Norton stocks up on salt

Jim Eritano

Herald Staff Writer

Charlotte Whipkey, council at large, was the featured personality at the Norton City Council meeting.

It just happened that 10 of the 18 ordinances read and/or adopted at the Feb. 11 meeting came out of the council’s finance committee, which Whipkey chairs. Council President Joe Kernan called on Whipkey nine times in a row to introduce legislation. She thanked him each time, and once or twice she stifled a chuckle as Kernan grinned.

Whipkey did get some relief, however, from Ward 1 Councilman Jack Gainer, who offered five ordinances to approve renewals for placement of farmland in agricultural districts. Gainer offered the five under a blanket introduction. 

All of the ordinances from Gainer’s Planning and Economic Development Committee were adopted, including an amendment to the zoning code. As a result, more than 219 acres of land will remain agricultural districts.

Most of the ordinances Whipkey introduced authorized payments for design and engineering services for new water lines and connections. One was the authorization of an agreement for advisory services from UBS Financial Services, Inc.

“This is not to exceed $16,000,” Whipkey explained. “We used to use Morgan Stanley, but they are no longer taking care of municipalities, so we went with UBS, and by doing so we’re saving $1,000 a year in fees.”

Road salt will not be a problem for the foreseeable future, as Whipkey introduced – and council approved – the purchase of 2,000 tons from Cargill, Inc., at $79.82 per ton.

“Just to explain so the residents know,” she said, “this will allow us to purchase salt we tried to get earlier but could not.” 

Cargill had problems with salt production and delivery during the last part of 2019.

In other business, council approved the purchase of turnout gear for the Fire and EMS Division, not to exceed $18,125. Turnout gear is rotated each year, with the newest gear replacing the oldest.

“This is the fourth year of a five-year plan, and the turnout gear will all be up to date next year, so then we’ll have a couple years off,” Whipkey explained. 

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