CHIPLEY - Despite former concerns about combining positions, Chipley City Council on Tuesday approved a motion for a full-time code enforcement/planning officer.


'We will assess, after a year or so after Hurricane Michael, if (the work load for code enforcement)  will still be enough to keep that person full time in both capacities," said Mayor Tracy Andrews. For now, the combined position "will serve the purpose of the city, and won't be overwhelming."

"We want to work smarter, not harder," she added.

Previously, a couple of the council members were concerned that the position of code enforcement officer should not be combined with planning, considering the weight and many cases involved with the duties. In March alone, the city had 54 open cases of code violations.

However, after an open discussion at last week's workshop, the council appeared confident with its unanimous vote Tuesday to approve the combined position. The position, which starting pay is $14.47 an hour or $30,097.60 annually, will be advertised internally, and then externally if no one in-house fills the slot.

Andrews said in the past the city has had the combined position, and recently the city administrator had taken responsibilities over the planning piece. Not only will it somewhat free-up some of the city administrator's duties, the new classification - as a combined piece - will bring improvement to the city, she said.

Also at the meeting, City Administrator Dan Miner weighed in as a follow-up to the debris discussion held at last week's workshop. He informed the council that the city will work with the county throughout June to come up with the a management plan for processing any remaining debris.

"We haven't made a decision as of yet," Miner said in a message Thursday, "but will make the best decision possible to assist the residents in getting the debris picked up."

Kevan Parker with Wheeler EMC said Thursday that it is not clear how many cubic yards of debris are still remaining in the city and county, however, calculating those figures is a part of the June assessment.

In other business, the council approved $9,029.15 for the Industrial Park tank's annual inspection and service, as part of the Brickyard Road Water Tank Maintenance Agreement. The motion, which did not require additional money from the city, results in the disposal of the tank at the Industrial Park and move maintenance to the new Brickyard Road tank. At 300,000 gallons, the new tank doubles the Industrial Park capacity.

The council also unanimously approved a $59,791.71 contract for Fifth Street drainage improvements CEI services for Smith, Seckman Reid, Inc., grant writing and administrative services for David H. Melvin, Inc., a $20,030.97 contact for the FDOT SCOP West Boulevard Design Services for Genesis Halff, Inc., and $39,800 agreements for local and bond counsel for the USDA Sewer Improvement Project to Fuqua & Milton, P.A. and Nabors, Giblin, & Nickerson, P.A.

The council also approved the reappointment of Wanda Owens and Rebecca Cousson to the Planning and Zoning Committee, reappointment of Missy McDaniel as a Chipley Housing Authority Commissioner.

In observance of Independence Day, the council will reschedule its workshop from July 4 to July 8 at 5 p.m., with the regular meeting being held July 9 at 6 p.m. at City Hall.