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Milner city council meeting almost escapes controversy

By Kay S. Pedrotti During the calmest Milner city council meeting in recent memory, Mayor Joe Bostwick and five council members took care of routine business, including a unanimous vote to raise the city’s millage rate from 3.83 to 4 mills. Council member George Weldon voted with the majority to approve the city’s budget, but noted some sections in the document that need to be adjusted ‘so we know that everything is covered.’ He recommended the next council meeting include a vote to amend the budget. Bill Christopher’s library report contained income and expenses for the month of August, showing a beginning balance of $3,136.83 and ending balance of $4,939.19. Usage of the library continues to grow, he said. He also reported that the state Environmental Protection Division had proposed a fine of $6,000 against the library for failing to ask permission to fill in an area on the property. The authorities agreed that they knew Milner’s fill material was okay, ‘but they still were going to fine us ‘¦ we negotiated down to a $500 fine. We continue to look for donors for unexpected expenses, and we thank the city for carrying some of the financial burden.’ Milner police chief Michael Bailey reported 419.5 hours worked; 1,198 miles traveled; three accidents; 21 calls; 281 business checks; 11 assists to GSP or the Lamar sheriff’s department; two arrests and 261 citizen contacts. After agenda items were handled, Lynn Hadaway informed the council that the Democratic and Republican parties will sponsor a candidate forum Oct. 19 to include all who are running for Milner city council. Then Bobby Brantly rose to speak, asking that the council begin holding ‘workshop’ meetings in October on second Thursdays, before the regular council meeting on third Mondays. Then Brantly asked the council ‘who governs municipal governments’ and what steps they intended to take to obtain adequate legal counsel because they ‘admitted breaking the law’ when they approved a variance last month. He said the city lawyer needs to be present to keep the council informed and avoid departing from city codes. Skip Seda, a council candidate, said at the end of the meeting that the ‘Milner City Limits’ sign has been removed from the area of the intersection of the Highway 41 four-lane and Zebulon Road. Mayor Joe Bostwick said, ‘I will take care of that tomorrow.’

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