Hustonville council OKs security fence

December 08, 2004|EMILY BURTON

HUSTONVILLE - Time is dwindling for Hustonville to complete a federally-mandated homeland security project, but the cost of supplies is anything but shrinking.

The Moreland water tank has yet to be surrounded by a chain link fence, as recently mandated by the Department of Homeland Security. "We had a check list of several things that need done, and I think they've all been done but this one," Hustonville water supervisor Leon Collins said Tuesday.

The project includes a 6-foot chain link fence with a gate to enclose the water tank, now openly accessible to anyone.

Council members asked if a gated fence would actually stop anyone who wanted to get to the water tank. Collins agreed that if anyone is determined, they could break into the fenced area but at that point the city would have done all it could to protect the water supply.


The fence needs to be "in the making" by the first of the year to avoid possible fines, said Collins, though the city will not receive any homeland security grants to fund the project.

"Yes, they can" mandate a project without providing funding, city attorney Carol Hill informed the council upon questioning.

What had been bid at approximately $4,500 several months ago will now cost the city more, said Mayor Larry "Pup" Doss. The cost of steel has gone up since the bids were received, and now "it's going to run around $5,000 to $5,200," said Doss.

The council approved work on the project, provided the fence is installed at the most reasonable cost.

Possible voting problem in January

But, as the council learned, voting might not go so smoothly during the January meeting. As of Jan. 1, there will be a changing of the guard at the council table and several empty seats to fill.

While council members Robert Hicks Sr., Jimmy Lane and John Reed Naylor will be seated at the table, there is not a quorum without at least four people.

One person who has since applied for the vacant position must be immediately sworn in, said Hill. "They have to be here and be ready to be sworn in and conduct business."

Doss named the two applicants for consideration, Benny Burris and Jamie Burton.

But Burris and Burton, should they be appointed, must join the three standing council members for a quorum.

"Nobody can to on vacation for the January meeting. You all need to be here," Hill said.

After appointing two additional members, the council may then appoint a sixth and final member.

Doss said he is looking forward to working with the new council Jan. 4 at its first meeting.

"I'd say it will be good," said Doss. "I'm hoping to have a good council."

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