Beverly Council retains leadership

BEVERLY – Village Council re-elected Kandy Baker as its President for 2014 at Wednesday’s meeting.

Baker, who is in her third term on Council, says she is looking forward to a good year.

“I feel like I have a bunch of good council members,” Baker said. “I feel like it’ll be a prosperous year for the Village of Beverly.”

During the meeting Mayor Rex Kenyon gave the State of the Village report. Kenyon worked to dispel rumors that circulated during the last election that he was going to promote tax increases.

“In order for any community to prosper, it must have growth,” Kenyon said, adding, “It is my philosophy if the community grows then the tax base grows without raising taxes; I am opposed to raising taxes, contrary to the rumors that were spread during the last election.”

Kenyon mentioned that the village has been addressing neglected infrastructure, including 76-year-old water lines, which usually only have a useful life span of 50 years. The cost of the repair project was $1.4 million, $61,000 less than the projected expense.

Kenyon added that a Safe Route to School (SRTS) grant had been instituted this year and more safe routes are to be marked at Part, Cemetery and Fifth streets.

Kenyon said the finances for the community are in good shape.

“The cash on hand on Jan. 1, 2012, when I took office, was $999,737,” Kenyon said. “We closed 2013 with a balance of $1.2 million ($1,271,865), an increase of $272,128.”

One agenda request included 2014 pool management.

The proposal was to hire a pool manager. The original request was for $12 an hour, a jump from last year’s $9. The amount approved by the council was for $10.

The agenda also included a request to hire a police officer.

Beverly Police Chief Mark Sams said hiring two part time officers seemed like a better option than hiring one full time officer.

“Two part timers are more feasible than a full time officer,” Sams said. “There’s some flexibility in the schedule.”

Sams said the part-time officers would work 20 to 25 hours each week.

Council member Thad Tucker made a motion to hire two part-time police officers at a pay rate of around $11.50 per hour, which council approved.

“We still have to take care of Beverly,” Tucker said.

In other business, it was agreed by the council to purchase a replacement pedestrian crossing sign for a spot in front of NAPA.

The original sign was badly damaged by unknown causes. The new sign will cost $350.