By BEN GRAFTON
At the Freeport City Council meeting of Sept. 22, Mayor Mickey Marse opened a discussion about the city accepting maintenance responsibility for the streets in the Hammock Bay development. Councilman Earl King said that he looked up the history of this matter and found that the city has a contractual obligation to accept the roads and that the city should hold up its end of the bargain. City Clerk Robin Haynes added that the streets were built according to Freeport’s codes. Councilman Ray Jackson stated that engineer Charles Peters confirmed that the streets were built to city code. With these facts, the Council approved a motion to accept the streets with the exception of those put down with brick pavers.
Councilman Harold Taunton recommended that the Planning Board be given the task of reviewing the city’s building codes to provide recommended changes. Among the issues to be addressed should be “junk” piles in residential yards. The Council approved the recommendation.
City Attorney Clayton Adkinson reminded the Council that the closing on the loan for interim financing for the North Bay water main project is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 26.
Marse addressed the County’s contribution to Freeport’s Fire Department budget for the coming fiscal year. He said that the matter has been discussed with County Administrator Greg Kisela who asked for more time to consider the problem. The Council also heard a proposal to extend the effective date of personnel reductions in the event the requested county funding is not received. The Council approved a motion to extend the time for county consideration by 30 days and for the effective date of personnel reduction by an additional 90 days.
Parks Director Shane Supple announced that the Walker Brothers Circus will present performances at the Freeport Sports Complex Sunday and Monday, Oct. 2 and 3. It is understood that the $14 admission for adults will include admission for two children.
The Council discussed a request by the Town Planters to waive the fee for using city facilities in the coming year. Taunton and Councilwoman Elizabeth Brannon pointed out that the Town Planters contribute significantly to the city. The Council approved the request.
Haynes reported that five applications have been received for the water operator’s job. Of these three are not qualified. King commented that he doesn’t understand why more applications from qualified people were not received, but he recommended that interviews be given to the two applicants rather that lose the time that would be consumed by additional advertising. The Council approved the recommendation.
The Council received information from two companies for a proposed overhaul of the city’s web site. Approval was given for Shadow Media Group to undertake the work.
Council members will rank the engineering firms who made presentations at the Sept. 13 meeting. Rankings are to be done by Sept. 27. Council members will be prepared to address how many firms, if any, would be put on contract and then, how the city will work with these firms. The Council will discuss this topic at the first meeting in October.
Engineer Cliff Knauer of Preble-Rish reported that the pre-construction conference for the North Bay water main project is scheduled for Sept. 28 and that the contractor is asking for a secure location to store expensive equipment during the course of work. The project is expected to take a total of 210 days plus another 30 days to work through the project completion punch list.