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Council moves $4,000 to cover mileage

Less than 16 hours after adjourning its regular meeting, the Clinton City Council held a special meeting.

The purpose of the special meeting, held at noon Friday, Nov. 15, at City Hall, was to move $4,000 into the Planning and Zoning department’s account to cover mileage for the remainder of the year. The mayor said that amount would more than cover the rest of the year.

The council approved the request on a 6-2 vote; Councilors Wendy Russ and Gayla Bradley voted against moving the funds.

After the meeting, Zoning official Dwight Wilson asked to speak with council members. He told them he would finish out the year as head of the department, but he would not use his personal vehicle next year.

Just before adjournment of the regular meeting Thursday, Nov. 14, Clinton Mayor Roger Rorie gave an update about Global Foods. He said all the money necessary to get the factory open should be in place in one month.

“We are in the final final stages,” he said.

He said five people are currently working at the site, which is the old Volex building. He said soon the plant will employ 20-25 people, and have 50 workers “almost immediately” after opening. Owners of the company say they plan to be producing their products in 60 days, Rorie said.

“It’s been a long project,” he said, “and we’re at the end of the road now.”

Also at the meeting:

• Van Buren County Animal Control Director Pam Hopkins said she is working with a rescue group called Packleaders located in Connecticut. Already they have taken six dogs and plan to take more later this month, Hopkins said. “We are putting every effort into seeing that our dogs are adopted or sent to rescues and that none have to be euthanized,” she wrote in her monthly report.

• Fire Chief D.L. Webb said plans are already under way for next year’s Scare on the Square. He said almost 2,000 people went through the department’s haunted house.

• Police Chief Toney Parish said he would like the 2014 budget to include funds for a fingerprinting machine. The cost for the machine is $8,000 and it is much better than using ink for fingerprinting, he said. It’s not the top of the line machine, he said. Those cost about $80,000, he said, and “I was afraid to ask for that one.”

• Water department Manager Isaac Keeling said chemical costs for the past month were $9,200, down from $12,000 the previous month. He said the treatment plant is running at 85.5 percent efficiency, and there was a 48 percent water loss for the month. About 20 percent of that loss was from fire hydrant flushing and testing. He also said the department has been doing some testing of the sewer lines and has found most problems are in the customers’ lines. The department will do another smoke test in December, he said.

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