In recent action, Doolittle City Council members took unprecedented action to proceed with court actions regarding violations with situations in the city.
The council voted to take action against Russ Falkenrath regarding commercial dumpsters located on city street right-of-way on Eisenhower Street. Efforts over the past several months have been unsuccessful at getting the hazard of the dumpsters removed.
At the meeting, Mr. Falkenrath verified that he has no plans to remove the dumpsters without court action. Area residents over the past several months have noted the danger of gypsum dust blowing off the refuse and contaminating the surrounding residential area.
Likewise, council voted to continue legal proceedings against residents with unpaid sewer accounts. City Attorney Lance Thurman has taken action to foreclose on several properties where sewer bills remain unpaid. Doolittle Council members are working with Attorney Thurman to expand the scope of foreclosure actions.
Council members expressed alarm that unpaid sewer bills are causing the Sewer Fund to run extremely low, with transfers from General Fund being made to keep the Sewer Fund in balance. With required loan payments USDA and with required payments to City of Rolla for sewer processing, actions must be taken to collect overdue accounts.
Sewer user rates will be going up effective Jan. 1, 2013. Residential rates are scheduled to increase from $36 to $37 per month per occupied residence.
Similar increases are scheduled in commercial rates. Council member Billy Martin commented, "We really are reluctant to increase rates, however with increases imposed by our sewer processor, we must at least steadily increase our rates proportionately."
Mayor Smith recognized Dan Wommack and Kyle Sneed, students from his MST class in Engineering Management. Students in the class are required to attend a local government meeting in an effort to help them learn the workings of local agencies.
City Clerk, Dene Kirn, expressed appreciation to the Phelps County Assessor's Office for assistance in preparing tax billing statements. Property tax statements have been mailed and are due and payable by December 31, 2012
In other action, Doolittle Council members accepted the resignation of Police Reserve Officer Ronnie Dishman.
Finally, Council approved a project of trimming tree limbs along Lee Street, in Doolittle.