WAUSAU — Gone, but not forgotten, former city clerk Margaret Riley was the topic of discussion at Thursday’s Wausau Town Council meeting.


WAUSAU — Gone, but not forgotten, former city clerk Margaret Riley was the topic of discussion at Thursday’s Wausau Town Council meeting.



Riley, who retired from the city in September, filed in a few days earlier this month when the town’s new clerk JoAnn Hayes was called out of town.



“As you know, JoAnn had a bad situation down south and Margaret filled in for her several days,” Mayor B.J. Phillips said. “I think we should give her some sort of reimbursement for her days here.”



Phillips said he thought Riley should be paid for her time, and the town council agreed.



“She shouldn’t be up here for free,” Phillips said. “Besides, we are going to need her help again at the end of the year and we don’t want her telling us she’s busy,” he added, jokingly.



Phillips said Riley said she did not care whether she was paid or not.



Hayes, who was present at the meeting, said Riley had worked between 18-20 hours for the city.



Councilman Dallas Carter made a motion that Riley be paid for her time at her former rate of pay, and the council approved the motion.



Phillips said September had been a busy month for the city. Not only had they changed city clerks, the town council had had to hold public hearings and approve a budget for next year and they had also dealt with FEMA and a pair of Florida Recreation Development Assistance Program  applications the city submitted seeking funds to make improvements in two city parks.



One $200,000 grant would be used to improve the Dalton Carter Recreation Center, also known as the Possum Palace, where the city would like to resurface the parking lot, renovate the tennis courts, picnic facilities, basketball courts and restrooms, add an exercise trail, upgrade the camping area, and add additional playground equipment among other improvements.



The other $200,000 would go toward improvements at George Rogers Park, where the city hopes to renovate the playground, enhance the handicapped parking area, and renovate the restrooms, picnic facilities and baseball field. The recreation committee would also like to add additional playground equipment, a basketball court, additional parking at the Skateboard Park, an exercise trail and a covered picnic facility, as well as expand the Skateboard Park.



“Everything has been up in the air for the past 30-45 days, it’s been a hectic month,” Phillips said.



Councilwoman Marlene Blount gave the council an update on the city’s water bill collections. They discussed six accounts specifically that have either been shut off or are about to be shut off, but over all the city has only $3,600 in accounts that are in arrears.



“That’s a lot better than the $28,000 it was last year,” Phillips said.



“It’s a bad situation for some of these people, but something has to be done about it,” said Councilman Charles Park Sr.



The city has instituted a policy of cutting off water services on the 25th of the month once an account goes 30 days in arrears.



“We just have to do it, we can’t let it get back up like it was,” Phillips said.