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McKenzie exploring options to fix Kencindot St. bridge

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In a Nov. 12 virtual meeting, the two recent winners in the McKenzie City Council election were sworn in. Charles Pruneau from Ward VI and Jessie Townes from Ward I took the oath of office from Mayor Jill Holland. Debbie Riley, who was elected from Ward IV, died suddenly Oct. 30.

“Glad to have you back,” said the mayor after the swearing in ceremony. She said Riley would be remembered in an upcoming meeting.

McKenzie will explore its options of repairing a bridge on Kencindot St. that was washed out by flood waters.

Pat Hargrove with A2H discussed ways the council members could deal with the situation. He said that possibly FEMA would take care of 75 percent of the cost. With other avenues of funding, the city could wind up with only 12.5 percent of the cost that he estimated at $250,000 to $400,000.

The other option would be through the BRZ process.

Through this process, federal funding would provide 80 percent of the $400,000 to $500,000 cost while the local match would be 20 percent. Council members made no commitment at this time since more facts are needed.

“I’m glad we are exploring the options,” said council member Bobby Young.

Council members passed two proclamations recognizing two different people. One was for Bethel Student Joe McClosky who rescued Barbara Mitchell from her burning apartment recently and the other one was for Col. Gordon Browning who served his country in World War I, was a U.S. Congressman and Tennessee governor. Saturday was proclaimed as Col. Gordon Browning Day in McKenzie. The Gordon Browning Museum was open Saturday from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. with tours conducted.

A bill for $2,297.90 was approved for payment to Electric Motor Rebuilders. It was for a motor for the sewer plant equipment.

A cell tower lease was approved for $215,000 to Landmark Dividend Co. of El Segundo, California. The tower is located behind city hall on University Dr. The  lease to Landmark for the tower that was being considered at the Oct. 8 meeting at 483 Airport Lane, McKenzie had already been leased a year and half ago.

The second and final readings on two different ordinances passed.

The Public Nuisance ordinance was amended with a fine of $50 a day attached until the nuisance is abated. If it is a business, after a hearing upon the merits, the license to operate may be taken.

The fireworks ordinance was amended to say that permissible fireworks may only be sold on a seasonal basis from June 26 through July 5 and Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. They may be fired, set off, shot, discharged or exploded on a seasonal basis from June 26 through July 5, and from Dec. 30 through Jan. 1. The fireworks can be shot until 10 p.m., except for Dec. 31 when they shall be allowed until 1 a.m.

The refinancing on two different capital outlay notes were noted. One note was for $222,079 which was refinanced at 1.74 percent. The other note was for $2,648,995 that was refinanced at 2.35 percent.

The rules were suspended to take care of Christmas bonuses for employees. Full time employees who have been with the city for at least a year will receive $1,000 each. Part-time employees will receive $250 each. The mayor said the sales tax revenue was up and it was decided to do this because of the COVID pandemic.

The next council meeting will be Dec. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the Park Theatre.

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