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Chamber gets no help from city

The Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce went away empty-handed at last week’s Clinton City Council meeting.

Chamber President Jason Hayes asked the council for $9,000 to help fund the chamber through the end of the year. His request died as no councilor would make a motion to vote on the request.

The chamber has said it is struggling as fewer businesses are joining or renewing memberships. Kathy Sherwood receently stepped down as chamber director and Trish Childers is currently handling those duties.

Also sent away with no money, at least for the time being, were Clinton baseball coach Robert Prince and Athletic Booster Club President Steve Bradley. The two said the ball field at the school needs a lot of attention. The first phase of repairs would cost almost $22,000, they said.

They said the time to start work is now, not the first of the year, to get the fields in good shape for the spring season.

The “big field” at the high school is “the pinnacle of baseball in Clinton,” Bradley said.

Everyone was in agreement that the fields are in dire need of work, but the council decided it wanted a total figure for all the work needed. A committee will work with the school group, and Mayor Roger Rorie, saying “We’re (the fields) the worst, everyone says,” vowed to go over all the city budgets to look for money wherever he can find it.

The Clinton School District owns the land, but the city leases the ball fields. Prince said he thinks the school should be responsible only for the upkeep of the two fields its teams use.

Also at the meeting, Water Department Manager Isaac Keeling updated the council on the efforts to install a water-cleansing system. The work on Actiflo is “going good,” he said.

Keeling said the new system will cut chemical costs at the water treatment plant substantially. Last month’s chemical cost was $12,171. Another plant that has an Actiflo system reports chemical costs at $$1,990 per month.

For the third month in a row, there was discussion on the recently passed sign ordinance for Clinton businesses. The ordinance from the Planning and Zoning Committee charges businesses $50 or more for their signs. City code enforcer Dwight Wilson said the panel is comfortable with the ordinance as passed, but will give established businesses one year to update their signs for free. He said the committee does not feel a moratorium on fees for new businesses is necessary. He said of the 80 signatures collected in opposition to the fee that only 38 were what he would consider legitimate.

Councilwoman Wendy Russ made a motion to rescind the sign ordinance. She and Gayla Bradley voted for the motion; the four other councilors voted against repealing the ordinance.

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