A check for $2,800 was presented to the City of Magee for the purpose of animal care through Magee’s Animal Shelter.
The donation was made at last week’s meeting of the Magee Mayor and Board of Aldermen by the Hugh Jack Stubbs Family Foundation.
Jon Styron, assistant municipal clerk, attended the meeting in place of City Clerk Lane Yearby, who has been diagnosed with COVID-19.
The dockets for payment of bills were submitted to the board, and Alderman Patrick Brown asked who was responsible for reviewing the bills for accuracy. Mayor Dale Berry stated that he and Styron had reviewed the statements for accuracy.
During the Mayor’s report, Berry offered his State of the City report for 2021. In the report he stated that the city is continuing to offer city services despite the pandemic. Berry also noted that city sales taxes are currently at a record high and that this year is exceeding last year’s figures.
Berry restated the board’s commitment to the Police Department with over 38 percent of the city budget being allocated to provide safety to the community.
Berry reviewed improvements to the Fire Department at over $500,000, which directly correlates to improved fire safety ratings.
Berry reported the improvements in Public Works with the purchase of a new garbage truck as well as a new grapple truck.
He reported the improvements to the new airport and new engineers building improved design features.
Berry noted that the Park and Recreation program has tournaments booked for 25 weekends during the 2021 ball season. He also reported the improvements that have been made by Alderman Patrick Brown to the new Marvin Jackson Park, perviously the Washington Street Park.
Berry touted sucess in the fact that all of these improvements have been made with no new tax increases.
The board heard from Asst. Fire Chief Phillip Magee about the need for a new fire truck. The current one, Engine Two, is a 1997 model that is about to be 25 years old. Magee requested that the department be allowed to apply for the Assistance to Firefighters Grant to fund the new equipment. The grant is for 95 percent, and the city would be liable for 5 percent.
Magee asked that the department be able to use JMCM Consulting to complete the grant application. According to Magee, their approval rating in getting requested grants is high. Their fee for their services is 5 percent of the grant. The cost of the truck is estimated at $500,000.
The city would be responsible for the initial 5 percent, which is $25,000 plus 5 percent of $475,000 for JMCM, which is $23,750. That means if the grant were approved in the amount the department is asking for, $500K, the city would have to spend $48,750. However, the department also asked that they be able to sell the old truck, and they feel the sale would cover the $48,750 expense the city would incur.
The new truck is needed, Magee said, because its time of service, 25 years, would impact the city’s insurance rating. The board voted and agreed to allow the Fire Department to proceed.
Berry reported that the bathrooms at the tennis courts have been vandalized again and the city plans to put a monitoring device there to prevent this from happening in the future.
Public Works Director Hugh Dilmore reported to the board that the new excavator is in full service and has already been used on three different projects.
Dilmore said the county has agreed to allow the City of Magee access to the transfer station on Fridays. This will change the schedule for garbage pickup, but the city said they plan to advertise the new schedule.
Dilmore estimated that the city is spending $30,000 on disposal of cardboard. Board members discussed businesses possibly being responsible for their own cardboard disposal.