GOODMAN — Goodman City Council revisited the topic of an assistant tax collector, discussed solar power options and reviewed a number of water bills for error at Tuesday’s regular meeting.
Mayor JR Fisher began by informing those present that according to the ordinance, the mayor is authorized to make a nomination with the approval of council. He then appointed the Water Clerk as Deputy Collector of Taxes payable on the 15% tax collected annually.
Alderman John Bunch said the council could not legally withdraw funds from the elected tax collector which are guaranteed by elections and law.
“Have you ever brought this law with you? Mayor Fisher asked Alderman Bunch.
Alderman Bunch said he would like to speak to the city attorney in person at an upcoming meeting.
Alderman Beth Hallmark suggested increasing the water clerk’s hourly wage to compensate for the extra duties.
“We just need someone to accept tax payments at the counter,” she said.
Alderman Hallmark offered to accept the appointment of Water Clerk with a subsequent raise. Alderman Nick Smith seconded the motion, Alderman Bunch voted no and Alderman Clay Sexson recused himself from the vote.
After discussion of whether Alderman Sexson should abstain or recuse himself, Mayor Fisher assumed the vote had passed.
Council then heard from Paul Chapracki of Stitt Solar regarding the installation of solar panels at Goodman Town Hall. Chapracki said after analyzing the utility bill and speaking with Liberty Electric, the estimated cost of a system comes to $21,000.
With an average inflation rate of 3.4%, he estimated a savings of $32,000 over the 25-year life of the panels.
Alderman Bunch said he would also be interested in having the sewage treatment facility analyzed for a solar system.
Council members then discussed three problematic water bills. The first account, located at 323 S. School Street, is a rental property that has been occupied since 2020. When moving in, the water service was hooked up by the former public works supervisor, but the hookup would not have been communicated to the town hall to start. billing. As a result, tenants have not been billed for water service for 2 years.
The council voted to absorb the costs due to an error.
“I guess we’ll just eat that one,” Alderman Bunch said.
Another property, located at 30 Sawmill Terrace, was vacated in January and water service was cut off. A new tenant moved into the house in August and service was restored soon after. It was discovered that from January to August, 34,000 gallons of water were used but not billed.
City Clerk Madisun Branstetter asked who was responsible for the charge?
The council eventually voted to charge the current owner for use.
Council members also voted for an average water bill at 212 S. Whited Street of $91.24.
In other cases counsel:
• Discussed a meeting with the Superintendent of Neosho School to discuss fixing the drainage issues near the elementary school;
• Received the proposed budgets for FY2023 for review;
• Voted to annex Word and Spirit Church to Goodman and provide water service;
• Paid bills in the amount of $24,083.85.