Charles Hibdon, Public Works Director with the City of Versailles, reported to the Versailles City Council Tuesday, Jan. 12 in their regular meeting that public works department workers have been going “non-stop” chipping brush, following an ice storm that hit the area New Year’s Eve.

A crew usually tours the city the first Monday of each month with a new heavy-duty chipper and mulches any tree limbs (up to a few inches in diameter) that residents haul curbside. However, after a weather event such as an ice storm, when there is an unusual amount of debris, it takes longer for crews to make the rounds.

“People are still bringing out brush,” Hibdon said. “Bear with us. We’ve been going non-stop.”

Hibdon said the city has a large pile of mulch available for citizens at no cost. To obtain the mulch, citizens may go to the city lot off Alum Springs Road and load the material as needed.

In a related matter, an offer of $4,000 for the city’s old chipper was made through eBay. The offer, which is more than the city would have received in trade-in, was accepted by the city council. Mayor Terry Silvey said, between a grant and the $4,000 sale price of the old chipper, the city was able to acquire the new chipper (worth approximately $47,000) for a total investment of only $2,500.

Sewer/Water Tap Fee
The council considered a proposal by the Public Works Department to increase the fees charged for tapping into existing water and sewer lines when new construction or housing is built on a city lot.

Currently, the fee is $100 for a sewer tap and $150 for water. Hibdon said this does not adequately cover the costs to the city and is lower than what other municipalities typically charge.

The council approved increasing the sewer tap fee to $150 and the water tap fee to $250 (to cover meter, parts, and related costs). In addition, a refundable deposit of $320 for returning the street to its original condition after excavation will be increased to $500, as concrete and other materials has become more expensive.

The increases will not go into effect until an ordinance is approved at the next city council meeting.

Council Briefs
– The city budget shows a net surplus of $42,543.13 for 2021.
– The council is considering the purchase of a dump truck.
– Approximately 20 concrete parking stops have been poured by Wilbert

Vault for the new parking lot at the former MFA.
– Airport lighting repair is on track for spring.
– Rotors installed at the wastewater treatment plant failed inspection because of mis-installed bearings. The rotors will be back on line next week.
– Manhole lining is complete.
– The police department was approved for a grant and has received its new patrol car.

The next city council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 9 at City Hall in Versailles.