Hickman officials confirm City will take role of Applicant Agent for FEMA project

by Barbara Atwill
The City of Hickman will take on the role of Applicant Agent for a FEMA project in regard to recent mudslides in the city The City of Hickman will take on the role of Applicant Agent for a FEMA project in regard to recent mudslides in the city

In opening the June 24 regular meeting of the Hickman City Commission, Mayor Heath Carlton said, “We would like to welcome aboard David Gallagher as City Manager and appreciate all Cubb Stokes has done, stepping in to help until we could find a qualified candidate.”

Hickman First United Methodist Church representatives Lynn Major, Jim Major, and Mike Major were in attendance requesting Mayor Carlton, and Commissioners James Adams, Robert Griggs, Judy Powell, and Phillip Williams, approve the City to be the Applicant Agent for FEMA, I reference to the FEMA/Terrace Street project.

Lynn Major said, “Basically, the project would go better if the city, not the church, was the Applicant Agent.

“I don’t know a good solution to be honest,” stated Gallagher.

FEMA met with church representatives June 24, the same meeting itinerary the City had June 18, with J.L. Atwill, and Jerry Bell present and others through a conference call.

“Basically, what we are looking at, which we are both looking at the same thing, the project would go much better if the City were the Applicant Agent, instead of the church. The church can qualify, as a non-profit and would have to apply for a Small Business Administrative (SBA) loan, and get turned down. That gives authorization to FEMA to work with us and access the funds. Everything would then be the same, and it would work much better if it were done through the City. We have the 13% match. Everything would be the same on the money. It is more geared to municipalities than to non-profits. The fact we don’t have structural damage is a big issue, where the city does have structural damage by definition, with the street and sewer line. In reality, our property comes to the street,” stated Lynn Major.

“Another issue is a $3,500 expenditure to qualify, from the beginning, in emergency work. This may not be the same as the work done by the church,” continued Major.

“We put up a straw berm, a dirt berm, we rerouted the water and gutters, piping to reroute away from the actual slide, to date is the only thing we have been out as far as expenses,” Jim Major said.

“Mt. Zion United Methodist Church has graciously offered the use of their empty parsonage for our pastor to live in,” said Lynn Major.

The Commission requested City Manager Gallagher make calls for an engineer to provide estimates, as to what needs to be done and give an estimate as to the cost of repair.

Gallagher was appointed the Applicant’s Agent with the reading of Resolution 18-113, for the purpose of obtaining certain Federal financial assistance under the Disaster Relief Act. Gallagher will work with FEMA on behalf of the City, for work on the damage incurred by the mudslide of April 20.

Resolution 18-114, Assistance Agreement with Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) was read and adopted to assist with the financing of the water and sewer system project.

City Attorney Leanna Wilkerson reported, “I’ve reached out to AT&T concerning the two projects and have not heard back from them. On June 17, I sent an email to Richard Hatch for the lease contract and to Kisha Snipes for the generator project, and copied the Mayor and City Manager. I told them what we had discussed and I think Mr. Stokes had negotiated, and told them what we had come to an agreement about. I told them Stokes had reviewed the schematics of the generator project and made some suggestions and changes and approved the amended schematics. Based on their discussions, we would allow the generator to be placed per those drawings and continue the tower lease for the same payment amount and same lease terms as we currently agreed to. Based on that proposal I didn’t see a need for any new contracts or any new terms, if they wanted a release or anything for the generator to let me know and I would be glad to look at or discuss with them.”

“That afternoon, I received an email from Hatch that he wanted to discuss this with me. I called him back and left my number and to please email me, because I have a short window. I have not heard back. I called again today and still haven’t heard anything. I also haven’t heard from Ms. Snipes,” continued Wilkerson.

Mayor Carlton said, “Once you hear from, would you stay in touch with City Manager Gallagher.”

“I will continue to reach out and will keep the City Manager informed by email and ask the Commissioners to relay questions to me, so I can continue to work with the AT&T representatives,” stated Wilkerson.

City Stickers were once again a topic of discussion by the officials.

Carlton stated, “The City Sticker Ordinance is a little bit lack luster. Cubb had distributed some recommendations and the Commissioners were allowed two weeks to come up with some ideas of how you want to move forward, amend the ordinance, or leave it the same, and deal with how the penalties are administered.”

Gallagher said, “I looked at Cubb’s notes and talked with him. Cubb thought maybe once you reach the late stage where you owe the $22.50, and after June 1, there is a $100 fine, in addition to the city sticker cost and the $22.50 late fee. He thought maybe if you were cited, and given another few days to purchase the city sticker, you would not have to pay the $100, and would not be cited into court. If you did not purchase the city sticker, then you would be cited into court, where you would pay the $100 penalty and court costs. This left the collecting of the fine to the girls in the office and they should not be in that business to start with. Cubb or whoever, had a great idea to make it a criminal case if not paid in a certain number of days.”

“That might be something we need to table and work on a little bit more and come back to,” stated Commissioners Adams.

“I’ve always wanted to figure something to take its place and to do away with it all together,” stated Commissioner Williams.

“It is fair, because everyone has to have one. I think the people who are property owners would like to see everyone have to pay something,” stated Gallagher.

Commissioner Griggs said, “I think this will be our best option. We can continue to look at it, but this will be our best option to make it logical. We need to communicate with businesses to inform their new hires of the city sticker.”

After discussion it was agreed Attorney Wilkerson will work on re-wording the Ordinance and email it to each Commissioner and for them to respond to her any questions they might have.

City Manager Gallagher reported it has been a smooth transition taking over his responsibilities.

It was reported the gas meter will be installed after the first week in July and Willie Caton, with Alliance Resources, is working on how much treated water is being lost.

“Cubb said he did not receive any dog calls, and I have received calls every day,” stated Gallagher. “What do we do with the dogs?”

Another concern, Gallagher said, is trees growing over the streets. It was previously reported Alan Coffey, Fulton County Road Foreman, was going to come in with equipment and trim the trees, but that has not been done as of June 24.

John Amberg, Public Works, stated, “We have 13 streets needing work, especially Wellington, Brooklyn and Obion Streets and trimming before the fireworks for the Fourth of July is recommended.”

Gallagher reported he will get with Fulton County Jailer Steven Williams regarding an inmate crew to clean streets, drains, and sidewalks covered in grass.

The Commission was updated on the fireworks, to be held in Hickman on July 4, with the alternate date in case of rain July 6. Floodwall gates will still be closed.

In other business, the second reading of Ordinance 18-90 Budget Adoption for Fiscal Year 2019-2020 was read and approved.