Patriot Town Council discusses upcoming utility improvements

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Patriot Town Council held its first meeting of 2006 on Tuesday evening, January 17th. Council Members present were Jim Caudill and Darrell Kasson, along with town clerk treasurer Pam Hutchinson. Town council member Kathy Workman was not present.

First item of business was re-electing Jim Caudill as Town Council president. Council also decided to keep its meeting date, time and place the same for 2006. Council meetings are on the third Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. in the Patriot Town Hall.

Some members of Switzerland County Council were present to remind the Patriot Town Council of the need for an advisory committee for the Water Company. It was also pointed out that County Council support could be more forthcoming if representation from the advisory committee came from around the county.

The advisory committee could be made up of a representative from each township and the Town of Patriot, if state statute allows.

Duties and responsibilities of the committee will be drawn up soon, and interviews will also proceed in time for full committee appointments to be reached by February or March.

Jim McNulty from Strand Associate Engineers was present to give an update on the upcoming improvement project. He would like to bid the project tentatively March 6th if all goes as planned. He was also asked to explain what the project consisted of for the pleasure of those in attendance.

Based on information provided, Strand contends these improvements will carry the utility some 20 years. Jim McNulty has made initial contact with Belterra officials about the proposed expansion to that facility, but has not had a reply from them.

Strand expects the project to be completed in early 2007. County Council asked if there is room for commercial development in the county under this new plan. McNulty responded that after completion, the Florence and East Enterprise areas would be suitable.

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In other business of the Patriot Town Council:

— The Patriot Town Council also approved its budget for 2006; and rehired all Water Company employees.

— Kevin Clark was present to ask for an adjustment to his water bill. He had experienced a leak on his property. The Council informed him that if the water passes through his meter, you have to pay for it. It is allowable for him to make installments to the balance.

— Utility superintendent Sherry Ogden reported that workers fixed 25 leaks on the system. She also reported that 25.5 million gallons of water were pumped daily from the Patriot Well Field. Point of entry #2, the Florence Well field pumped 8.9 million gallons with an average 287,232 gallons pumped daily.

— Dwight Smith was approved to move one of his services on to another part of his property as long as it is the same deeded property.

— Town Council was approached by residents of the Patriot Annex in the November and December meetings about the condition of the road in the annex. Council approved for Strand to look at the roads and give a report as soon as it can.

— Town Council approved Swiss Friends of Animals to use the Town Hall for the Spring Spay/Neuter clinic in April, with the condition of protecting the new floor and all previous agreed upon conditions.

— Town council tabled a bill from Hy-Tech Heating and Air until everyone is satisfied with the job they did.

— Council approved to give $500 to the After Prom event for 2006. It was also approved to pay off StonHard for the new floor surface.

— The next town council meeting will be on Tuesday, February 21st at 7 p.m. The meeting will be at the town hall and is open to the public.