Plains City Council Meets to Discuss 911 Memorial and Raising Utility Prices

Published 7:53 pm Monday, September 25, 2023

The Plains City Council met Sept. 21rst.The Board heard a request by Eagle Scout candidate
Grady Young of Troop 555 to erect a granite memorial for the victims of 911 containing a piece
of the original tower across from the Buffalo Caffe. He mentioned the memorial would be at no
cost to the city. Young stated he was planning to start pouring concrete mid-January and
hopefully finish by the end of March. Council member Eugene Edge Sr. asked if they had
recently turned down a memorial request. Mayor Boze Godwin responded that the memorial they
had turned down was tremendously bigger. The Board approved the request six to zero pending
approval by the historic society.
Chief David Johnson gave a safety report. The report for the month of August included 9 drug
offenses, 18 traffic citations, 21 traffic warnings, 1 damage to property, and 1 city ordinance
Godwin addressed Johnson.
“How is the new court system working out?”
Johnson replied.
“It’s working out good.”
He also mentioned there was a new officer on the force with drug crime training.
Afterward Godwin addressed the Board.
“We were looking at getting an FHA loan grant. The loan is 6 million dollars. The grant was,
total, for the amount for 6 million dollars, a million of a half of it was a loan. To get this we
would have to raise our water rates 12%-18% and we would have a $4,700 a month payment.”
He discussed other funding options.
“There’s COVID money, there’s money in splost, and we’ve got some money in savings. I think
we can do a lot of work on our own, and the engineers are in favor of this. If they do it to federal
standards, it’s a whole other engineering. But they can to it with us as a more of a commonsense
type thing and fix it.”
The mayor presented a proposal to raise water rates by 8%.
Mayor Pro Tem and Chair of Water and Sewage Wade Medlock commented.
“I don’t think eight percent is enough.”
Godwin stated that the increase would affect a range of utilities including garbage.
Medlock responded.
“We’re losing money every month on garbage.”
Medlock gave his recommendation.
“I recommend 10%.”
A. B. Jackson responded.
“Is there any way we can get the money, any way else, without raising people’s water bills, and
sewage, and all of that?”
Godwin spoke.
“Services got to pay for itself.”
He stated that the Plains rates were low compared to statewide rates.
Godwin made a suggestion.
“Why don’t we just get an accountant over here, have a meeting, and talk about finances, and
then come up with a percentage?”
Council member Kim Fuller commented.
“Lee’s the one that came up with this. He came and talked to me, and he said ‘We can’t keep
going like we’re going.’ I think eight percent was like a moderate [solution] for him.”
Jackson responded.
“We raise it after we explore everything we can.”
Godwin responded.
“We can’t supplement a service with property tax.”
Jackson responded.
“I’m for getting the accountant here, go over everything, and see what we need to do.”
Godwin concurred.
Jackson offered a motion to meet with the accountant, Fuller seconded the motion, which passed
After that the Board went into executive session.