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Johnston Town Council Addresses Assorted Issues
By Anne Waits
web posted October 10, 2012
JOHNSTON – In the regularly scheduled
Johnston Town Council meeting Monday night, few new items were
addressed but ongoing discussions were held on several old items of
business. During the public comments section of the meeting, Lucky
Davis spoke to Council about the large cedar tree in front of Johnston
Elementary School. Davis said the tree was obstructing the view and she
would like to see it moved somewhere else. She was informed that the
Town was already aware of the matter and had plans to use the tree to
This was followed by approval of the Sept. 10 Minutes and the September
Financial Report, A question was asked about the excess amount under
"miscellaneous" in the financial report, and the mayor answered that it
was due to the Municipal Association's Insurance Fund.
After it went out of business and after paying out claims, the
remainder was divided with the Town and this accounted for the excess.
Several new names were added to the Peach Exchange Committee
appointments. The list now includes: Annette Holloway, Artie Emanuel,
John Edwards Jr., Kay Campbell, Darlene Smith and Donna Livingston.
Police Chief Chris Aston gave an update on the new police radar sign.
He said that although some modifications had to be made, the sign was
programmed and working properly.
The mayor gave an update and a discussion followed on moving the
Waterworks Park. At the last meeting, he had said he would find out who
the adjacent property belongs to. The Town owns two small sections
where they plan on putting it and it was discussed that the
owners of the adjacent property may want to donate. He said he now has
the names and will will write a letter. Council agreed that a
children's park is a high priority. Councilman Tommie Burton stated
that he had talked to neighbors and the consensus was for a children's
Councilman Terrence Culbreath gave a report on the Website update. He
stated that that the update is on the way, The research has been done
and someone is working on it.
Under old business, Mayor Andy Livingston brought up a request by Women
in Unity that was mentioned at the last meeting. The organization has
recently had some property on Lanier Road given to them and they would
like to make a meeting place out of it. However, they do not have
the funds or manpower to go in and clean up the property. They asked if
the Town could help.
"I really don't know how we can help," said Mayor Livingston. "The Town
cannot go on private property to help."
Council discussed it and came to the conclusion they could inquire
around and see if people wanted to help clean up the property.
Under new business, the Johnston Development Association had asked if
the Town wanted to participate in putting a clock on the mural. He
showed a drawing of the clock they are considering.
"The clock could cost as much as $8,000, and by partnering with them,
the Town could do up to $4,000," said the mayor. He mentioned that they
could use money from the hospitality fund, which is money set aside for
tourism, recreation, economic development and such.
Concilman Culbreath said he would like to wait. Councilman Burton said
he was not against the project if they could use money from the
The mayor said someone else was supposed to give a bid on the clock
other than the one company.
After discussing it more, Council agreed to wait and check further.
Under police committee reports, CouncilwomanTyra Miller brought up that
$75 stipends are available for police officers to purchase new boots,
with the option to go up to $125, with the understanding that the
offers will pay the difference if the cost exceeds that amount.
"Of course, they could not go up to $125 every year, but some of them
would not need new boots every year," she said. Chief Aston agreed that
some of them purchase the expensive boots and they last several years.
Miller said it was just something to think about.
Under fire department reports, Councilman Burton mentioned that the
fire department has been really busy lately and the mayor mentioned
that he has applied for a forestry grant for the fire department that
would be a 50/50 match.
There was much discussion on the matter of the Town picking up roadside
debris from people's yards. This is an ongoing issue brought up this
time by Councilman Tommy Stone. The ordinance states that the Town will
pick up normal yard rake from properties put there by the owners, but
if contractors do the work, the contractor is responsible for hauling
off the debris.
Councilwoman Miller said they all know it has not been that way for a
long time and in respect for older people who have to hire contractors
to do the work and pay them more, the Town needs to rewrite the
Ordinance. "Common sense tells you that," she said.
They agreed and will put it on the agenda for the next meeting.
The mayor reminded Council that flu shots are available at the Chamber
of Commerce on Wednesday from 9 - 12. They are free to Town employees
and the fee has been paid by the Town.
The mayor also mentioned that he had received a call from a citizen
about the overgrown condition of Mt. of Olives Cemetery. Although the
Town owned the property at one time, all the plots have been sold and
the owners of the plots are responsible for the clean-up. The mayor
recommended that a committee be formed to establish a Friends of the
In regard to the proposed redoing of the Streetscape on Calhoun Street,
the mayor said one company has recommended putting in new trees and
shrubbery to replace the ones that have died. They are expecting
another company's recommendation and the mayor will bring it to Council
when he receives it.
The mayor announced that the Town has set aside the hours of 6 to 8:30
p.m. for Trick or Treating for Halloween.
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