New Boston City Council Appoints Animal Control Committee
By Heather Russell Wilson
The New Boston City Council held their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, June 22 in a packed council chambers at City Hall. All council members were present.
To open the meeting, the council heard public comments from three concerned individuals, the first being Jason Milton, owner of JTM Designs. Milton was the center of controversy at the April monthly meeting, when his mowing contract was approved with a split vote. In a special called meeting the following week the contract was revoked and awarded to a lower bid. Milton began his statement by clarifying that although he has served the city with a Litigation Hold Notice, no suit or intent to sue has been filed. A Litigation Hold Notice is a legal document instructing the recipient to preserve information and prevent deletion or destruction of any paper or electronic documentation pertaining to the situation. Milton went on to note inconsistencies in the bid proposal submitted by the winning contractor Ryan Flenniken, as well as lack of information requested.
Though requests by the Tribune for comment and a copy of the Request for Proposal(RFP) were denied by city officials, citing the possibility of litigation, the Tribune was able to obtain copies of both bid proposals submitted and the RFP included in the original bid packet. Milton submitted a bid of $23,075.00 calculated per visit. Flenniken submitted a bid detailing cost per visit/per site, but did not clearly indicate a total number of visits or include a total price. However, at both the April regular meeting and the special called meeting, bid totals were announced as $23,075.00 for JTM Designs and $19,800 for Ryan Flenniken. Documents received by the Tribune show that when Milton requested documentation on how Flenniken’s total bid amount and rankings of both contractors were obtained, response from the city was, “No records exist which are responsive of this request.”
Next to speak were a couple of New Boston residents who are extremely concerned about the stray animal problem in the city. Janet and Frank Buchanan stated that they have contacted the city numerous times about loose dogs on their property on North Elm Street, and at their son’s home on Shumaker, to no avail. Recently, the Buchannan’s cat was killed on their porch by a pack of loose dogs, and they strongly encouraged the city to take action on the growing stray population.
In other business, the council approved the sale of property located on 108 Elm to high bidder Jessica Wilson. Mayor Humphrey appointed five residents to the Animal Control Committee in an effort to obtain community input and involvement in solving the stray and loose animal problem. Citizen appointees were Dena James, Kelley Branson, Howard Tong, Joe Nelson, and Michelle Hicks, along with City Administrator Liz Lea and Councilman Steve Williams. Also approved was a motion to continue with the construction expansion for 3 Bostons Museum. This new building showcase the agricultural history of the New Boston area.
The council also approved the resignation of city secretary Sharmin Hutto and appointed Tammey Larey as Interim City Secretary.
Photo by Heather Wilson
*Several members of the board of directors of the New Boston Chamber of Commerce presented the city of New Boston with the first chamber membership window decal at the city council meeting on Tuesday, June 22. All 2021 chamber members will receive a sticker to display in the window of their business. Pictured here are (L-R) Nancy Smallwood, Melissa Pierce, Mayor Ron Humphrey, and Noel Mclain.