The future of the Smyrna Public Library was a heavily discussed agenda item at the April 15 Smyrna Town Council meeting. However, there were several other items of discussion at the meeting.
Stombaugh bids farewell
Mayor Pat Stombaugh gave her departing speech as the meeting was her last as mayor of the town. She looked back on her six years as mayor and thanked everyone for their help during her terms. She also honored council Recording Secretary Valerie Heritage for her help over the years.
"I've loved being a public servant," Stombaugh said. "I hope in the future in some capacity to be a public servant again."
Meeting minutes addressed
Councilman Robert Johnson brought up the concerns regarding the lack of meeting minutes on the town's website.
Johnson noted there's been an issue with minutes for the Utility Committee partially because he's a lousy note taker so he wants to look back into streaming meetings.
A big concern with streaming utility meetings, Johnson said, is that citizens sometimes bare their souls at the meetings regarding their issues.
"People have a right to privacy when they do that. People don't need to know why a person can't pay a bill," Johnson said. "But there are some things that may be beneficial to know so we have to think about the best way to meet our FOIA [Freedom of Information Act] requirements, but also serve the citizens the way we can."
Tax rate set
Council passed a resolution to approve the final assessment list and to set the fiscal year 2013 tax rate.
When council approved the 2013 budget in November, it included a tax increase of two cents per $100 of assessed value. The property tax increased from 29 cents to 31 cents. A property owner with an assessed property value of $200,000 will see their taxes go up about $40, from $580 to $620.
PPCAC rate reduced
Council passed a resolution authorizing Hugg to reset the PPCAC (Power Purchase Cost Adjustment Charge) to .0053 per kwh effective with May billings for April energy consumption.
Hugg pointed out that this was the second year in a row the council and Utility Committee have reduced the PPCAC. The average residential customer will see about $7 a month in savings.
Council supports county roundtable
Council passed a resolution to support the projects and efforts of the Kent County Economic Roundtable.
The roundtable is the result of work done by the Greater Kent Committee and includes projects for Smyrna, Milford, Dover, Harrington, and Kent County. The goal is to get more support and funding for the projects from the state. The Smyrna project on the list if the U.S. Route 13 Corridor Plan.
Robo call system extended
Council voted to extend the use of the robo call system for another 90 days.
Town Manager Dave Hugg gave a general update at the April 1 council meeting, but no official action was taken on the program.
"The initial trial of the robo call system basically called folks to advise them they have missed a utility payment or has another issue pending appears to be successful," Hugg said. "I think it's worthy of trying for a longer period of time."
Stombaugh noted the robo call system is an example of the importance of citizens serving on committees, as it was a suggestion of former Utility Committee member Jim Strong.
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