Oronogo to receive more than $500,000 in American Rescue Plan payments over two years

Municipal judge and prosecutor are getting their first salary increase in 15 years

Oronogo received its disbursement from the American Rescue Plan Act in the amount of $269,081 on Sept. 17.

City Clerk Cyndi Jennings reported the unbudgeted revenue during the regular meeting of the Board of Aldermen on Monday.

A similar amount is expected to be received next year. Mayor Charles Wilkins mentioned a couple of possibilities, but it hasn’t been decided yet how the new revenue will be spent.

SEWER LINE BID OPENING SET FOR NOV. 16

Eric DeGrusen, of Allgeier Martin and Associates, updated the board on two sewer upgrade projects.

The board approved his plans for a larger line on the east side of town going to the lift stations on Ivy Road. Contractors’ bids will be opened Tuesday, Nov. 16.

No new easements will be necessary because the old line will be dug up and replaced with larger pipe. DeGrusen said construction will likely begin in the spring.

Meanwhile, DeGrusen is finalizing plans to increase the sewer system’s capacity by replacing the city’s two main lift stations and sewer line to the treatment plant.

JUDGE AND PROSECUTOR SALARIES INCREASED

The board voted 4-0 to increase the salaries for the positions of municipal judge and prosecuting attorney from $500 to $850 per month.

Wilkins mentioned that salaries for the two positions have remained the same for at least 15 years.

Police Chief Steven Weaver confirmed that the caseload has increased dramatically, with up to 70 cases tried.

City Attorney Derek Snyder, who also serves at prosecutor, agreed the amount of work has increased and noted that the cost would be a lot more if his firm were to bill by the hour he spends on prosecuting the city’s cases.

The ordinance specifies as prosecutor Snyder or other attorney appointed by the Warten, Fisher & Lee firm.

Mark Elliston is the municipal judge.

As with the number of cases, the revenue from fines has also grown, so there is enough to cover the raises.

Voting no was Kima Francis (3rd Ward), who cited the need for a budget amendment and inadequate financial information. She was joined by Tammy Talent (2nd Ward).

In other action:

• Wilkins said he is dealing the best he can with complaints from surrounding residents about construction of the Greystone II subdivision. Truck traffic and trash are the main complaints.

• Public Works Superintendent Tony Cantrell reported 19 water services are now active in the first phase of Greystone II, and all 29 lots have gas service available. Also, 16 building permits have been issued for the second phase and all will be ready for gas hookup.

• Half the cost of a building permit was refunded because it was for property in the original town. BBG Corporation was initially charged $294. In accordance with city code, BBG asked for the refund.

The discount is meant to encourage construction of single-family houses in the original portion of the city. Also, demolition permit fees are waived in the original town.

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