The Morven Town Council met Sept. 10. With about eight citizens in attendance, the council immediately welcomed public speakers after opening the session.
Everrett Gabriel spoke first, expressing concerns about a $40 access fee to sewage he does not use on top of his water and trash bill, which he said brings his monthly bill from about $30 to around $70. “Just because I stay in the city limits, within 200 foot access to the sewer system, it’s not benefiting me,” Gabriel said. “Each and every one of us in here has access to the dump up the road behind the truck stop. But just because we have access to it they don’t charge us $40 or $50 to go use it.”
Gabriel conceded that if he was on the sewer system he should be charged but that, since he has his own septic tank, the fee shouldn’t apply. The council turned down his request to waive the fee on the grounds that it needed to respect a previous (2004) ordinance to charge the fee as Gabriel elected not to get connected to the sewer when he had the opportunity several years before.
Sandra Harnell, the parent-community outreach coordinator for Morven Elementary School, thanked the council for cooperation with providing a bicycle as incentive for higher EOG scores. Harnell requested access to a homework center for children; her request was allowed by the board.
A couple of citizens expressed concern about parking and poor visibility of oncoming traffic at the intersection of Depot Street and U.S. 52. The council said it is working on it and that “No Parking” signs are being put in place. There are also plans to repaint the curbs yellow to mark where parking isn’t allowed and violators will also probably receive parking tickets.
The council turned down a request from the Domestic Violence Coalition for $100 in donations.
Morven Police Officer Rick Little informed the board of recent events. “It’s been pretty quiet this month,” he said. “We’ve had one cutting and one assault, and several citations.” Little said that thus far he hasn’t found much new information on the Family Dollar robbery.
After the meeting adjourned, Everrett Gabriel stated that he hoped to come to the next meeting with other citizens paying the access fee in hopes that a more united front might be persuasive. Councilwoman Marjorie Cole said that the board does have to agree with the decision of any previous board but suggested that the board should come to a compromise. Putting the fee money towards the connection fee for sewage would give him some benefit, she said. “He can’t afford to get on [the city sewage], yet he’s paying this money per month,” she said. “What’s wrong with letting him pay this money until he gets to the amount that it takes to get on, and then get [him] on?”
The board has a vacant seat after the resignation of Susan Woodburn earlier this year. Donnie Little asked the board about the requirements to be on the board and later expressed interest in the position. Councilman Theodore Carr said that the seat should be filled by the end of the year, though little interest has been shown in the position.