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Mt. Vernon Given More Time To Pay Bills; Council Nixes Old Terms

By GENE ESPY
Editor
The Town of Trion voted to allow Mount Vernon to pay $754,981.10 over a six-month period and took no action to go back to the terms agreed upon almost six months ago, allowing Mount Vernon more time to pay its bills. Their bills will be due the 20th of the month.
Randy Henderson told The News: “All we were asking was 50-day terms on both of our bills, instead of 20 and 30 basically – that is all we were asking,” Henderson said this week. “I don’t understand why they did it on a 3-2 vote and when it was supposed to come back up in six months. I don’t understand why they reversed their vote without even saying anything about it, it makes no sense.”
Henderson said that council member Don Harris said it was because Mount Vernon violated the contract.
“The check was cut before the time,” Henderson continued. “I didn’t know exactly what they put in their motion; I didn’t know they put a whole paragraph in the motion.”
He said that the Town’s payment of their water to Mount Vernon was not within the 15 days Mount Vernon specified. They cut the check within 15 days, but we don’t get it within 15 days, but we are not complaining.
“I don’t know why that is a sticking point,” Henderson said.
He added that Mount Vernon and the Town of Trion haven’t had a whole lot to deal with that could cause a problem since he has been in his present job.
“We haven’t had a lot of issues,” he said.

MEETING
Trion Mayor Larry Stansell opened the meeting by saying, “We need to look at what was previously done (previous agreement) and we need to look at how we can allow Mount Vernon to pay the amount that is presently due – $754,981.10.”
Council member Mickey McGraw asked Trion Grey Mill Manager Randy Henderson, who was present for the meeting, “Randy they went over the payment amount with you?”
“Yes, this is if you don’t continue with the current agreement,” Henderson said.
Trion Town Attorney Albert Palmour suggested that Mount Vernon pay $750,000 a month and then once a quarter settling up at that time.
The mayor said he had done some analysis and he didn’t feel like Palmour’s suggestion would help anyone.
“Their average bill for gas is $632,245, their average bill based on 12 months for wastewater is $416,000,” Mayor Stansell said. “So their bill is in excess of a million dollars a month.”
He continued that if the Town got $750,000 a month for three months, and then balanced that up at the end of the quarter, Mount Vernon is going to owe the regular million dollars for that month, plus the adjusted amount which is in excess of a million dollars.
“I felt like that was an insurmountable debt for Mount Vernon,” Mayor Stansell said. “That would not be practical for us to even offer that.”
Stansell said that the only plan he came up with that seemed reasonable was to break it into six months and allow Mount Vernon to pay that $754,981.10 off in six months.
“Under the current terms that amount is not due until the 20th of September,” Henderson said. “I’m just saying until you voted last time.”
“The way the vote stands right now,” board member Becky McWhorter said. “Is that it is due on the 20th of every month and not 45 days.”
“Under the current consideration it is all due right now, Mayor Stansell said. “The request is to allow Mount Vernon to pay this off in the next six months.”
“I make a motion that we allow them to pay it over the next six months,” council member Mickey McGraw said.
“So, there is no chance going back to the terms that we had, no chance at all?” Henderson asked the council.
“That is a council decision,” Mayor Stansell said.
Council member Jeff Wilson said he needed a little more time to think about it.
The motion was to let Mount Vernon pay off the $754,981.10 that is presently due in six months.
Becky McWhorter seconded the motion and the notion passed unanimously.
“I have one question that this has come about because you changed our terms back, should we be punished and pay 10 percent?” Henderson asked. “Fifteen thousand dollars over this six-month period because you are the reason we are going back to the terms?”
Mayor Stansell said he didn’t want to upset anyone, but Mount Vernon violated the terms.
“And you were here when the terms were set,” Stansell said.
The mayor then read the original motion.
“The Town of Trion council upheld their part of the bargain,” Stansell said.

OTHER BUSINESS
The council agreed to buy a 100-hp aerator replacement from Aqua-Aerobic Systems Inc. for $32,546.88, including freight.
The council held a first reading of a defined benefit retirement plan restatement.
The council also had a first reading of a Derelict and Blighted Property ordinance.

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