After a lengthy discussion at Monday night’s Peabody City Council meeting, centered mostly on Peabody Police Department’s budget and the lingering costs associated with mercury cleanup at the former sewer plant, council members approved a budget that will decrease the mill levy by less than one-half of a mill.
The levy for 2009 is 73.578 and it will drop to 73.156 for 2010. The decrease equals .422 mills.
Another item of discussion was an insurance claim filed with Union Pacific Railroad for damages to Plum Street and parts of other streets when railroad crews were in town repairing tracks two years ago. A railroad representative was in town July 14 to meet with Manning and review the damages. The railroad representative was carrying a check made out to the city for $25,000 and presented it to Manning that day. Manning stated that he would not be able to accept the payment without council approval.
In addition to the $25,000 payment, Union Pacific is willing to hire a contractor to repair drainage damages and a pedestrian walkway over the tracks at the Second Street intersection. However, Manning said no paperwork accompanied the check and the offer of improvements at the Second and Plum crossing.
After discussion, the council decided to hold the check until the city receives written confirmation of the railroad’s intent to make repairs at Second and Plum streets. That confirmation will include specifications about how the drainage issue will be engineered and will include guarantees from the contractor and the railroad.
The regularly scheduled meeting for July will begin at 7 p.m. Monday in the city council room.