The Smithville Board of Mayor and Aldermen Monday night voted to accept bids on the installation of an irrigation system for the fairways at the Smithville Golf Course, once specs for the project have been provided by Jimmy Lewis, operator of the Smithville Golf and Swim Club.
The city will receive bids on the project and take half of Lewis' rent to pay for it over time. Lewis will continue to pay his monthly rent of $2,500 per month with half going to the general fund and half going to the city to pay the debt of the irrigation system.
Lewis, with his former partner Darryl Counts, was granted a five year extension of his lease agreement along with a five year renewal option several months ago as a consideration for his commitment " to expend the sum of one hundred thousand dollars in order to dig a second well, to install a sprinkler system for the fairways, and to purchase golf carts". Lewis has completed two of the three projects he agreed to under the lease.
Under the previous agreement with the city, Lewis had the golf course and swimming pool leased until 2012 at a rate of $2,500 per month. Under the amended agreement, Lewis was granted an extension of his lease through 2017 at the same rate of $2,500 per month, with a five year renewal option. The monthly rate can be renegotiated in 2017.
Lewis says he has already spent more than $92,000 on the golf course and swimming pool and he now needs some help from the city. Lewis made a similar request to the city council last year but was denied.
Lewis already has two sealed bids on the irrigation project, but the council felt like it was more proper for the city to advertise for bids.
The council voted 4 to 1 to advertise for bids. Alderman Steve White voted against it, saying he felt the city should stick to the terms of the current agreement with Lewis.
Meanwhile, the city council voted to accept the resignations of those city employees who announced their resignations last month and voted to hire Joey Jones and Randy King as the newest members of the Smithville Police Department. The vote was 4 to 1 on Jones and 5 to 0 on King. Alderman Willie Thomas voted against Jones. Alderman Tonya Sullivan says she has reviewed the officer's POST files and they seem to have a good record
The city board is developing a job description for the positions of secretary-treasurer and director of public utilities and will advertise, seeking applicants. The salaries will be based on qualifications and those hired for those positions must live in DeKalb County or agree to relocate here.
The position of Police Chief will also be advertised, seeking applicants. The vote was 3 to 2. Aldermen Tonya Sullivan, Steve White, and Cecil Burger voted in favor while Aldermen Jerry Hutchins Sr. and Willie Thomas voted against it.
Hutchins says the charter calls for the city to promote from within when there is an opening in the department and Thomas agreed. However Sullivan says if anyone from within the department wants to apply, they may do so. Hutchins wants former chief Richard Jennings to get the job.
Concerned citizen Walter Foster, a resident of Miller Road, came before council complaining about some horses being kept on a small lot near his home on Luttrell Avenue. Foster says there were two horses on the lot, and now there are four. He says the horses have been there so long, the lot is now bare, with little or no grass on it at all, and the animals are drawing flies to the area. The lot is also located across the street from the home of Alderman Willie Thomas, and he too is unhappy about the horses being there.
Mayor Taft Hendrixson says the owners of the property may be in violation of city codes and animal control has talked to them. The city board voted to have codes inspector Eugene O'Neal make a personal contact with the owners and follow up with a letter, giving them notice to remove the horses.
Another concerned citizen, Patsy Williams Hayes, came before the board asking that speed limit signs be erected in Short Mountain Village, where she lives to warn motorists to slow down, where children are at play. She also wants more police patrols in that area.
The city board voted to erect 15 mile per hour speed limit signs at the entrances to housing project, as well as other signs cautioning motorists to drive slowly or beware of children at play, subject to a review by city attorney John Pryor.
Citizen member Thomas Groom was appointed to the Industrial Development Board.
The city board also voted 4 to 1 to officially approve the written sales tax agreement with the county. Under the agreement, the city will continue to turn over to the county an additional 16-2/3% of it's local option sales tax collections for another 30 years. Alderman White voted against it, saying 30 years was too long. Alderman Burger felt the same way but still voted for it.
City attorney John Pryor was the acting secretary during Monday night's meeting, taking the minutes.