By DALE GRAHAM
The Pegram Board of Mayor and Aldermen met in regular session last Thursday. All members were present.
The Sewer Board meeting was held first. Chairman Bill Herbert wanted to clarify something from last month. He stated then that the Town was going to reapply for the Community Development Block Grant [CDBG], at no extra cost to the town. He said that he had met with a government representative consultant who went over the Town’s previous grant applications and made suggestions on things that might enhance this reapplication. “It was a very, very informative meeting”, Herbert said, adding that the suggestion was to expand on the verbiage explaining why the grant was needed and why it’s important for Pegram. Town Engineer Brad Bivens will be handling the rewrite for a “nominal” cost. He added that the original submission scored very high, but not high enough to win the grant. Herbert just wanted the record to be clear that there would be small cost to the Town.
Herbert also reported that the sewer plant report came back and the system is performing well. Volume is up, and no one really knows if the existing lines can handle much more capacity. “We do not have any idea what lines are in the ground, exactly where they’re at, basically we don’t know what the capacity situation of the collection system is that leads into the plant. So any large subdivision that would come to the town wanting to tie on, there would be that question out there”, are the lines sufficient to carry the effluent, or would a backup result? Bivens also said that without knowing the capacity of the plant it would be hard to justify approval of a large subdivision. Mayor Gene Evans wanted to put a hold on any new tie-ons (other than current “ready to serve” customers). Herbert didn’t think the situation was as dire as a “go / no go” situation, and asked that Bivens and Neel Schaffer engineers take a look and try to see what the true capacity is.
When the Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting convened, Charles Morehead commented during the public forum portion. He told the board that his water/sewer bill is $120 – $130 monthly. He pointed out that if the board virtually stops developers and newcomers from being able to tie on, “There’s never going to be any relief for me, every time the sewer goes up, mine’s going to continue to get higher.”
Rick Roark agreed, and said “We’ve got to figure a way to make this sewer system work for not only you today, but the people that are out there on the ‘ready to serve’ and the people that are trying to develop out here too.”
Later in the meeting Bivens explained that sewer rates will definitely have to go up in the future, especially if the CDBG falls through.
The 2012 – 2013 budget was approved unanimously after no comment during the public hearing.
Diana Pike told the board that the Special Events committee was interested in doing a debate between Pegram Mayoral Candidates Eugene Evans and Charles Morehead. Evans said there, “won’t be one”. Morehead said after the meeting that he would definitely participate if one was organized.
In other business:
• A resolution was unanimously approved acknowledging and honoring Dale Baker for his contribution and service to the Town of Pegram and Little League.
• Also approved were resolutions acknowledging and honoring PFC Josh Poteet and Sergeant Kevin Downs for their contributions and service to our country and the Pegram Community.
• The Way, a faith based community center in Pegram is beginning plans for a “Battle of the Bands” event in Pegram Park, possible August 4th.
The Pegram Board of Mayor and Aldermen meets the last Thursday of every month at 7p.m. in Town Hall.