BY PAT BROWN
There are several reports of leaks following recent borings as a result of new cable being put in Magee for high speed internet.
C Spire and contractors working for them have created issues in different locations according to Mayor Dale Berry. There was one issue on Tenth Avenue, one on Third and one behind city hall.
Berry reported the city is considering replacement of signs on Highway 49 and using funds from a grant from the railroad for beautification. Contact had been made with a sign shop and they can be replaced for $650 each. Whitney Baker was going to create a design.
Berry reported that work is proceeding at the old YMCA which will be the site to the new Senior Citizen’s Center. Whitney Baker reported they had changed the floor covering color which should keep them on schedule. Baker reported it is her goal to have an opening by Valentines in February.
Mayor Berry told the board he felt the best time to resurface Main Avenue downtown is the Memorial Day Weekend in May. The reason is because they need to have enough time to mill the road. This is the removal of the existing surface and grinding it because of the multiple layers of paving which have been done in the past. There will also be painting and striping also. There is discussion about angling the spaces more so people can pull out without having to block two lanes of traffic. Berry said this would do away with two parking spaces.
Berry also stated it is the plan to sweep and remove leaves from every street in the city. He stated there is a brand new sweeper. He said there is going to be regular maintenance at the cemetery also.
The mayor has asked the city attorney, Bruce Smith, to research an ordinance for banning hookah bars, vibe bars, and cigar bars. Hookah bars are where communal smoking is done in what Berry referred to as a “bong”. Vibe bars, according to Berry, are where people vape. Cigar bars which the city has approved at The Vault for the original owner are now on the block. Alderman Whitney Baker said that cigar bars that meet certain criteria are approved.
Berry told the board that 80 percent of the youth in Simpson County were vaping already and that hookah leads to marijuana use.
In a related matter Berry had an ordinance drafted that would make it illegal for anyone under the age of 21 to use tobaccos or e-cigarettes or similar products. Violations of the code would carry a fine of $50 and up to 30 hours of community service. The second time a violation would be $250 and up to 60 days of community service.
As of January 1 of 2020 you must now be 21 to purchase tobaccos products and like materials. The board took no action on the ordinance and requested additional information.
The board voted and agreed to raise the cost of participation in the ball programs sponsored by the city from $45 per child to $65 per child. This will go to offset expenses incurred by the city for drug testing of coaches as well as a one-time coaching clinic required by the Cal Ripken program. This will also allow for funds for all-star programs at the end of the season. This makes the Magee program closer to the fees charged by nearby programs.
Berry presented a list of businesses that are required to have backflow preventers. Most are compliant according to Berry. This is a requirement according to the Department of Health. It prevents water from the business back flowing into the city’s water system.