As the regular City of Corydon meeting was coming to a close on October 28, Mayor Dennis Moorman announced he would be resigning from his position effective October 30. Moorman took over the mayoral role following the resignation of former Mayor Rod Parham in 2018.
“I’ve been tossing this around for several months, but I’m getting burnt out on being mayor,” Moorman began. “It isn’t the money, it’s just the waking up at midnight, two o’clock in the morning and I can’t go back to sleep. So I think probably you’re going to have my resignation Friday afternoon.”
“You’ve done a lot of good things and we appreciate what you’ve done,” said council member Amber Rodgers. “We want you to enjoy your retirement too and not be stressed out.”
“I’m not complaining but a lot of days it’s like a fulltime job and I’ve given it a lot of thought and talked it over with my wife,” Moorman added. “I think you need new leadership. I never have bounced back from where I was at after being in the hospital and it’s just wearing me out.”
“We’re going to miss you,” added council member Stan Rupe.
Moorman stated he was more than willing to help out as needed when things would arise and wouldn’t leave the council in a bind.
“So with Nathan [council member Nathan Bennett] as the pro tem will he just step in then?” asked Rodgers.
“We can put a public notice in that we want to appoint and if 15 percent or something like that of the residents want an election, we can hold one,” said council member Dawn Christian. “Otherwise it’s just a print notice.”
“I’ve enjoyed working with everybody, it’s just time to do something else,” Moorman added as he stated he would be turning in all of his keys and books to City Hall on Friday afternoon.
“We appreciate you Dennis, you were dealt a bad hand and you’ve done a good job with what you have been given,” Christian said.
Shortly following Moorman’s announcement City Clerk Eva Moore noted current Utility Billing Clerk Julie Merritt had also given her formal letter announcing her resignation effective Saturday, November 7. The council decided the position would be advertised as they looked to fill the role.
In other business, earlier in the meeting City Attorney Verle Norris was available to help answer questions regarding the discussion of a rate increase for residents on city sewer charges.
“I received a new email from Maggie and she’s recommending a five-dollar increase instead of January and January like I have on the letter, January and July,” said Moore. “Her email basically says with the SAGAR System operating expenses are for the first year $98,000 with an inflation estimate of $110, etc. Because we are at our max debt capacity we are just at a point where we have to raise the rates. We just can’t not do it. She’s recommending to do the five-dollar increase in January, again in July and a two percent usage increase every other year to help maintain coverage and that’s pending all the other unknowns.”
“Can I make a recommendation or I guess a suggestion?” began Norris. “I think you’re going to have the public completely on top of you if you raise the rates that often. I think you need to just raise them and capture the next two years and call it good.”
“I agree,” said Christian.
“So go for the ten-dollars and call it good?” Bennett questioned.
“That would be my recommendation,” said Norris.
Moore noted the current monthly rates for city residents for sewer is $40, water is $30 and garbage is $25 stating the city has low end rates compared to cities of comparable size.
“We have to take into consideration all of the delinquencies we currently have and people are struggling to pay what we currently have for rates,” said Moore. “I don’t know how that will shake out but I know people won’t be happy. Comparable or not that’s what they are saying we need to do.”
Moore also informed the council other cities will make a new resolution to do a two-percent increase depending on the increase.
“Our hands are tied and we have to go along with the DNR,” said Rodgers. “We have to do what they told us to do.”
The motion was made and seconded to have the City Attorney draft the public hearing paperwork for the next regular council meeting and the City Clerk will prepare the letter for residents to allow proper notification to make the $10 sewer rate increase effective beginning January 1, 2021.
The council also discussed the current basis for purchases needed by city employees. Currently any items valued over $250 must be approved by the council in a council meeting before the purchase can be made. City employee Brandon Trower voiced his concerns regarding the current ordinance in the event an emergency should arise.
“Like Eva and I have talked about, the $250 limit we have to bring to you guys to get approved,” began Trower. “That’s all fine if it’s something like a power washer or weed eater or something you don’t have to have right now. I have a truck break down that needs a new starter that is $400, do I have to wait a week and a half to get approval for a $400 starter when it’s winter time and we have to have the truck to push snow?”
“I’ve got a truck down with a starter, but if it’s over $250 then what?” Trower questioned.
“I think all you have to do is make a phone call,” said Bennett.
“But is it legal to do that?” asked Moore.
“Unless we amend the ordinance?” said Christian. “I think we got to the $250 because there was a problem somewhere along the way.”
“There might be a rule at the state auditor’s office, I know when I had that training in Leon originally, their limit was $1,000 and I told them ours was $250 they laughed at me but I was too new then,” said Moore.
“I have no problem if you want to put it at $1,000 and you guys say use common sense I have no problem still bringing a weed eater or a chainsaw to you on that,” Trower added. “I get that. It would make it easier for me to do my job if the emergency things I was able to just get them fixed and working.”
The council acknowledged the current $250 limit came about due to an overabundance of items in the city shop that weren’t needed in the past. They agreed they would look into what their options would be in changing the current ordinance/limit.
The next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, Nov. 9 at 5:30 p.m.