By Christa Jennings
Senior Staff Reporter
Aside from approving standard monthly matters such as the meeting minutes and financial statements, Monday evening’s meeting of the Rockford Utilities Board was mostly discussion with no other official action being taken.
After having a late start, the meeting only lasted approximately 40 minutes, with some of that time spent in executive session.
With all members present, the board briefly mentioned the new sewer plant, with no updates available as of the meeting. Board Chair Ronnie Brown mentioned contacting certain representatives to look into it and see what is going on regarding the new plant, and Board Member Ronnie Joiner said that he would be meeting with engineer Ed Morris Wednesday to also discuss it.
In other business, Brown said that the company Rockford buys its propane gas from, the Municipal Gas Authority of Georgia, will be increasing its rates, meaning the Utilities Board will have to pay more for gas this year. As such, Brown said that the board is going to have to increase customers’ gas rates to help offset the raised costs.
However, no action was taken at Monday’s meeting, with Brown stating the board would address that matter in more detail at next month’s meeting.
Additionally, the board gave a brief update regarding its new building near Dollar General. They have been working on the parking lot, and board members and Brown said that they would need to work on framing the walls next and then proceed to work on wiring the building.
They said that work on the building is ongoing at this time. During discussion it was also stated that the board would get pricing for 2×4 and 2×10 lumber for use at the new facility while working on framing.
In other business, Joiner mentioned taking issue with the Town of Rockford advertising the two open board positions in the newspaper, stating that he did not think the town had ever done it before.
He and other members, along with Chair Brown, briefly discussed whether the town is required to advertise the board positions opening or becoming vacant. It was mentioned that members were always just reappointed when their terms were up unless the individual resigned.
Following discussion, the board asked attorney Nancy Kirby to look into it, and she said she would check into the laws and any local rules regarding that matter.
Additionally, Kirby told the board that she can also review the grant contract from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management once the board receives it.
In other business, Brown stated that the board needed to dismiss into executive session for approximately 10 minutes.
After being reminded of the legal and proper procedures per the Open Meetings Act, Brown then called for a vote to go into executive session, which was approved unanimously. The stated reason given for the executive session was “employee,” presumably meaning to discuss the good name and character of an employee.
The executive session lasted 15 minutes, and after reconvening in open session, no action was taken on the matter.
The next regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Rockford Utilities Board will be held at 6 p.m. October 17.