CAVE CITY — Council members were scheduled to approve an ordinance on second reading Monday night that called for the closing of a portion of Gillenwater Street.
But when Mayor Dwayne Hatcher called for a motion to approve the ordinance, Councilman Larry Davidson, who was present at the meeting after having suffered a stroke last week, asked if the access road was ready.
Robert Smith, office manager, told Davidson the city council needed a motion to approve the ordinance before the city council could discuss it. With that said, Davidson then made a motion to approve the ordinance.
“Now, is the access road ready?” Davidson said.
Smith replied that the access road is cut in and ready for gravel.
“It's not ready to travel?” Davidson said.
Smith said no, but assured Davidson it was ready for gravel.
Davidson then asked if White Street was ready to be used.
“I got a confirmation email from South Central (Rural Telephone Cooperative) that all of their lines, if any below height, will be taken care of, and Comcast has advised me of the same,” Smith said.
Davidson then made a motion to table action to approve the ordinance on second reading until the telephone and cable lines have been taken care of.
Councilwoman Beverly Ford seconded the motion.
While the city council had already voted to approve the ordinance on second reaching, City Attorney Bobby Richardson pointed out that a motion to table is “a privileged motion.”
Smith then reported that CSX has made it as plain as they can.
“I don't mean any disrespect to the council and I'm going to do my job, but I've dealt with this since last July. The council passed it by unanimous vote before. I was assured by Steve the other morning as long as this issue was resolved we had assurance that it would be taken care of,” Smith said. “From this point on, I'm not having any more contact with CSX. I'm not going to deal with it any further. It's going to be totally in the council's hands to deal with it and take care of it from this point.”
Smith continued that he has done everything the city council and the citizens have asked him to do.
“I've printed off maps that Steve (Pedigo) requested showing that Mr. (Freddie) Dilley does not even have to come onto White Street to access all of his property. I've been assured that the other lines are already high enough. I've got confirmation from South Central. I've got confirmation from Comcast,” Smith said. “It's been almost a year that I've dealt with this situation and I've (gone) from city being offered $5,000 to getting us up to $32,500 so if the council wants to sit here and not wind up with nothing, then that's not my call.”
Hatcher then asked if the city had confirmation from the utility companies, and Smith said he was asked to go on record Monday night saying that the city had confirmation that the wires would be moved.
“I've made that confirmation and if the council wants to choose to table it then from this point you and or the council can deal with CSX. I'm done with it,” Smith said.
Richardson then asked the mayor if gravel could be put on the access road without city council approval.
“Is the money appropriated? Would there have to be … I don't remember the budget. Would there have to be authorization for that gravel?” Richardson said.
Smith replied that the money for the gravel would have to either come from the road aid or the industrial fund.
“Actually, it's on Mr. (Wayne) Gaunce's property and he told you to draw up the easement and he was fine with it, with no problem. It's just a matter of putting the gravel down, but I don't want to pay to have the gravel put down. I didn't want to take that step of spending that money without the council saying OK,” Smith said. “If the council is not going to vote to approve the track, I don't see the need of spending the money to put the gravel down. But that's the council call. Not my call.”
Richardson suggested the council authorize the laying of the gravel on the access road as soon as it becomes a public way and the closing be authorized but delayed until the utility lines of Comcast and South Central are raised the proper height.
“That's all we've asked for,” Davidson said, adding the city council has asked for the road to be completed and for White Street to be passable for Dilley.
Richardson then explained that he was suggesting that Davidson withdraw all of his motions and move to approve the ordinance, but that it be delayed until gravel is put on the road and when those two lines are raised to the proper height.
Davidson then said that he would be agreeable to that idea and then withdrew his motions.
Richardson then restated the motion, which was approved by the city council with a vote of 4-1. Ford cast the only dissenting vote.