New Haven City Commission meeting briefs from Dec. 21

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By Dennis George

The New Haven City Commission voted Thursday to spend up to $7,000 in funds to renovate Barry Hall.

The community center, built in the 1970’s, is the site of bereavement meals and other events for the Nelson County city.

Most of the money will be used to renovate the outdated restroom facilities and to make changes to the kitchen.

Keith Bartley told the commissioners he could not find many contractors to bid on the project but seemed pleased with the prices he did receive.

He said the cost to remove and replace the tile in the bathroom and the hallway would be $1,860. An additional $879 would be needed to do make the same changes in the concession area.

Most of the funds will be needed to update the plumbing and fixtures in the bathrooms.

The local bereavement committee has offered to donate $300 to the project.

“This is something that just needs to be done,” Commissioner Joe Larry Mattingly said.

“I think you’ll see it will pay for itself because you’re going to rent the building out more,” Freddy DeWitt said.

Guyula Johnson asked the commissioners to first complete the bathroom portion of the project before moving on to the kitchen.

“Doc (Bartley) just got the estimates and the bereavement committee has not seen the proposals,” Johnson said.

The commissioners had asked that group to work with Bartley on the project.

Work is expected to begin in January.


Unpaid water and sewer bills

The commissioners also agreed to write off $1,300 in delinquent water and sewer charges.

That doesn’t mean, however, that those who have skipped town without paying their bills, will necessarily have their debts forgotten.

“We want to write this off to get it off of our books, but we still keep a record who owes the money,” City Clerk Joanie Corbin said. “If these people come back later and want to hook on to the system, we charge them for what they owe.”

Corbin said the city has used collection agencies in the past and has even resorted to turning the unpaid bills to the courts.

“You really can’t afford to go to court to get it,” Mattingly said.

Corbin said many of the offenders are renters and move out of town without notifying the city or their landlords.

“We usually keep billing people until we see they aren’t going to pay,” she said. “Most of these people move out of town and never tell us.”

Commissioner Karl Lusk noted the amount is not a large one in consideration of the city’s total budget but “still, it is money we could use.”


In other news:

• Charles Lemmons was reappointed to a two year term on the city board of adjustments.

• DeWitt reported the New Haven Community Group had passed out 50 food baskets to needy families and 180 fruit baskets to the widows and widowers in the community.