Mayor Pamela Hoots signed a proclamation Monday evening just prior to the Columbia City Council’s March meeting declaring this month “DeMolay Month” in Columbia.
DeMolay aims to build leaders of character among young men ages 9 through 21, and four local participants — Thomas Erler, Charlie Grant, Easton Burton, and Mason Grant — were on hand for the proceedings.
Hoots and several councilors thanked the young men for their commitment to service and their community.
Agenda items from Monday’s council meeting included:
• First reading of an ordinance increasing the mayor’s salary to $40,000 per year, effective for the next mayoral term, which starts in January of 2023.
The ordinance includes a stipulation that the salary “shall automatically increase annually in conjunction with changes in the consumer price index.”
Since Monday constituted first reading, no vote was taken on the matter. The council will vote to approve or reject the ordinance upon second reading, presumably at the April council meeting.
• First reading of an ordinance annexing territory located on the city’s northern boundary of state Route 55 into the city limits. The property, owned by Max Downey, already receives some city services, according to Hoots.
A vote will be taken on the annexation upon second reading.
• During citizens comments, Darrell Treece, former Adair Schools superintendent, complained that city sanitation workers were often leaving his empty garbage cans blocking his tenth-of-a-mile long driveway, which he said created a safety issue for vehicles attempting to turn in, as his residence is on a hill with limited visibility in both directions.
Treece shared 10 photos he had taken of his cans laying out of place, which he said he had taken between 2019 and 2022.
“Over and over, and I have come in and talked — and it’ll get better for a while — but the trash cans will either end up blocking the driveway or blocking the mailbox,” Treece said. “I would think that impeding the U.S. Postal Service from delivering mail could be a federal offense, but that’s not anything for me to go on. What really prompted me to be here was that two weeks ago, I had some workers coming, pulling a trailer to do some work […] The trash cans were not only blocking the mailbox but blocking the driveway.”
Treece said that the workers would have had to stop in the middle of the road to move the cans, creating a safety issue.
“I’m not asking you all to do anything, except to enforce or reinforce with them that it’s getting to be a safety issue, as well as an aggravation for me,” Treece said.
Sanitation supervisor O.D. Frazier said that any time he is on Treece’s route, he makes sure his workers place the cans back in the appropriate spot and attributed most of the problems to wind blowing the empty cans. Frazier said he was not driving two weeks ago, and one of his workers did admit that he forgot to place the cans back in the correct spot.
Later in the meeting, it was revealed that Treece’s residence is outside the city limits. Frazier said he wasn’t sure why Treece’s address was even on the pickup list, but it had been since he assumed the role of department supervisor (non city residents may still utilize city services if they’re available to them and they pay the bill).
Councilors said they took Treece’s complaint seriously and Frazier reiterated that he would make sure Treece’s cans were placed properly when he’s driving Treece’s route.
• The council rejected a bid of $17,500 on a 2010 Freightliner truck and chassis submitted by Kentucky Sanitation Services. Frazier recommended to the council that market value was between $22,000 and $26,000 and said that they should not sell for less than $20,000. The truck will now be placed for sale online with a minimum reserve of $20,000.
All councilors were present for the meeting.