McKenzie Council Meeting

Court costs allowed up to $50

McKenzie’s court costs are about to be increased when the second reading of the ordinance passes. The first reading passed at the Aug. 13 council meeting. The second reading will be held Sept. 10.

The city will be able to charge up to the maximum rate of $50.

“I feel very comfortable with the way it reads,” said Mayor Jill Holland.

The first reading on an ordinance passed

The first reading on an ordinance passed that was amended to add grass, various objects or materials that would obstruct, limit or interfere with the use of public ways such as streets or sidewalks.

“We actually thought we were covered in municipal court, but found that grass wasn’t mentioned,” said Mayor Jill Holland. “We had a lot of people calling about motorcycles sliding in the grass and grass can also stop up storm drains.”

Council member Charles Pruneau said the only objection he had was about people trying to remove snow and ice.

The sidewalks are owned by the city, but homeowners are supposed to take care of them as far as common sense is concerned, according to city attorney Laura Keeton.

Election of three council members

A resolution passed that calls for the election of three council members on Nov. 3 for four year terms. The terms of Ward I Vice Mayor Jessie Townes, Ward IV Debbie Riley and Ward VI Charles Pruneau are up.

Mckenzie Police Officer’s requests

McKenzie Police Department officers are wanting some grooming standards changed. Council members passed a motion to rescind the approval of a Grooming Standards Board. A motion passed that no grooming standards will pass until it comes before the council for approval.

 A motion passed to close Kencindot Street for safety reasons.

The street washed out during one of the recent rains.

The estimated cost to repair the street is $423,000.

“I think we could look at a grant,” said the mayor. “The cost is phenomenal. We can put it on the back burner and look at ways to get it fixed.”

“I don’t want to close it permanently,” said council member Bobby Young. Pruneau suggested that a better barrier than the yellow tape be put up.

A new judge was selected

Huntingdon attorney Charles Trotter was selected to be the city’s new judge. He is taking the place of Jeff Washburn who is an independent candidate for the state representative for House District 76. The mayor said due to the code of ethics Washburn can’t continue to be judge.

New water lines to be placed

A bid for running water lines to 25755 Highway 22 was awarded to KT Construction Co. of McKenzie for a bid of $28,885. Also bidding on the project was Barsto Construction Co. of Huntingdon who bid $31,125 and Rebel Construction Co. of Collierville who bid $71,300.

Rules were suspended in order to bring up legal matters

The rules were suspended in order to bring up two legal matters pertaining to two police officers, Brandon Leek and Austin Jones and Profile Metals.

The city attorney said Leek and Jones did not fulfill their signed contracts that obligated them to work for the city for three years since McKenzie paid for their academy training. Leek worked from Aug. 24, 2016 until March 13, 2017, and Jones was employed from Sept. 22, 2016 to March 5, 2018.

“There is legal authority to go after them,” said Keeton. “The city can obligate them for pay for their training at least.”

The state had brought it to McKenzie’s attention that Profile Metals is in the city limits.

“We thought it was not within the city,” said Keeton. “We are in agreement with the state. It will carry lots of litigation.”

Council members agreed to allow Keeton to explore the options with the two police officers and to work on reaching an agreement to settle with Profile Metals.

• Department head reports were given.

Public Works director Johnny Mercer said Johnny Harris has retired in his department. Drainage issues were being dealt with currently. Fire Chief Brian Tucker said the department had answered 23 incident calls during the month of July. Waste, Water and Garbage Supervisor Billy Woods said that his department had been fixing water leaks and unstopping sewers. Parks and Recreation director Mike Beasley said the city leagues were finished and his department will continue to put up playground equipment. Codes official Phillip Morrissett said the city continues to do clean up and that several people have been brought to court in conjunction to codes enforcement. The police department took care of 1,946 incidents during the month of July.

In other business:

• Approved the following financial matters that included paying the following bills: Fatal Vision, $1,071 for the Police Department, Haltz gloves, $526.83 for McKenzie Police Department, and $31,924 for playground installation, which was part of a grant.

McKenzie Alcohol Board grants “On Premise” permit

A certificate for a Type B “On Premise” permit was granted to Denise and Joe Sam d/b/a McKenzie Station at 5 Broadway St., McKenzie. Board member Charles Pruneau made the motion to grant the permit with board member Jessie Townes seconding the motion and all board members voting aye.

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