Highland City Council discusses sewer concerns

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Highland City Council held their regular meeting May 14.

Fire Chief Kal Dienst was absent for the meeting, but Mayor Russell Truitt offered his report to the council in his absence.

Police Chief Shane Russell told the council he didn’t have much to speak about outside of his report.

“It was pretty close to an average month, we had a few felony cases and sent stuff to the crime lab, but something I wanted to tell you was our main part time car has 120,000 miles on it and it’s not falling apart but we’ve definitely had to put some money into it,” Russell said.

The council briefly discussed vehicles but no action was taken.

During his road report, Street Superintendent David Gates gave an update on some of the work going on in the city.

“We’ve done quite a bit to dig up the soft spots in these roads and fill them with B rock and then go over them with gravel,” Gates said. “They had taken a backhoe to dig out a truck but left a big hole so we spent all day trying to get that patched up. We had a big spring cleanup this year and used two 40-yard dumpsters more than we normally do.”

Truitt said planning and zoning did not meet, however; there have been several conversations with an individual who intends to build a go-kart track.

“They’re finalizing his paperwork to get him going. He’s been in twice this week and is still going to do that, so that will be another new business in the area here shortly,” Truitt said.

Truitt said the airport commission had met and had their new lighting project complete but were still waiting on inspection.

“We’re still trying to work with the folks who bought the building at the end of the runway and I offered to go and talk with them about topping the trees because the FAA said they’re too tall coming in,” Truitt said. “In the past, they were not receptive to cutting their trees but the FAA said they will be topped or taken down. If they don’t let us do it, the FAA will come in and do it and it won’t be as pretty as what we could do.”

City Clerk Mary Wiles said sales tax revenue was up for the month and was a positive boost for the city.

Under new business, Truitt addressed the USDA funds. He explained there were three sewer pumps which needed to be replaced and ADEQ expected the pumps to be replaced before they were no longer functioning.

“I’ve been working trying to get pricing on these things and we just didn’t have the money in our budget to replace everything we needed to without borrowing money,” Truitt said.

He told the council he had contacted the USDA to see if it would be possible to borrow the funds from the city’s reserve, but the USDA would not allow the city to use the full amount without concessions.

There is approximately $19,000 of the $25,000 the city needs available.

“We’re going to replace two of these pumps. The big flight pump is $17,000 itself. It’s definitely got to be replaced. We need to replace it first and the other two we will work through as our money comes available,” Truitt said. “We could borrow the full amount but I’m recommending we don’t do that.”

Truitt said the pumps were not something that could be rebuilt.

When asked why the city couldn’t borrow their money without concessions, Truitt explained $75,000 had to remain in the account at all times.

The council voted to purchase two pumps without borrowing additional funds.

“The next item under new business, I made a decision. We had a meeting at the Federal Reserve and Dave and I had talked before about the waste cost we have from dumping our solid waste at the plant. We have a seven-yard hopper and they bring a 20-yard dumpster and it costs us about $600 every time they come and pick one up. We were talking about if we had our own truck, we could dump in it three to four times before we had to go dump it,” Truitt said. “I was at the federal surplus and they had a roll off dumpster truck. I looked the truck over, I got it or $3,600.”

Truitt said it would save the city money in the long run. “We will pay for the dumping fees for the weight but not for the transport,” Truitt said.

The council voted to approve the purchase of the vehicle.

Prior to adjournment, council member asked if privacy fences were required to be placed between commercial and residential properties.

Truitt said he would need to review the ordinance, but was under the impression the fence was required to be a privacy fence.

The council also discussed the loss of businesses and possible incoming businesses.

The Highland City Council meets the second Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. At city hall.

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