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story.lead_photo.caption Westside Eagle Observer/RANDY MOLL Michelle Rieff, Highfill councilwoman and Highfill resident, questions the council about trash she picked up on her property from the home construction in Highfill by Rausch Coleman Homes and Schuber Mitchell Homes. She asked the city why nothing was being done to prevent the construction trash from blowing onto the property and into the pastures of neighbors to the construction, pointing out that some of the trash is hazardous if ingested by calves or livestock.

— Council members in Highfill approved two street projects and repair of the city's bulldozer at the March 13 meeting at city hall. Discussed was the need for a code enforcement officer and to do something about construction trash blowing onto neighboring properties at home construction sites.

Though David Williamson and Toby Lester voted no, yes votes by Wesley Evans, Roger Hill, Michelle Rieff and Mark White brought about the approval of an overlay project for Malone Road, Digby Road and the remaining 637 feet of Pautsky Lane for $105,578 by Decco Pavers. The budget already included $75,000 for the project, with the balance to be taken from the city's savings account.

A bid for $35,000 to chip and seal a portion of Daniels Road was also approved by the council, with Williamson and Lester voting against the project. A lower bid was received for the project, but the package included only a 4-inch SB2 base instead of the 6-inch base in Tomlinson's bid and no one knew anything about the company which offered the low bid. The money also will be taken from city savings.

The council unanimously approved the low bid of Tomlinson of just over $63,000 to repair culverts and a bridge on flood-damaged Rocky Comfort and Douglas Cemetery Roads. The Federal Emergency Management Agency will pay the city $66,200 for the repair work, according to Vernon Reams, the city's street and road supervisor. He said he may be able to use the difference after the project's completion to add cement to culverts to try to keep them from washing out so easily.

Also unanimously approved by the council was the expenditure of up to $18,000 to repair the city's bulldozer. Reams said the bulldozer has no value to the city or for resale as it is but would have a resale value greater than the cost of repair if fixed. He said the city could again use the dozer for road work after it is fixed. It was hauled to Precision Equipment for evaluation and repair, and Reams said he had checked with another company and the repair price was much higher.

Michelle Rieff brought two large plastic bags of trash -- one with construction trash and another with personal trash from the Silver Meadows subdivision construction site on Mason Valley Road -- and dumped them out on the floor in front of the council during the public hearing portion of the meeting. Rieff said the trash was picked up in one day from her property and pasture. She said it could be fatal for her calves if they ingested some of the plastic wrapping material she picked up in her pastures. She asked the council and mayor what could be done to prevent this.

Suggestions discussed included citations for littering, pulling building permits until the trash is picked up and plastic fencing and netting to keep trash from blowing out of dumpsters and away from construction sites.

Stacy Digby, Highfill's mayor, said contact had been made with Rausch Coleman Homes and Schuber Mitchell Homes and efforts were being made to contain construction debris and trash and that crews had been out regularly picking up trash. He voiced opposition to temporarily pulling permits.

The trash discussion led to a discussion about the time that James "Butch" Wiand has to spend at the subdivision construction sites doing building inspections. Wiand is also the city's water and sewer supervisor and the inspections have been taking up much of his time and keeping him from work on the water and sewer systems. Council discussion included hiring a part-time building inspector and code-enforcement officer or contracting with a building inspector to do inspection work on a commission basis.

Wiand said the city had received $107,000 in building permit fees, so it should be able to afford to hire someone to do inspections.

With Williamson and White voting no, a resolution was passed giving a conservation easement on Highfill Community Building property. The easement, according to Digby, was to ensure the city would not do something else with the building after receiving funds to restore it as a historical building on state or national registers.

Digby reminded those in attendance of the fire department's chili supper on April 7, including an open house in the new addition to the fire station. He also said the annual Easter egg hunt would be held at 10 a.m. on March 31 in the city park.

General News on 03/21/2018

Print Headline: Council approves road projects, hears trash complaints

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