Councilman Lindsay Hutchison Monday proposed adding an option to Peabody’s water bill to sponsor children’s swim passes as a way to draw more swimmers to Peabody’s pool.
“I have a hard time with seeing kids not being able to go in because they don’t have $1.50,” she said. “I really struggle with that. If we have a lot of people in town willing to support kids, then it’s $30 for a pool pass.”
While the concept is sound, the primary concern is deciding how to assign precedence, councilman Travis Wilson said.
“How are we going to justify who can and cannot get in for free,” he said. “That’s my problem.”
The goal would be to provide the service for any resident under 18, but if not enough donations are received then passes could be served on a first come, first served basis, Hutchison said.
The move could free up money for Peabody’s Recreation Committee to use elsewhere, she said. The rec committee pays the tab for free swim days.
The dilapidated condition of many of Peabody’s homes and yards continues to draw complaints from residents.
“If I invite people to my home, I clean it,” resident Kim Nellans said. “I clean my yard. We’re going to have a fall festival, but we can’t clean our town.”
Peabody is also dealing with houses that were burnt in fires and abandoned by their owners, Wilson said.
“It’s someone’s home and it’s bad that it happens,” Wilson said. “Some of these on Main St. where they don’t care, they just leave.”
One option that would help is applying for grants to help with the cost of demolishing condemned homes, resident Linda Martinez said.
“How do we go about doing that,” she said. “Who takes charge of finding and applying for that?”
Peabody’s water tower maintenance was another concern.
Providing long-term, regular maintenance and inspections of the tower will benefit the city in the future, said Rick Penner of Viking Industrial Painting.
“I go to many places that can’t catch back up, especially the small towns,” he said “The further I get from the city, the more difficulty small towns have. Some are so far behind they can hardly do anything.”
Services would range from fixing the tank if there’s a bullet hole, to an annual report on the its status, Penner said.
Regular upkeep on the water tower is necessary, Hutchison said.
“I like that it’s a yearly report, instead of just when it’s mandated,” she said. “You don’t have as many surprise expenses.”
Treasurer Liz Harder resigned because of family health concerns, effective Oct. 10.
“My position with the city can only be a full-time position, but my life will require a part-time job,” she said. “It is with a heavy heart that I’m resigning my position.”
The wait for a new city councilman was solved temporarily when Steve Rose was sworn in to unanimous approval. He will fill the position until elections in November.
Former councilman Beth Peter will take over as the new police administrative assistant and municipal court clerk.
Ronnie Harms was terminated as head of the public works department, effective immediately.