Church's request for use of bus is denied


First Posted: 1/15/2009

FAIRMONT -- Citing liability concerns, the Fairmont Board of Commissioners on Tuesday denied a request from a church group for use of a town bus for outings.
The board voted unanimously not to allow Reach Ministries Inc. to use the 45-seat bus.
Town Manager Ben Hill told commissioners that the town's insurance did not cover the bus being used by community groups. Hill recommended the request be denied.
No one from Reach Ministries attended Tuesday's meeting. The group had wanted to use the bus during two separate weeks this summer, Hill said.
“I wish we could do it for them and all the churches,” Commissioner Mary Bruce Grantham said. “But I don't think we want to put ourselves in a bad position. I'm afraid with people being the way they are, we could get sued if someone was hurt on the bus.”
In other business, the board voted to hold a public hearing June 25 at 6 p.m. on Fairmont's proposed $2.3 million budget. The commissioners are expected to vote on the budget at that time.
The proposal keeps the town's tax rate of 67 cents per $100 of property, but it does call for a 23-cent increase in the monthly sanitation fee, a 19-cent increase in monthly sewer rates and an 18-cent increase in monthly water rates.
“There is a 60-cent increase in user fees and that is it,” Hill said Tuesday night. “There is no fat in this budget.”
The commissioners also voted to accept the town of Hoffman in Richmond County as a member of the Lumber River Council of Governments. The board voted last month to allow Richmond County government to join the council.
Hill said the town has received a $4,500 grant from the state of North Carolina for 100 compost bins.
“We've got the bins if residents want them,” Hill said. “It will help us because if you start composting, that will mean less leaves and limbs that the town has to pick up. For residents, it means they will have free mulch to use around their flowers and gardens.”
Those interested in the program can call Town Hall at 628-9766 or the Public Works Department at 628-0064.

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