Town to use CARES Act funds for employees, equipment

By Taylor Boyd

The Stuart Town Council on Wednesday voted to use CARES Act funds to give town employees $4 an hour hazard pay retroactive from Apr. 1 to Dec. 30.

“I am all in favor for hazard pay for our employees starting as far back as we’re allowed to start, said Rebecca Adcock, who serves on the council.

The group will use some of the funds to buy equipment for the waste water treatment plant. The necessary equipment was not included in the agreement with the contractor.

Town Manager Terry Tilley said the council is also considering using the federal funds to buy equipment for smoke testing.

“This test is important as it shows if we have any leaks in our sewer lines and where the issues with our sewage system are,” he said, adding the council also is looking into using CARES money to hire a local contractor to reconstruct the roof of the pump house on Wood Brothers Drive.

“If we can’t use CARES funds for the project, we can use our own money for this project,” he said.

In addition to roof repairs Tilley said the town also would add dirt to a creek near the pump house.

“The creek bank has eroded and the water levels keep rising. If the town doesn’t do this the bank could erode so much it goes under the building, he explained.

Mayor Ray Weiland said the town will mail letters regarding the upkeep of property.

“We’ll do another round of letters, and we need to put more teeth into our ordinances,” Weiland said.

State law is what’s going to control the specifics of what we can do regarding property upkeep,” Town Attorney Chris Corbett said. State blight law is a touchy subject, and it has to get pretty bad before we can do something about it.”

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