Mtn. View Mayor Pro Tem Resigns, Council Talks Library Fee Increases
Wed, 11/18/2020 - 12:46pm admin
Thom Hoglen, contributing writer
The Mountain View City Council met in regular session on November 9 at the Mountain View Community Center Building. The meeting began with the unexpected announcement of the resignation of West Ward Alderman and mayor pro tem, Bobby Brooks. Brooks submitted his resignation due to health concerns after having contracted COVID-19. Mayor Donnie Pruitt stated that Brooks had a very serious reaction to the illness, but is now recovering.
The council discussed a proposed increased for library fees. The current fee for a library card is $3 for a lifetime membership. The membership fee would increase the membership fee to $10 annually for Mountain View residents, and $20 annually for those who live outside of the city limits. Additionally, computer use fees would be $1 per hour for Mountain View residents, and $2 per hour for those who live outside of the city limits. The fee increases would take effect January 1, 2021. Though the secretary of the library board mentioned that the library should receive funding from a sales tax that was approved in May of 1950, the council stated that they still have been unable to find where the money is earmarked for library costs. The library board continues to stress the importance of making sure that any fees charges to patrons of the library do not conflict with grants that the library receives from the state. A city sales tax may also be considered in April, which would again change the pricing structure of library fees. The motion passed unanimously.
The council went into closed session to meet with an auditor. Mayor Pruitt discussed the findings of the audit following the closed session. Among discrepancies found in the city budget, the auditor found that the budget needed to include a separate fund for transportation, instead of the money allotted for transportation being placed in the general fund. The change to the budget was approved by the council. The auditor also suggested that journal entries be created for restricted expenditures in the budget, and that a capital asset value be set. An annual inventory will also be instated as part of the auditor’s suggested changes.
Grants for upcoming airport projects are contingent upon the selection of an engineer to oversee and complete the work. The council unanimously approved the selection of a recommended engineering firm to conduct the work.
The council approved bids for repair work at the library and community center, as well as bids for propane and pest control. While some city department heads suggested that pest control could be handled by themselves, the council ultimately decided that pest control should be handled by a licensed professional.
Council members discussed the possibility of reinstating a city property tax. Mayor Donnie Pruitt told the crowd that the often-expressed desire from community members to clean up the town will need financial support in order to become a reality. The council will be working on public education of a possible rate of taxation, as well as benefits of the tax, which would go before voters.
At the end of the meeting, a citizen who was not on the agenda wished to address an issue of sewer services not being provided to a residence. The citizen stated that the issue had been going on for nearly four years. The man was advised that the issue could not be addressed, as the topic was not on the agenda. Furthermore, the council stated that an attorney had contacted the city on behalf of the property owner.