Fortunately, we have seen some decline in the number of Covid-19 cases in our area. However, the vaccination rate is still below fifty percent which is deterring us from avoiding infections. A little over one-third of the residents in Fulton and Sharp counties combined have been vaccinated. You definitely have a choice as to whether to get vaccinated or not but the virus does not give you a choice.
Certainly, we are looking forward to Spring which is less than three weeks away. I like you am tired of the cold weather and especially dislike the sleet and freezing rain. As I write this month’s column we are dealing with the prospect of more freezing rain today. Remember to exercise caution if you must venture out in treacherous road conditions and be prepared in case there is a loss of power.
Hopefully, the forecast will be incorrect and the prospect of hazardous roads and power outages will remain minimal. With warmer weather approaching there will be the opportunity to enjoy some community events. One event I wish to give early publicity is our Cherokee Village Pie Festival. This event has only been held once as the virus canceled the following year’s activities. The Pie Festival will be on Saturday, April 16th and will provide you with the opportunity to sample some great pies, enter your pie in the judging contest, bid on a pie, and enjoy the other activities that will comprise the day’s events.
At the February City Council meeting, the council approved two ordinances related to a proposed additional one cent sales tax for the city. Due to the recent litigation which resulted in a major loss of revenue; the proposed sales tax will allow us to regain a portion of that deficit. Those additional funds will be used to partially restore personnel lost due to staff reductions in our Fire, Police, and Street Departments. Currently, we are utilizing reserve funds and savings to provide needed equipment and materials for these departments to operate. That type of budgeting cannot continue; so passage of this proposed one cent sales tax is vital for the city to continue to provide necessary services to its residents as well as retain qualified staff. The tax issue will be on the ballot for the May election.
Additionally, the City Council approved the amended final budget for 2021 which is subject to the annual legislative audit. Also, approval was granted for the second and final payment to city employees under the American Rescue Plan Act; which is referred to as Premium Pay for services rendered during the pandemic ending with the 2021 calendar year. One other action was authorizing the Mayor to sign a sales contract with ARDOT for four tenths of an acre of city property as part of a right of way acquisition for the low water bridge project. The amount of the sale is $43,000 some of which will be used to replace signage lost from the sale.
If you are considering construction, remodeling, roofing, fencing, or other projects and repairs on your property; be sure to have the appropriate permits to do so. If you have questions about these matters contact our P&Z office at City Hall in order to avoid problems later.