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City to pay state highway project fix

The Clinton City Council voiced displeasure over Highway 65 plans that could cause a flooding problem for a Clinton business.

Mayor Roger Rorie said the state Highway Department plans to remove the curb from the highway as it expands the roadway. The curb is instrumental in keeping the grounds below it from flooding, and Rorie said he had a bid for $3,864 to open up drainage in the area.

If nothing is done to re-route heavy rains, it’s going to flood the Clinton Livestock Barn, said Councilman Johnny Moore.

“Did the state create the problem?” Moore asked. The answer was affirmative.

“Then they need to fix it,” said Councilman Sam Ward.

“We’re going to have a serious problem when it rains,” said Street Department Manager Charles Wilson.

“It shouldn’t be right that a state entity can do harm to a municipality by directing 12 million gallons of water to an 18-inch pipe,” Councilwoman Wendy Russ said. The 12 million gallon figure was not meant literally.

Rorie asked for a motion to accept the bid, but the council was silent.

“I’m going to call engineers in the morning and tell them we’re not going to do it, and we’ll go from there,” Rorie said.

Russ then spoke up. “As a proponent of not flooding residents’ property,” she said she would make a motion to accept the bid.

The motion passed unanimously.

A couple of issues were tabled at last Thursday’s meeting, among them a request from Project Surge for the city to sponsor its proposed shelter for homeless and “troubled” people. Rorie said the project must have the city as a sponsor before they can apply for a grant. There would be no cost to the city. The proposed site for the shelter is CJ’s on Highway 16. The area is zoned commercial, but the building used to house apartments.

“Who will manage these ‘troubled’ people?” asked Councilwoman Gayla Bradley.

Russ wanted to know if there were other possible sites because the issue was of concern to businesses in town.

No one was there from the project to answer questions.

The council voted unanimously to table the issue until its next meeting.

Also tabled was a proposal to drain a pool on private property on school hill. Rorie said the pond is causing problems for nearby landowners and is attracting mosquitoes. He said the city can legally fix it because the problem was exacerbated when the city installed a new sewer line.

However, Russ worried that the action would “open a can of worms” and asked if the landowner was willing to help pay the cost.

“We’ve had other people with water issues that we didn’t resolve because it was on private property,” she said.

The mayor, who lives in the area as does Russ, said he would see if the property owner will help pay. The issue was tabled until the next meeting.

The City Council meets at 7 p.m. the second Thursday of each month at the Clinton Municipal Airport. The meetings are open to the public.

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