Economic Director Mark Dawson Speaks On Many Topics At City Council Meeting


The Clinton City Council met in open session May 16. Council Persons Shelley Nelson and Daniel Wilson were absent. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and previous meeting’s minutes approved; there were no personal appearances. Economic Director Mark Dawson reported to the council. He said there were five new projects opened last month – a mix of industrial and retail interests. Project Queen is still moving forward, albeit somewhat slowly and he reported working with a property owner about a potential mixed-use project. Aside from the good project activity, Director Dawson touched bases on the previously sent out business surveys. One key point of information that came out of the surveys was that businesses would like to see an increase in youth work ethics. To that end Dawson said he would be working with the school next year to perhaps implement some sort of education about this. Dawson spoke briefly about a housing rehab pilot program to which Councilman Jackson seemed supportive of. The goal is to remediate residential areas with older, neglected homes in them. The goal is still to gain more workforce housing. Director Dawson also talked about some statistics concerning the lack of business activity last month (nationwide). He pointed out the fact that supply for new products was down 9% last month and may be related to the business activity.
Main Street Director Amanda Johnson spoke to the council next. She said she attended the Main Street Conference (in Boston) earlier this month. Johnson said there was a lot of useful information she gleaned from attending and that she was able to make it to six breakout sessions. She also spoke about April downtown events to help increase store traffic and that a promenade event on May 6 was held on the square where graduating seniors from CHS were able to “walk the red carpet” and get photos taken. She reported it was well-received and hopes it will become a tradition. Also involving students was a May 10 4th grader CIS Historical Walking Tour. Johnson said the kids toured historical places on the square which included the Bandstand, Fountain, and 9/11 Memorial. Clinton’s Main Street was awarded a $5,000 grant to help increase their cultural tourism presence in the downtown area and QR codes are being placed at various historic locations so folks that are curious can find out historical information about some of the buildings or structures they might see. Johnson concluded her report by informing the council of a new promotion event for the downtown stores on June 15 – again, to help support the local businesses on the square.
Councilman Cameron Jackson gave the Public Works report. He said that 81 tons of garbage were collected from the City-wide Cleanup event. There are some issues with the roll-off truck used at the transfer station, but City Administrator Christy Maggi said that the issue should be resolved by the end of the week (May 20 or so). Because of the mechanical issues only household trash will be accepted at the transfer station until such time as the issue is resolved. There was another issue during city-wide cleanup which involved out of town people using the local transfer station of which a solution will be explored in the coming weeks.
Councilman Jackson reported that the roof on the outdoor pool was done and that interior painting has begun. The Aquatic Center is now open. He reported that the Park Board met May 8 and received multiple updates on current projects and programs. Also, the west Central Community Action Agency agreed to donate a tract of land to meet a requirement for the Antioch Hill Park Urban Conservation Project. Conditions for the grant for the project state that the land needs to be in the City of Clinton’s name.
The Benson Center’s exterior rehab is nearing completion and the Aquatic Center boiler building work should begin in July.
Pump station repairs are ongoing: the Calvird Station pump has been installed; one snag in the pump replacements/repairs has occurred in that the incorrect pump for one of the upper-level pumps was shipped. It will be six to eight weeks for the correct one to arrive. A final version of the Waste Water Treatment Plant permit (renewal) should soon be available.
An offer was made to fill the local manager position at the Waste Water Plant as well. It appears the person offered the position accepted it and is hopeful to start June 1.
Bids are being solicited for light cleaning (of lines) which were identified via camera from the I & I study.
Councilman Gene Henry gave the Public Safety Committee report: he reported Captain John Scott (Clinton PD) is still looking into proposed software upgrades for PD. Although no action was taken, Lexipol appears to be the front runner for this service. Resolution 06-2023 was approved by the council. 06-2023 regards the agreement with rural fire protection. There were minor changes to the agreement, mainly in charges for use of on-board equipment and to the structure of the arrangement regarding a phone line.
The recommendation for firework sales to begin June 20 through July 4, from 9 am to 10 pm daily, and for the discharge of fireworks beginning June 30 through July 4th from 9 am to 11 pm daily were approved by the council. Councilman Henry concluded his report by noting that Fire Chief Mark Manuel and Assistant Chief Matt Willings will be traveling to inspect the new fire truck Thursday (May 18) and the potential delivery date of the new truck is mid-June.
The Finance Committee report was given by Councilwoman Martha Nichols. The council approved the recommendation for the retirement benefit program. Budget work-session dates are being proposed, and she also wanted to make sure the council (and citizens) were aware that two tax rates will be expiring next year (transportation and local parks taxes).
The Mayor’s Report: Mayor Carla Moberly appointed Tony Smith to replace Dennis Seiger to the Kaysinger Basin Regional Planning Commission. The council approved Resolution 05-2023 supporting her appointment. The council also approved the reappointment of Tim Komer and Brady Brown to the Park Board.
Approved as a slate were the recommendations for appointments and liaisons: Austin Jones (Planning Commission), Debbie Smith (Cemetery Board liaison), Shelley Nelson (Park Board), Martha Nichols (Historic Preservation Commission liaison), Cameron Jackson (CARE liaison), Danial Wilson (MU Extension Henry County Council Member and Clinton Housing Authority board member), Roger House (Tourism Commission), Gene Henry (Airport Board liaison), and Roger House (Greater Clinton Area of Commerce Board Member).
The council adjourned at 6:35 p.m.