"When we get our FEMA money it is all ours, we don't owe anyone," Carolyn Groves, Hardy City Council recorder/treasurer, announced to the council with excitement during the Sept. 16 council meeting.
"As you all know, we have been under a lot of strain with all that is going on," Groves said. "We have had to make transfers for payroll and wonder what we were going to do next, but now we are all caught up."
"Judge Brown (Sharp County Judge Larry Brown) called today and said he is declaring Sharp county a disaster area from the winds, so we will be able to apply for money for that as well," Mayor Nina Thorton added.
Thorton updated the council on the Buford Beach improvements. "We (the city) have spent about $40,000 on Buford Beach," Thorton said. "They just finished up the fence and it looks beautiful." Thorton reported the fence cost about $17,000 and the bathrooms are now being repaired.
Freida May Gamblin had submitted the Timely Club's plans for new landscape in the city's free parking lot, located on First Street, during the last council meeting. Mayor Thorton had advised the council members to take the time to examine the park's current arrangement and bring the new plans to a vote at the next council meeting.
Gamblin returned to the Sept. 16 meeting to hear the council's decision on the plans she had submitted. "I would suggest the garden club's plan be approved with exception to changing the width of the entrance and the arrangement of the parking spots," Thorton said.
"I have seen many cars try to make the turn into the park and have to back up to make the turn. It really is too narrow, it is a safety problem," Gamblin argued. "It really would make it more inviting to widen the entrance."
Thorton reminded the council of the vote a couple of years ago to make the entrance more narrow. Thorton said the reason the council decided to make the change at that time was due to buses and RVs parking there, which is prohibited. "It really has seemed to work well, the width it is now," Thorton said.
"I pull an 18-foot trailer and I've never had a problem getting in and out," Alderman Robert Gilliland said during the discussion.
Gamblin reluctantly agreed to the changes in the plans and the council passed the motion to allow the club to proceed with the new landscape.
The second annual Hardy Fire Department breakfast and auction will be held Oct. 18. Thorton informed the council the auction will start at 10 a.m. and the breakfast will be served from 7-11 a.m.
The featured item at the auction this year will be an Ultra 87, 12 gauge shotgun. The gun will have Second Annual Fire Department Auction and Breakfast engraved on it. Thorton said other items such as, tools, a hand made quilt, DVD player and CDs will be auctioned off.
The department will accept donations for the auction with all proceeds from the event to benefit the firemen and first responders. "We have 25 volunteers, that includes firemen, first responders and water rescue," Thorton said.
Thorton presented the current zoning of the truck route in Hardy for discussion. She informed the council that the route is still zoned residential and currently a property owner wants to build some storage units and possibly a retail store.
It was agreed upon by the council that the entire route cannot be made commercial due to a residence located there. Thorton suggested to the council to zone the route by parcel so it is known exactly how many feet there is. The council agreed and passed a permanent variance, changing the zoning on the piece of property requested from residential to commercial.
A special meeting was called Sept. 8 to discuss the sewer system being replaced. The current sewer pump at Woodland Hills was reported out of service. The system will be replaced with FEMA money but while the work is being done the city has to provide a sewer service.
Thorton said in comparing prices she found it to be cheaper to buy a portable sewer pump than the fee of a seven day rental. The council said they would recover most of the money spent to purchase the pump. The cost to the city in the replacement of the sewer is 12 percent.