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  • Kent Casson

Hernandez appointed commissioner

(Manny Hernandez, right, and Mayor David Shane shown Tuesday)

A new parks commissioner has been appointed to the Chenoa City Council.

Manny Hernandez was seated during Tuesday’s regular council meeting at City Hall. Hernandez fills a vacancy created when Dwayne Price stepped down following the previous meeting.

“I’m just trying to get my feet wet right now,” Hernandez told Chenoa News. “But, the second I see how this operates, I’m going to try to make things better for the town of Chenoa.”

Hernandez has been a police officer in Bloomington since 2011 and started in law enforcement back in 2002. He has a military background, serving active duty and later joining the Reserves.

“I just want to help the town,” he added.

Mayor David Shane still has one other commissioner position to fill in order to replace Joe Moreland who also resigned after the previous meeting. Moreland was the sewer and water commissioner.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the council authorized the issuance of General Obligation Refunding Bonds, or an alternate revenue source, to refund certain outstanding obligations of the city. This is not to exceed $1,650,000. The city has six months to accept this, depending on what its interest rates end up being.

Chapter Four of the city code was discussed by the council. This covers weeds, yard waste and brush pickup. Commissioner Zack Lopeman noted the city has gone through plenty of leaf bags and it is not even leaf season yet. While he doesn’t want brush pickup to stop, Lopeman feels it is time consuming when trying to work on other projects. He encouraged anyone with ideas to get with him to bring proposed changes before the council.

Requirements for city boards and committees were reviewed. This includes Zoning, the Economic Development Council and Silliman Lake. Lopeman noted the office would like the group meeting agendas two business days before meetings. Attorney Steve Mann said the groups must follow the Open Meetings Act but was unsure if training was required for everyone.

A Solar Energy Code was added to the current Zoning Code. The Zoning Board feels setbacks should dictate how much can be put on the ground. This sets the city up for solar and applicants would be required to go through a Special use process for permitting.

The city’s employee handbook was amended for on-call employees. They will get $20 a day to be on-call and if they are called in, will receive an hour minimum pay which is rounded to the next half after that.

“Do we want to start the next pay period?” asked Lopeman.

City Clerk Alicia Rhoades felt that would be best, which means it starts Oct. 7.

During public comment, questions were raised about why it is necessary to have four squad cars. Police Chief Travis Cornwall said they had four since 2007 and that the city can run the cars five years without replacing them. This reduces costs, according to the chief.

“The wear and tear is less because the cars don’t get driven every day of the week,” stated Cornwall.

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