The Skidmore City Council read Bill 2017-SWR “an ordinance pertaining to Sewer Rate Changes and Repealing Ordinance No. 2016-SR as it Pertains to Sewer Rate Changes” twice at its January 12 meeting and approved it unanimously to become Ordinance 2017-SWR.

The ordinance, which becomes effective immediately, raises the minimum charge and water usage for under 2,500 gallons from $15.50 to $18. The charge of 50¢ for each 1,000 gallons over the 2,500 remains the same.

The board tabled the following until its February meeting:

• Discussion was held on ordinances concerning the mayor, aldermen, treasurer and animals.

• No action was taken on bill 2017wells, “an ordinance to transfer ownership of the City of Skidmore’s water wells to the owners of the land on which they are located and to release the easements that the city had in connection to said wells.”

• Bill 2017-WR, “an ordinance to repeal Ordinance No. 2012-WR, pertaining to charges for water rates and substituting therefore a new ordinance,” was reviewed.

The aldermen approved Mayor Tracy Shewey’s rehiring of Shellie Woods as water/waste water employee to fill in for Marvin Sumy. The water/waste water report was tabled until February when Sumy can attend. Shewey said the city should pay Sumy sick leave.

City Clerk Jennifer Poland was directed to contact the city lawyer on two issues. The first being whether or not the city can sell the old city hall without putting it out for bid. The second being whether or not a past due water bill can be assessed against a city employee’s wages.

The council agreed to shorten the probationary period of Poland from 120 days to 60 days. As of February 1, Poland will be off probation and will receive a 25¢-per-hour pay increase. She will be reviewed, along with other city employees, in June for another possible pay raise effective at the beginning of the new fiscal year, effective July 1.

Newton Hall was discussed. The back enclosed porch is in bad condition. Jim Blessington has volunteered to do the repair work for $250 if the city will furnish the materials. Alderman Rick Allen would like to see the size of the porch increased. Shewey wants to apply for a Gary Taylor Trust Grant for the project. The council will check with Blessington about the expansion.

Five residences are scheduled to have their water disconnected unless payments are made the week of January 16.

Poland was to contact Davis Fertilizer to see if the company would be willing to be on standby to spread lime and ash on the Skidmore city streets if the projected adverse weather hit.

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