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Mayor’s absence stalls town meeting

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By Beth Braden

JELLICO—Jellico’s board couldn’t get through a five-item agenda in a special called meeting last Wednesday night because Mayor Les Stiers was absent.
Several calls to Stiers were not returned.
Alderman Darrell Byrge did not attend either.
The meeting, called on Aug. 30 by Alderman Charles Vermillion, was set to discuss September spending, a statement of cash receipts and expenditures, the budget, and a propsed Interstate 75 lighting project near the Jellico exit.
A fifth addition to the agenda was an unspecified Resolution 2013-98, but aldermen were unsure who added it.
The board seemed puzzled about the state of the budget.
“Everything just seemed like it was dropped,” said Alderwoman Pam Carbaugh.
Vermillion was unsure if the state had received a balanced budget from the town.
“With the tax rate the way it is right now, I don’t see any way he [Stiers] could have got a balanced budget,” he said.
The board also voiced displeasure at the prospect of borrowing $110,000 in additional funding bonds to finance the I-75 lighting project.
“We’re talking about a broke city spending $110,000,” Vermillion said. “We need to find us a loophole and see if we can get out of it.”
The board agreed several years ago to a 50/50 grant to have lights installed at the interchange of 25W and I-75. What was once less than $50,000 has more than doubled.
 “When they change the price, to me that’s breach of contract,” Vermillion said.
There is another meeting scheduled for tonight at 6 p.m. at the municipal buildings, as well as another meeting on Sept. 16 to approve the final amount of money for the funding bonds.