Grantville moving forward on some Sunday alcohol sales ordinancesBy JOHN A. WINTERS
Grantville City Council held a first reading on allowing beer and wine sales on Sunday, but the reading did not include liquor sales.
There is some debate over whether the wording used on the recent ballot regarding Sunday liquor sales was legal and City Attorney Mark Mitchell said he is awaiting confirmation from the state. The alcohol sales ordinances all passed in July.
“I just don’t have specific confirmation yet,” Mitchell said.
In other action during its regular Monday meeting, council voted to once again table a decision about purchasing vehicles for the Utilities Department, set public hearings and workshops for the upcoming budget and approved a new sanitation contract.
The truck purchase has become a contentious battle among council members. The item was added to the agenda by Mayor Jim Sells, but Councilman Barham Lundy made a motion to table the vote and return it to the Utility Committee for review before Sells even presented any information.
Sells refused to allow the motion to be seconded until he got a chance to discuss the trucks.
The mayor said utility employees were using their own trucks, and that two employees have quit over not having adequate vehicles.
“One employee is now using a riding lawnmower and the other is using a bucket truck to service our customers,” Sells said. “We have been going at this for five and a half months and I am really disappointed we keep putting this off.”
The city currently is spending almost $2,750 a month leasing two vehicles, which is $33,000 annually. Sells said the city can get a brand-new Ford F-150 for $16,727 and a brand new Ford F-250 for $27,792. The leasing currently comes out of the city’s general fund; however, the cost for purchasing the vehicles would come from Special Purpose Local Option Sales Tax revenues.
Councilman Johnny Cooks said the city needs to set up a maintenance program and account before they consider buying new vehicles.
“Is anyone up here driving a new vehicle?” he asked. “We need to be thrifty ... how do you justify buying new vehicles without a maintenance program?”
Councilwoman Selma Coty said she was “98 percent completed” with a report on various options regarding the trucks and would have the Utility Committee meet later in the week to finalize it.
Council voted unanimously to table the motion and send it back to the committee. As mayor, Sells only votes in case of tie.
In other action, council:
• Set a budget workshop for 5 p.m. Sept. 19 and a public hearing on the budget for 7 p.m. that day.
• Approved a new one-year sanitation contract with Waste Industries. The monthly price will drop back to what it was before a rate hike earlier this summer. The monthly rate will be $10.92.
• Accepted the low bid of $5,600 to demolish buildings at 402 Stokes Street to Jeff Hodgson Site Preparation Inc.
• Agreed to give 20 percent of the revenues received from the company filming “The Walking Dead” series in Grantville to the city’s Downtown Development Authority to help cover costs for the city’s 160th birthday celebration. That 20 percent is estimated to be about $800.