the Council $8,000 in additional funds were needed to complete the project.
Burton said, “We’ve got the money in the alcohol fund to pay for it. “The Council approved spending up to $8,000 to finish the park bathrooms.
Councilmember Donald Sanders brought up a new matter for discussion regarding a particular type of road repair.
“I rode with Mark Baty the other day, trying to get ditches cleaned out where the garbage truck is turned out down there,” Sanders said. “We have to get something down the because it is making a big mess. I don’t know how heavy that truck is when it gets down there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it got stuck down there some time.”
The Council discussed the type of materials to use to fix the road, including chirt and gravel. A motion was made to do what was needed to fix the road so the garbage truck did not get stuck in that area. The Motion passed.
Councilmember Leatha Harp brought up another new area of business. “We are having a real problem with dogs in our area,” Harp said. “Are they starting to work again, animal control?”
Police Chief Walden said he would find out more about the services animal control would be providing to Cedar Bluff. He agreed that dogs had become a problem in Cedar Bluff and hoped to find a working solution.
Before the meeting adjourned a Cedar Bluff citizen asked to speak to the Council on an area of concern to her. The citizen asked the Council, “What is the ordinance on abandoned houses around me?”
She added, “Some have grass more than knee-high, houses are burned down. We tried to put up our house for sale, and no one wants to buy it because they say the neighborhood looks terrible.”
Town Clerk Susie Surrett noted that she had sent the citizen a complaint form. The citizen said the form required names of property owners and addresses, and she did not have that for all of the properties she was referring to.
The Council asked the citizen to get with Surrett to describe the exact locations of these properties, so the Town could help identify the owners and addresses.
The citizen completed her statement to the Council by saying, “There are a lot of places around here that need to be cleaned up.” Councilmember Burton noted that the Town will usually send a police officer or building inspector to check on this type of situation.