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Resident wants long-term camping back

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By Kristin Beck

A Carrollton resident asked City Council to revisit the issue of long-term campers at 2Rivers Campground.

Nicole Dunn said she is an avid camper, and it was her impression and that of other fellow residents that the previous long-term campers did not look too bad. We have properties in town that need to be cleaned up and we’re worried about a few trailers? she asked.

Eight campers at $800 per month would be $6,400 of positive income for the campground, she said.

Dunn said she did not see any rules against long-term stays on the campground website or brochure. Councilman Robb Adams pointed out that it lists a two-week maximum, and the campground rules were adopted by city ordinance.

Dunn said she believes the rules should be changed to make the campground more friendly to long-term campers. All campgrounds have extended-stay rules, many having designated areas for those campers. She said the city should set rules on what they can and cannot do, such as put in concrete steps or install sewer pipes.

The city also needs someone at the campground in case the campers need something such as firewood or just need information, Dunn said. She also wanted council to consider creating group rates for campers that may travel through the area.

Mayor Gene McMurry said council could consider long-term campers again before this fall and thought the idea about discounts for groups was a good idea but council would need to address that.

Councilman Dwight Louden told Dunn the reason long-term camping was taken away is because before the campground was built, it was the general consensus from the community that it did not want it because it could become a trailer park. Before it was built, council agreed there would not be long-term campers. He said the councilmembers still believe in their hearts that it should not be allowed because they said it would not, but there is also the economic issue to look at.

 

Osborne given raise

Per the recommendation of the Carrollton Utilities Commission, council voted 5-0 to give CU Manager Bill Osborne a 3 percent raise. Councilwoman Hayley Franklin was absent. This is the same percentage raise all other city employees received for next fiscal year, but the manager’s salary must be set by a separate resolution.

Bill Welty of the commission presented council with information on why Osborne deserved the 3 percent raise, as well as a one-time $2,000 bonus. Councilman Dwight Louden said he did not know if the city could give bonuses because city employees cannot receive them. Councilman Robb Adams said two years ago, the idea was brought forward about giving Osborne a different percentage raise. He said there is no question about all Osborne does, but he thinks it sends a bad message to the other city department heads for rewarding one person with a bonus because while he deserves it, but he thinks all of them do.

Welty pointed out that Osborne’s salary does not have a pay scale number with upper levels for him to advance toward. City Attorney Ed James said he believes the city could set a scale for Osborne, but he would need to talk to Paul Coombs, who writes the city’s personnel policy. 

 

Second readings pass

Council approved the second reading to amend the fiscal year 2013-2014 budget to add $2,451 to administration to fix the Wi-Fi at the 2Rivers Campground and $8,349 to the public works budget for new equipment. Councilman Dwight Louden asked why the Wi-Fi was not listed under the campground budget. Mayor Gene McMurry said the intent was for the Wi-Fi to be citywide, including the campground. Louden asked for the Wi-Fi maintenance to be listed under the campground’s budget so they could track all of its expenses.

Council also approved water and sewer increases from Carrollton Utilities – 2 percent for in town customers and 3 percent for out-of-town customers.

 

EIP application approved

Council approved an Enterprise Incentive Program application for Sharon Graves, owner of Graves Art Studio and Gallery, located at 449 Main Street. Graves requested $1,213.70 for a picture hanging system, an information sign and an “open” banner.

 

Appointments approved

Council voted to name Donna Parrish and Robin Childs to the Urban Forestry Board. Their terms will end Dec. 31, 2016.