LaFollette Council discusses upcoming agenda

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By Natasha Colbaugh

A workshop for the LaFollette City Council uncovered a basket full of items to approve at the next meeting.

Discussion on the capital outlay note and the library grant took place during the workshop. Acting City Administrator Cade Sexton reported the library grant worth over $200,000 might be awarded to the city. Sexton will be notified by the end of September about the grant.

The capital outlay note would be used for paving, roofing and possibly the library. Street Department Director Jim Mullens said the roads needing repair were the ones in the worst shape within the city.

“There are others that need it, but these are the ones for paving at this time,” said Mullins. “It may be possible to get some of it done this fall. Some of it we will roll over into the spring.”

The capital outlay note would be financed through the state at three percent for 10 years. Only one bid was received for the paving project at the cost of $680,000. A resolution for the note will require passage at the coming meeting.

Two items were added to the agenda for approval for next month’s meeting. The contract with East Tennessee Development District and a payment in lieu of taxes will both require approval by the council.

The council also discussed the placement of a four-way stop sign at the intersection of North 15th Street and Forrest Street.

The intersection has been the source of several wrecks, said LaFollette Mayor Mike Stanfield.

“We’ll try it and see how it works,” said Stanfield who had only spoken with one individual in the area.

Sexton sparked a discussion about promoting two employees in the front office to full-time status.

“We’ve worked both these people for over three months,” said Sexton. “I feel like we should hire them with benefits. They are doing their job and I don’t think we can keep working people for a long period of time, part-time.”

Sexton then told the council that in order to hire these two ladies, changes would need to be made in the budget. Excess money in the budget would allow for the two people to move to full-time and receive benefits, said Director of Finances Terry Sweat.

Councilman Hansford Hatmaker spoke in opposition to lower one employee’s salary in order to promote her to full-time.

“We got to stop somewhere,” said Sexton. “My recommendation is $10 an hour for both.”

Joy Beth Chapman said she had no problem with lowering her hourly wage by 80 cents in order to be eligible for full-time benefits.