The Logan City Council addressed several problems and issues at their March meeting on Tuesday evening in town.
Early in the meeting one resident asked to address the council in regards to a problem in her neighborhood. The woman said water had backed up into her home, which previously had never had that sort of problem. She said that city employees showed up and installed new water lines and asked about the possibility of having the water lines in her area flushed perhaps monthly.
City employee Tommy Esposito said several places in that neighborhood had problems and that it had taken awhile to address the problem. Esposito and the woman discussed the time frame heatedly. When the woman asked about the pumping station there being taken out, Esposito noted it was not closed on purpose.
“It was taken out when the road there collapsed,” he explained, admitting that some of the problems may have come from that factor.
Mayor Serafino Nolletti said the city’s water board would be meeting next week and asked the lady to come and speak with them about the problem. When she asked if there were any grants available to alleviate the problems, Building Code Enforcement Officer Ray Perry said that years ago grants were available, but were probably not available now.
City Accountant Jeff Valet discussed the upcoming 2014-2015 budget. Valet said the new budget was based on real world expenditures from the past 12 months, modified with some changes. Valet noted that some revenues were down slightly while some expenses — such as insurance — had gone up.
“We don’t have a lot of wiggle room,” Valet said of the $2.4 million budget for the upcoming year. Valet said he hoped to see the economy improve, not just in town, but across the state.
“It’s tough all over,” Mayor Nolletti said of the national economy.
Deadline for the budget to be submitted is March 27.
Mayor Nolletti asked Perry if there was any update on several FEMA related projects.
“It’s still where it was,” Perry said, noting there had not been much progress on most of the projects, other than one home in an affected area being purchased and the construction of a temporary road around the slide at Wilson Camp.
“The process is time consuming and slow,” he said. Perry thanked former Mayor Thomas Esposito for his help and assistance on the legal end of the projects. Esposito had been doing research including finding actual property owners on some parcels.
“He has worked weekdays and weekends, evenings and mornings,” Perry said. “He is to be commended.”
Mayor Nolletti said that such projects were extremely complicated due to the tremendous amount of paperwork and red tape.
“We are at the mercy of the Department of Homeland Security,” Nolletti said, noting it was hard to realize that the slip happened two full years ago.
In other city council news:
*Council approved payment of the check registry. Valet said that the city’s quarterly insurance payments came due this month.
Council approved payment of over $101,000 in bills.
Council approved the first reading on an ordinance for a franchise agreement between Suddenlink Communications and the City of Logan. The mayor said the agreement is good for 10 years and it does not keep other providers out of the city.