Harshbarger re-elected council president

Andrews Town Council elected its president for 2021, discussed several updates on ongoing projects and heard department reports during its Monday, Jan. 11, meeting.

Councilmember Laura Dillon nominated Council President John Harshbarger for 2021 council president. Councilmember Roger Newsome seconded the nomination. Dillon and Harshbarger both brought up the point that complications could arise with projects and litigation that had carried over from 2020 if the president position were to change hands in 2021.

“Let’s just keep you president one more year,” Dillon said. “I think that would be better.”

The nomination passed without further discussion.

Dillon then gave updates on the comprehensive plan for the Stellar Communities program. The program started in January 2018 and “provides resources for transformative quality of place, community and regional improvements,” according to the in.gov website.
Dillon received a contract from Region 3-A for the Stellar Communities program. Region 3-A is a development and regional planning commission.

Council has the option to use a contract outside of Region 3-A, and is looking to do so because of the need to use grant monies from the Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA). Should council go with the Region 3-A contract, OCRA grant monies would have to be used and there is a chance that a grant of that nature would affect the town’s other OCRA grants for construction projects.

Eric Woodmansee, of AME consulting, mentioned to council that there are separate categories of OCRA grants that the town could consider applying for and using simultaneously. Dillon took this under consideration.

Woodmansee discussed future projects that the town could look into for 2021, suggesting that inspections of the roads around the town take place to determine whether previously decided treatment plans were correct.

“It’s worthwhile to check roads that haven’t been done in three or four years and find the problem spots,” Woodmansee said.
The first two resolutions of 2021 were passed by council unanimously. Resolution 2021-1 and 2021-2, both of which dealt with funds that were in the 2020 budget, stated that funds could be transferred in order to balance the budget. Dillon motioned to pass each resolution and Newsome seconded to pass each resolution. With no discussion, the resolutions passed.

During department reports, Austin Bullock of the Andrews Police Department stated that issues continued to occur with his police vehicle and that it was in the shop. According to Bullock, it could be unavailable for use until at least the first week of February. He is currently driving the reserve vehicle.

Utility superintendent Collin Bullock had little to share other than he would be completing some maintenance on town equipment.

Clerk-Treasurer Laury Powell shared a list of appointments for the 2021 calendar year. One vacancy was on the Andrews Board of Zoning Appeals. Otherwise, other position appointments were “staggered out several years apart.”

According to Harshbarger, a conversation between himself and Eric Boze had taken place about the possibility of Boze filling the zoning position. Dillon motioned to accept the nominations, with the exception of the Region 3-A contract and the Andrews Board of Zoning appeals. The motion was seconded by Newsome and passed unanimously.

The meeting adjourned shortly after limited comments and questions from town residents.