Secretary board approves new security cameras

SECRETARY — Mayor Henry Short is on a leave of absence during which Commission President Susan Dukes will assume his mayoral duties.

At the March 17 meeting, Commissioners completed their agenda in short order. First up was consideration of a draft contract for the sale of a four acre town-owned property on Hicksburg Road. The draft was unanimously approved.

The commission unanimously approved a bid from Bay County Security to install new cameras at the boat ramp including: 4 new cameras; a new 32” monitor that will hold 16 cameras; and an “app” for cell phones to access 24 hour surveillance of the town. Ms. Dukes suggested that the app also be given to the Sheriff’s Department. The quote of $16,900 is a bit higher than officials anticipated due to the type of wire and electric that has to be run and the coaxial cable required for the utility poles. The group hopes the system will “be up and running by boating season.”

There have been some resident complaints regarding wet and muddy yards with little water drainage in the Wes, Oak, and South Roads area. Ms. Dukes noted that the ditch responsible for the overflow is on private property. It was draining well in the summer after the town installed a culvert according to Mayor Short who sat in the public section at the recent meeting. Ms. Dukes noted it has “been an extremely wet winter and there are many people inundated with water in their yards. I suggest we send a letter to the residents reminding them it is private property and it is their responsibility to cut the weeds back there and keep it clear. There is nothing else the town can do.”

The Dorchester County Council holds an annual session with municipalities to present the tax differential for the following fiscal year. According to state law a county may offset a property tax and avoid double taxation with: Rebates that return a portion of real property taxes paid by municipal taxpayers directly to a municipality; or a differential that compensates those taxpayers directly for duplicative services provided to them by the city or town in which they reside.

The FY2014 tax differential meant a rebate of $1,350 for the town. Secretary representatives will attend the meeting on April 7, 6:30 p.m. to learn the amount of the rebate. Commissioner Dukes noted that the town meeting slated for the same evening will be held as soon as she returns.

The town-wide Spring Yard Sale is slated for May 2. Dovetailing with the sale is Spring Clean Up when a dumpster will be provided from May 1 for two weeks to give residents a chance to “clean house.”

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