PAYNE SPRINGS–Four individuals made public comments at the Payne Springs City Council meeting Jan. 15.
Juan Monroe spoke first about the standing water at a local restaurant being a public nuisance and hazard. "Customers complain. Their cars get dirty and people can’t get out," Monroe said.
Monroe also complained about the pitbulls being loose out on Flannigan Fairway being a safety issue as the dogs have killed cats in the area. Chief Meadows assured Monroe the dog owners have been cited but otherwise there is nothing else the city can do without the city having their own animal control services.
Police services has asked Henderson County for help but they are overwhelmed with their own animal nuisance calls.
Dutch Antoniesse said he would like to look into the issue for any further assistance and Rodney Renfro said the council would continue to work on the situation.
A business owner on SH 198 was concerned about Councilman Michael Juica leasing his road equipment to the city. "I’ve seen him all around the city and am concerned if you get on his bad side, he has ways he can get to you. I wonder how much power this guy has," the business owner said.
"He’s just killing time and I wonder what we’re paying him for."
Mayor Renfro assured the business owner that Juica is not paid from the council and is not on the city payroll, however he is the head of the road committee.
The third public comment came from Michael Cook who wanted to know if Juica is under investigation by FEMA for doing something illegal concerning the rock/road work and concerned about a conflict of interest with Juica’s wife, Karen Juica being the city secretary with authority to write checks.
Cook was assured there were no investigations taking place by FEMA or any other organization. Karen does not have authority to provide money, only the mayor or the city council approves all checks issued for payments.
Rick Marshal made the last public comment about the road issues in Lundy Land on Dolly Drive and requested a culvert be put in. Marshal was told Dolly Drive was in the county area so the city could not correct the road.
In other news, council members:
• heard the police report had four accidents, 21 calls for service, 17 impounds, two arrests, nine warrants, 73 violations and 56 citations.
• heard Police Chief April Meadows introduce new police officer Adam Newell.
• approved a $1 an hour pay raise for County Clerk Beth Hein and a $1.50 an hour for City Secretary Karen Juica.
• agreed to vote on a new police pay scale at the next coucil meeting to start new officer at $14 an hour.
• heard the profit and loss statement showed total income at $52,150.31 and total expenses at $49,948.04 for a net income of $2,202.27.
• The council approved Arrington Outdoor Advertising representative Chris Weems to place a 10 foot by 30 foot billboard on a property on Fare-to-Market Road 2529 owned by Mr. McKeen.
The goal of the billboard is to rent to business owners in the future.