Prosperity residents may have a new program to make paying utility bills more manageable.
At Tuesday’s town council meeting, Prosperity Town Administrator Karen Livingston presented a voluntary program to council regarding a budget billing program.
Livingston says that she has had many individuals come to her requesting this program and council agreed that if many of the residents have requested it then they should look into it.
The program averages the utility bill over a year and residents would pay one amount each month. Then if one month is less, or more, than the paid amount, they would either be billed the extra amount or paid a refund.
The town would take 12 months and divide by 11 to have a residual amount for each resident.
Livingston says there is no cost to the town and residents who wish to participate must be in good standing with the town.
The town looks to begin this program around April 2013 and they will test it out to see how it works.
The council did not take a vote on this as Livingston was presenting this for informational purposes.
In other news, the town is making steps towards revitalizing downtown and the sidewalks area.
While the engineer was unable to present a rough draft drawing, Prosperity Utility Director Ed West highlighted some points as council members made comments and suggestions.
While there is still plenty of ideas to render through before a final draft and construction begins, Prosperity Mayor Derek Underwood said that this is a big step to moving forward with the downtown renovations. The renovations process has been in the works for many months now.
Among the ideas was the proposal of planting new trees versus above ground pots with plants along the sidewalks in the main downtown area.
The council figured trees would be best but this time, the trees would be stunted so as not to aggravate the sidewalks as the roots of the trees are currently disrupting the sidewalks now.
The town will encourage the businesses to keep up the area outside their businesses as well.
Councilman Mike Hawkins said that certain portions of the sidewalk need to seriously be considered for widening.
He also proposed the idea of moving the town clock as opposed to moving the crosswalk. This way no parking spots would be lost and the clock would not cause any blind spots and the crosswalk would still be handicapped compliant.
The town was having a difficult time coming up with an appropriate spot for the crosswalk when Mike Hawkins made this suggestion.
There are also small details such as the color of the sidewalk and specifics regarding the outside area close to some businesses.
The suggestions were all taken into consideration and town council wants to meet with the businesses as well as the engineer, Danny Hill. Hill will also make a presentation to council at a meeting sometime in the near future.
In other news, Livingston said that the Hoppin’ festival was a success and also presented survey results about what month people would prefer the Hoppin’.
She said that more people would like it in May as opposed to August.
She will have to discuss this with the Prosperity Business Association who provides some of the food and also they will have to consider if the town wants it for 2013 or 2014.
The reason for this is because May 2013 may be too close for planning purposes.
The parking issues in downtown was also brought up again.
The issue seems to be that certain employees of a business are taking up parking for clients.
However, short of pinpointing certain people, the council is unsure of how to approach this further. The town has done what they can do.
The council has been on top of this issue because they want to make sure that customers have access to parking.