City Council meeting held Monday

Dewain E. Peek/OCN screen shot

William Ridley answers questions about Water Leak Relief during Monday’s Livingston Board of Mayor and Aldermen meeting.

By Dewain E. Peek,

OCN Editor

Livingston Board of Mayor and Aldermen held the regular monthly meeting Monday, April 5, with Alderman John Clough absent.

After looking into the details of a program offered by Water Leak Relief, the City Council voted to enter into a two-year contract with the company. The start date is July 1.

William T. Ridley was present to answer questions about the program for city water customers that would help pay the lost water cost of water leaks on the customer’s side.

Livingston water customers would be automatically enrolled, but will be able to opt out by calling a toll-free number.

The cost to the customer would be $2.45, which would cover $2,000 per claim per customer, with up to two claims allowed per year. Leak billing overlap between two months would be considered as one claim. A customer who has a leak must stop the leak within 10 days of discovering it to be eligible for the bill relief.

The program does not cover filling of swimming pools or leaks in a sprinkler system, according to Ridley.

The Town of Livingston has been helping customers who have an unusually large bill because of a water leak, but that costs the city approximately $50,000 per year in lost revenue.

Purchase and installation of illuminated LED street signs for the square were approved from Tidwell Inc. of Alabama at a cost of $15,404, which will be paid through tax rebate funds..

First reading on amending the ordinance on Parking Space Requirements was approved, as recommended by the Planning Commission. The amendment changes the requirements from one space per 50 square feet to one space per 200 square feet.

Alderman Kelly Coleman asked, “What precipitated this?”

Codes Inspector Kristian Mansell explained that under the one per 50, “on a 10,000 square foot building, we’d have to have 200 parking spots. So, it made no sense at all.”

Second reading approval was given for rezoning of Lee Crowder property located at the intersection of North Church Street and Bradford-Hicks Drive.

Second reading approval was given for International Codes 2021-3-2, 2021-3-3, 2021-3-4, 2021-3-5, 2021-3-6, and 2021-3-7.

Matt Mitchell was hired at the Gas Department to replace Dylan Linder.

A contract with muralist Manuel Fuentes, of Celina, was approved for two murals.The murals will be painted on Mala Terry’s building and Darrell Gore’s building.

Codes Inspector Mansell gave an update on property maintenance.

“As of today, we’ve had 58 properties that have been in the ‘Miscellaneous’ violation, 55 of those properties are now in compliance,” he said.

“On the ‘Abandoned, Wrecked, Dismantled, Inoperative Vehicles’, 24 have been in violation and 24 are in compliance.”

He noted that three vehicles do not have up-to-date tags, but they are working on that.

“We had nine properties that were considered slum,” he said.

One is being worked with, four have been boarded up, two have been torn down by the owner, and two have been restored.

Alderman Coleman said, “He’s made a lot of progress. I know we’ve got a lot more to do, but I think we’ve come a long way.”

Coleman asked about the old block plant, and Mansell said Lojac plans to tear down those buildings.

Mayor Curtis Hayes said some stiffer penalties may need to be added to the codes because of a few who continue to fail to comply.

Mansell admitted there were a very few that are difficult to resolve.

“We try to use some common sense and help people as much as we can,” Mansell said.

Alan Lingerfelt gave an update on natural gas.