By Ward 4 Alderman Chip Wilbanks
I have learned a lot during the six months I have served as Alderman of Ward 4 for the City of Clinton, and I look forward to a great 2022.
I have seen first-hand that the City has talented, dedicated and hard-working men and women working for all of us. The City’s department heads are spectacular and are constantly working to improve Clinton and to make the lives of our citizens better. There are many activities going on every day for each of us to enjoy that are well-planned and implemented by many hard-working people. There are crews constantly working to improve our roads, infrastructure and neighborhoods. Our city is very fortunate to have men and women that work around the clock to keep us safe, and, to an incredibly high degree, they do.
I quickly learned that money is limited. There are so many great ideas for our city, but the City has limited resources, which creates difficult decisions to be made on how that money should be spent. During the budget hearing process in August, each department head came to the Board with wonderful ideas on things they need and would like for their department and for the City. We made those decisions with a lot of investigation, inquiry and serious consideration. The Board made decisions during this year’s budget to retain a lobbyist to seek federal funding for infrastructure and other projects. We also retained a grant writer to make sure our City is seeking every grant possible. We also voted to pursue a 2% restaurant tax, which most cities in the metro area already have, which will benefit our parks.
Our citizens have some real issues the City needs to do a better job addressing. I have had the pleasure of talking to many of the residents of our city during the last six months. Many of those have concerns or issues they would like the City to address. By far the issue that I hear about more than any other is drainage. Many homes and neighborhoods across our city are being affected by poor drainage. Much of the time, the drainage issue is something the City cannot resolve, because the City is prevented by law from doing any type of work on private property. Other times, if the City were to help to resolve a drainage issue in one area of the city, that pinpoint resolution could cause problems for another area of the city. I believe it is very important for the City to conduct a city-wide hydraulic study to determine the areas of concern and create a plan to resolve those issues. Such a study will be expensive – and implementing such a plan will be even more expensive – but this is something we should address.
There are some exciting things ahead for the future of our city. It is a privilege to serve the City of Clinton during this time. If you have any concerns or idea you would like to address with me, please call me at 601-952-3600.