Dozier Council passes utilities ordinance

Published 8:25 am Monday, August 16, 2010

At Monday night’s meeting, the Dozier City Council declared that all residents must have water, sewage and garbage services.

The town had no previous ordinance concerning those services.

“Now we have to let everyone know about this and finalize the fees,” said mayor Karen Davis.

Davis also said that the town would be contacting attorney John Nichols to begin the process of putting the ordinance into effect.

The council also discussed several possible ways citizens could receive assistance under the new ordinance.

Several other issues came up during the meeting, including the status of Bell Street.

Over the past several months, Bell Street’s classification as a public road has been unclear.

“We’ve got to officially close it or leave it open,” Davis said. “If the council says to close it, we have to post it and have a public hearing and go through all the legalities. The other option is to have it cleared.”

One issue has been how Bell Street’s path affects the property of homeowners, including councilwoman Linda Hutto’s property, which sits next to the road.

“We’ve got to have an official survey,” Davis said.

“We had one,” Hutto said. “We got one from Tate in Luverne.”

Hutto said that the survey should be on file in the courthouse.

Councilman Bob Morrison made a motion to table the Bell Street decision until an official survey could be found.

“We need to make an informed decision,” he said.

The council also heard a request from police chief Terry Mears for funding to hire another police officer.

“Safety is the biggest issue,” Mears said. “Visibility and availability are others. I have to ask for help with roadblocks because I can’t do that by myself.”

Hutto raised concerns about funding for such a position, and Mears suggested that funds from the upcoming Haunted House be used in addition to funding that has been requested from other sources.

Based on a 20-hour work week, Davis estimated that the new officer would cost less than $9,000 per year, while the Haunted House brought in $8-10,000 last year.

“You can’t put a price tag on public safety,” Mears said.

Because of the questions regarding money and the upcoming fiscal year, the issue was tabled.

“We should wait to see if we get concrete funding,” Morrison said.