The Viola City Council held their monthly meeting Oct. 30 to discuss several issues concerning the town.
The council resumed discussion on closing part of Longhorn Drive during school hours. During last month's meeting, John May, superintendent of Viola School, met with the council to ask them to close part of the road for the students' safety when they are walking across the street to the band building and to keep illegal activities from happening near the rock wall that partially surrounds the school. The council agreed to send out a survey with last month's water bill asking residents about closing part of Longhorn Drive during school hours.
The council reviewed the results of the survey in the recent meeting. They found that 41 were against closing the street that runs next to the school and 23 were for. However, during the school's recent parent/teacher conference meeting, the school held its own survey, which came out with different results from the city's survey. The school's survey had 113 for closing down the street and 8 against it. This survey included people who lived outside of city limits, though.
"From what I understand, the main problem is children going over to the band room," Alderman Dennis Harber said. "Why don't we buy barricades for them to put across the street?"
Some other suggestions made to solve the problem were portable stop signs and more visible speed limit signs. "We can make (an) offer to the school," Mayor Jackie Estes said.
The council voted 4 to 1 to leave Longhorn Drive open.
The council discussed whether to become part of the National Flood Plain Program. Water Department Administrator Darrel Zimmer said Fulton County is already a member of the flood plain but it is not mapped yet.
If the town does become a member of the flood plain, residents who add on to their homes by 50 percent or more will have to meet flood plain standards, Zimmer said.
Zimmer also said that some federal loans require applicants to get flood insurance. "This is not enforceable until the county is mapped," Zimmer said.
Mayor Estes brought up that Viola School is trying to get grant money from FEMA to reinforce the physical education building and make it a community shelter. To apply for the grant the city has to pass a resolution to be on the flood plain. "I'd hate for us to be the reason for them not getting the grant," Mayor Estes said.
The resolution for the town to be on the flood plain passed 4 to 1 abstained.
Zimmer informed the council that he has to turn in a water budget to the United States Department of Agriculture. The council had to pass the proposed budget so he could turn it in.
Zimmer told the council he had to add $2 to residential water bills and drop his salary by $3,000 for the budget to balance. These figures won't be in effect until January 2009.
Mayor Estes said he wanted to find some other way to balance the budget than Zimmer taking a $3,000 cut.
The council passed the proposed budget and agreed that Zimmer send in what he has on the budget now and amend it later.
The financial statement for the city of Viola was presented to the council. The end of September balance for the general fund is $16,409.74. The balance for the street department fund is $57,362.10 and the balance for the fire department fund is $29,460.27.
The date for next month's Viola City Council meeting has yet to be announced.