Bedford still considering sale of center
City commissioners approve appraisal, property survey for Morgan Community Center
Tuesday, February 18, 2014 10:00 AM
The Morgan Community Center will be appraised and the property surveyed as the Bedford City Commissioners look at options for a building that's putting a strain on the budget.
Commissioners unanimously approved the decision during a meeting Monday morning. Mayor Russell Clifton told commissioners in December that budget cuts would need to be made in 2014, and one of those cuts might include selling the city's community center building.
Clifton said the building was draining the city's budget because of the costs for heating, cooling and maintaining the 20-year-old building.
Information from previous budgets was presented at a January meeting that showed the community center's revenue funded less than 25 percent of the center's operating costs for the 2013 fiscal year. The reports showed the center's income had come up short for years, and the rental revenue had always been less than projected.
The city had enough income from municipal insurance and property taxes to make up the difference, Clifton said in January, but revenues have gone down considerably in recent years.
Also during Monday's meeting, commissioners agreed to look into charging all habitable homes in the city that have sewer hook-up with a minimum bill each month.
Commissioner Darrell Harmon said several homes in the area have been disconnected from water services, but residents use water from old cisterns or bring water into the home for use.
Deputy clerk Rita Davis said people often live in homes for months without water services, but continue to use the city's sewer system.
Clifton said there isn't any way to shut off sewer services from homes to keep people from using the city's system.
"We don't have any control," he said. "I don't know what we could do."
Commissioner Todd Pollock agreed to speak with residents and homeowners about the issue and report back to the commission at the next meeting.
In other business:
Commissioners approved a motion to begin sending bills to the Bedford volunteer fire department for sewer services. The commission was alerted to the issue of not billing for the service by the state after an audit.
The city commission provides a donation to the department each year, but agreed to look at the price of sewer services and possibly increase the donation in the next budget year because of the billing.
"We'll pay for the sewer by what we donate," Harmon said.
New cables will be placed across the entrances to the city's cemetery from dusk to dawn each day because of issues with people entering the cemetery after hours.
Commissioner Frank Floyd proposed a gate or some type of blockade be placed across the driveways to prevent trespassing after visiting hours.
"I don't know why people would be going in there after dark," he said.
Davis said she called other cemeteries in the area and found that most have gates to limit visitors after hours.
The commissioners unanimously approved the use of cables to see if after-hours visits decrease.
Gates may be considered at a later date.