By Ricki Garrett, PhD, Alderwoman at Large
Although I was in California visiting my son and his family during the last Board of Aldermen meeting, I would like to share with you a brief update on the actions of the Board.
The Board approved the hiring of four firemen, contingent on passing medical, psychological and drug screening. The Board also approved the purchase of a Scag Windstorm blower and the lease of a Pro-Turn Mower and a Gravely Pro-Turn Mach One for the Parks and Recreation Department.
In further action, the Board authorized the Mayor to execute a contract between the City of Clinton and Paymentech, LLC; JP Morgan Chase Bank; and Tyler Technologies to provide the Water Billing Department with payment processing services. The Board also approved Sewer Diagnostic Software for the Public Works Department and a Second Amendment to the Lease of Water Tower Space for Alltel Corporation, doing business as Verizon Wireless.
I would also like to share with you some other items of business that the Board has been working on for a while that will come up for votes soon. One of these is an ordinance amending the official zoning ordinance as it relates to the keeping of certain animals in the Residential Estate Zoning District. This issue came up in order to address the desire of residents living in areas zoned Residential Estate to have a certain number of farm animals. The Board continues to discuss the acreage required to have these animals, the type of animals allowed and other factors.
The Board is also working on an updating of its personnel policies. The current policies have not been updated since 2012, so we are overdue for this revamp. A draft update has been looked at by an attorney specializing in human resources, and the Board will begin looking at the recommended changes.
Finally, the Board has been approached by representatives of Entergy about loosening its requirements for an onsite arborist during tree trimmings and the requirement to have onsite cleanup. The previous Board of Aldermen had passed these requirements as a result of too many trees being mutilated during the company’s tree trimmings and too much debris being left behind. However, the company claims it is substantially slowing down needed tree trimming in Clinton and causing more power outages than normal. The Board will look at ways that would assist the company, while still protecting the trees from undue mutilation.
By the time this edition of the newspaper is printed, the citizens of Clinton will also have voted on the issue of medical marijuana. The Board has proactively passed zoning regulations and ordinances pertaining to medical marijuana, in the event the vote is in favor of allowing it.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Space will be provided in each issue of The Clinton Courier to the Board of Aldermen for a recap of each meeting. Aldermen are asked to volunteer to provide this recap for the Courier.