Tony Poss, operator of the Smithville Golf Course and Swimming Pool, wants to make some improvements at the city golf course and swimming pool.
He addressed the mayor and aldermen with his requests Monday night during the city council meeting.
Poss asked for permission to install sand bunkers to make the golf course more challenging and to install a T-Box driving range."What we're wanting to do is to add a sand bunker to the #9 green. It'd be the right side and also to the #6. It'd be the right front of it. We're looking at ways to draw more people to come to our course. A lot of out of town courses do have sand. It just makes it a little more difficult. We're willing to put in the man hours and the work to do it. It's not going to cost the city a dime. The other thing we want to do is to possibly construct a T-Box between the # 7 and #9 fairways and have a driving range. A lot of golfers, especially high school golfers are going out of town just so they can use a driving range rather than having to pick the balls up. We've had several requests this summer from people wanting to use a driving range. Its more of a courtesy to your golfers. Again, it won't cost the city a dime to do it. We're willing to put in the man hours. We're fixing to be in our down time during the winter so we've got time to do it if we can get your blessing to do that. We've started a swim team, a tennis team, and our youth golf league so we're dedicated to doing things for the community, trying to get as much interest over there as we can," said Poss.
The aldermen gave approval for the T-Box but asked Poss to provide more specifics of his plans for the sand bunkers before taking action. Poss said he would check with other golf courses, see what they recommend, and report back to the board.
Meanwhile, Poss asked that the city begin thinking about making the swimming pool compliant under the Americans with Disabilities Act, something he said that must be done by next spring before the pool opens. "I think by March 15 we have to have it certified to be handicapped accessible. We want to get the ball rolling on that to see which way you want to go. We could do a zero entry to the pool. Take out the kiddie pool and do that or do a lift. Its completely up to you. I know it could cost more money but my personal opinion is to do the zero entry . Its just something you will have to decide but I think you'll benefit more with your elderly people and children if you'll do the zero entry. I don't know what the cost is but I think it would benefit more than just one or two and you'll have problems solved for years to come," said Poss.
No action was taken on the pool issue Monday night.
Poss also asked for the city to give a little more financial support to lifeguards, either to raise their pay or to reimburse them for certification training. Poss said the lifeguards currently have to pay for the own certification, which is expensive, and the city only pays minimum wage. "We started out our lifeguard wages at minimum wage. That's what the board voted to pay our lifeguards. We're glad you did that. But the only thing we're running into is that its getting harder and harder to get these young kids to come in and work for minimum wage when they have to go and pay anywhere from $170 to $300 to get certified. We had several who wanted to do it last year but they just had a hard time paying that fee to get them certified to be a lifeguard," said Poss
Mayor Taft Hendrixson said the lifeguard's wages are currently set in this year's budget at minimum wage. This current budget year runs through June 30, 2012. No action was taken on Poss' request Monday night. Mayor Hendrixson said its an issue that can still be discussed at a later time.
Employees of the City of Smithville may get the day after Thanksgiving off with pay in the future.
Alderman Danny Washer, during Monday night's city council meeting, made a motion to give city employees the day off with pay. Employees who have to work that day, such as in the police department, will get another day off. Mayor Hendrixson said he had already been giving employees the day off by allowing them to use a vacation day.
Mayor Hendrixson said Washer's request would require passage of an ordinance on first and second reading following a public hearing. An ordinance will be prepared for first reading action at the next meeting on Monday, November 21 at 7:00 p.m.. Second and final reading passage will follow a public hearing on Monday, December 5 at 7:00 p.m
In other business, the aldermen hired Eddie McGuire as a permanent employee in the sanitation department. He has successfully completed his 60 day probationary period and his pay will increase from $9.94 per hour to $11.03 per hour. McGuire also has his Commercial Drivers License.
Alderman Washer made a motion that Jimmy Taylor be promoted to general supervisor in the public works department, working directly under Public Works Director Kevin Robinson. Washer said Taylor could step in any time Robinson is out of town or he could supervise a city project in one part of town should Robinson be tied up on another job.
The aldermen passed a resolution adopting a state mandated drought management plan. Under the plan, the city must authorize and set forth guidelines to impose certain restrictions on non essential utility use because of shortages, outages, or other service cutbacks and interruptions during emergency drought conditions. Penalties could be imposed for non-compliance.
Bobby Pinegar of the Wastwater Treatment Plant reported that "last month we treated 31 million gallons. We used 560 pounds of chlorine and 350 pounds of sulphur dioxide. We hauled off 42 loads of sludge. The new pump for flushing water is now in and they're going to try and install it this week weather permitting".
Todd Bowman from the water plant reported that "the total amount of finished water that left the plant was 47.6 million gallons in September. The water the city sold was 40.8 million gallons which left the total unaccounted for at 6.7 million gallons which comes out to be a 14% water loss, which is rather good."
"We're about 98% complete on the water plant," said Bowman." We're having a problem with the floor. We've already rejected it three times so they (contractor) have called in some other people trying to get the floor right to make it look nice. We've got one more valve to be installed at the intake. They had problems with one when they put it in and they had to send it off to get it repaired."
"We've had to send off to the state and apply for the permits so we can start fluoridating water . I'm just waiting to hear back from them to give us the okay to start feeding the fluoride and then we will start feeding fluoride," said Bowman
Public Works Director Kevin Robinson reported that "Highways Incorporated is supposed to start paving probably Wednesday morning, weather permitting. We lack one section on the sidewalk to Walmart but it will probably be done this week, weather permitting. The pool has also been winterized."
Police Chief Randy Caplinger reported that "we were told our Governor's Highway Safety Office grant was going to be about $5,000 but I went to a meeting about three weeks ago and found that it was up to $26,000. That grant is already here. It is a reimbursement grant. We laid out the guidelines for what we needed. We'll have new cameras for the cars and one more radar. This year the emphasis is going to be on DUI's. We were very thankful to get that grant. There's going to be a lot of overtime (payment for overtime) but most of it will be for equipment. It won't cost the city anything. We'll buy it and they'll pay us back for it," said Chief Caplinger.
Fire Chief Charlie Parker reported that " for last month we had one structure fire, two alarm calls, one landing zone, two grass fires, an EMS assist call, two motor vehicle accidents, one trash fire, and two vehicle extrications. October was fire prevention month and I want to say a special thanks to Hoyte Hale, Jeff Wright, and Ronald Whitaker. They did an outstanding job with our fire prevention activities this year. They did demonstrations and passed out literature to Smithville Elementary School, the LBJ & C Head Start, Smithville United Methodist Day School, the Smithville Church of Christ Day School, and Rainbow Day Care."
Parker added that the grant application has been filed for funding of a ladder truck. "They're speculating that the first round of letters will come out during the latter part of December or in January. They will do that in several different rounds. They will put out so many names who will receive grants and they will also start sending out denial letters too. We probably won't know anything until close to the end of the year or the first of next year," said Chief Parker.