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by Mark Cheffey
The Palmyra City Council voted to stay with the city’s current health insurance provider for the coming year during last Thursday’s regular meeting.
In addition, the council gave final approval to a check valve protection ordinance, voted to pay for completed street overlay work and approved a new city employee handbook.
The city received fully funded health insurance plans from Farm Bureau Insurance and First State Insurance Agency and a self-insured plan from MIRMA Health, but voted unanimously to stay with Group Benefit Services as recommended by the council’s Finance Committee.
The council voted unanimously in favor of an ordinance requiring check valve protection in order to lesson the potential risks sewage back flow issues.
The ordinance, among other things, requires all new construction to have check valves installed.
The council also voted unanimously to authorize payment of $210,084.25 to Emery Sapp & Sons for asphalt overlay work done during the summer.
Street Commissioner Austin Dornberger said he had reviewed the asphalt tickers and told the council the tonnage billing was correct.
After considerable work by the Personnel Committee over many months, the council voted unanimously to approve a new employee handbook as prepared by the Schraeder Law Firm, which specializes in such work.
Brock Fahy, who heads the committee, thanked all those involved in completing the handbook and indicated the committee will be meeting concerning job descriptions and other personnel issues.
The council voted unanimously to remove Vicki Arbar as an authorized signer on the city’s HOMEBANK accounts, due to her impending retirement from the city hall office staff Nov. 30.
The city is trying to sell a city-owned piece of property located on East Water St., but it was reported no bids were received for the council to act on at this time.
Roberta Thomas, a Palmyra resident, addressed the council about problems she is having in her neighborhood concerning loud voices, harsh language and physical assaults.
After some discussion, it was recommended that Thomas work directly with Police Chief Eddie Bogue about the situation.
Council member Pam Behring, who chairs the Ordinance Committee, said the committee met to discuss the city’s vicious dog ordinance for possible changes, and asked City Attorney James Lemons to review it and update it as needed.
Behring also reported on a Safety Committee meeting to finish final recommendations before a Dec. 31 deadline.
She also asked Lemons to prepare a resolution limiting the amount of time visitors can speak to five minutes, and if a group attends a council meeting, a spokesperson needs to be designated.
Council member Earl Meyers said the street department is being impeded in its leaf pickup efforts around town by trash totes being left in the street by residents.
It was noted there is an ordinance requiring residents to remove totes from the street following trash pick up and that citizens need to abide by the ordinance.
Dornberger told the council his department is taking part in a leaf vac demonstration with possible interest in seeking quotes and finance options in purchasing a new piece of equipment.
Mayor Rusty Adrian announced the retirement of Al Durand from the Board of Public Works and requested Jeff Cissna be appointed to the vacancy.
However, council member Patrick Barns’ motion to appoint Cissa died for a lack of a second.