Metal Tech Day declared

Published 9:14 am Thursday, May 28, 2009

MURFREESBORO – Mayor Lynn Johnson formally declared today, May 28, Metal Tech of Murfreesboro Day when the town council met in regular session Tuesday.

On that day, Metal Tech is to receive the North Carolina Department of Labor’s STAR recognition. Under the STAR program, according to Cherie K. Berry, NCDOL commissioner, “Management agrees to operate an effective program that meets an established set of safety criteria. Employees agree to participate in the program and work with management to ensure a safe and healthful workplace. The agency’s Office of Occupational Safety and Health initially verifies that the program meets STAR criteria. We then publicly recognize the site’s exemplary program and remove the site from routine scheduled inspections lists. Becoming a STAR participant shows employees and the community that your company is a leader in safety and health.”

In other news from Tuesday’s council meeting, Murfreesboro Police Chief Darrell Rowe said work is under way to overcome a problem in the town’s E-911 equipment. When a cell phone call is received by the system, he said, “It’s supposed to show the number, the carrier, the address and come up on a map on the screen. Right now, it’s staying up just a few seconds.”

Rowe also said the town needs to upgrade the E-911 recording equipment so that it will handle the department’s business number because many longtime residents “call that number because they always have.”

The council set June 9 – its next regular meeting day – as the date for two public hearings, the first on its annual budget and the second on a permit request for the community’s annual Watermelon Festival, which draws some 40,000 visitors to the town.

The budget, over which the council has labored in two half-day workshops, totals $3,142,942.

The General Fund accounts for $1,846,442 of that; the Water and Sewer Fund for $1,263,500; and the E-911 Fund for $33,000.

A copy of the proposed budget is available at the Murfreesboro Town Hall for public review from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

In response to a query posed by Councilman Lloyd Hill during one of the budget workshops, Town Administrator Cathy Davison reported that the town’s current indebtedness stands at $5,162,305.85. The General Fund portion of that, she reported, totals $292,680.10 and the Water and Sewer Fund portion $4,869,625.75.

The General Fund debt (with dates each was incurred) includes $42,800 (04/08) for police cruisers; $55,000 (07/08) for in-vehicle cameras for police vehicles and $194,880.10 (03/07) for a fire truck.

Included in the Water and Sewer Fund debt is: $130,000 (05/83) Water GO Bond; $79,000 (11/83) Sewer GO Bond; $141,000 (06/85) Utility Extension; $333,333.35 (03/04) Wastewater Treatment Plant land acquisition; $4,155,292.40 (08/07) Wastewater Treatment Plant expansion; and $31,000 (07/08) Wastewater Treatment Plant tractor.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Garnett Best, who told council members she owns property on Main Street and on Diamond Street in Murfreesboro, voiced concern about the appearance of areas of Main Street.

“I’m not happy with what I’m seeing,” she said. “Someone has to be responsible for owners who leave their property unattended.”

Council member Molly Eubank told Best the town has a process under which a complaint registered with the town administrator engenders an inspection by the zoning inspector and, if warranted, a letter giving the owner of the property a specified time in which to respond.

Public Works Director Gene Byrd told Best the area to which she referred was a state maintained road, but Davison told Best she would contact her to discuss the issue and see what can be done.

Council member Gloria Odom said Davison has tried to get “community service workers” to focus on the area.

Best said, “I thank you for what has been done, but there is so much more that can be done.”

The council also agreed to lease property to Herbert Eley “for a period of not more than 9 months for $50 a month and a $100 deposit, payable in advance.” Eley had approached the council two weeks ago, asking to use the land, which adjoins his property, to enlarge his garden.

During the meeting, Mayor Johnson asked Murfreesboro Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Sherry Sullens to report on the May 31, Taste of Murfreesboro event. Sullens said tickets to the event, which will be at The Commons, 314 W. Main St., from 4-6 p.m., are $10 each. A ticket will entitle, she said, its bearer to sample a variety of dishes prepared by Murfreesboro cooks, some of them members of the council.