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Council okays plan to save Branum Building
Saturday, 04.30.2011, 03:12pm (GMT-5)

By Kelly Rupp

James Branum appeared before the Minco City Council at the April 21 Special Meeting to inform the members of his plans for the Branum Building on Main Street. The building was condemned by the council because of structural damage, but Branum presented plans to make the building structurally sound instead of having the building demolished. In a building permit submitted to the city, Branum requested a demolition permit to remove the roof decking and roof. “I want to put a metal roof on top. No more tar, no more asbestos,” Branum told the Council. Removing the roof may also involve tearing out the front wall and replacing it. “In terms of what will be done with the building, I have a large collection of Indian art and I might put that in the building. My sister also has a business she might consider putting in,” Branum said. Branum also raised the possibility of finding a tenant to lease the building. “In the event that you find a grocer there is a possibility of a free lease for a few years,” Branum said. According to Branum, work in the building could be started in a couple of weeks. “If there is a delay we’ll report back,” Branum said. “The building has been neglected for a long time. I got busy with life. That building is what I think of as home,” Branum said. The Council approved the permit in a 70 vote. The Council also approved the change in zoning request from Lawrence Betche and Karen Wagstaff. The property will be zoned residential. Billie Lenington, Minco’s newly elected City Clerk, was hired as Office Manager for City Hall at a rate of $8.50 an hour. The City Clerk position pays $250 per month and is set by City Ordinance. Hiring Lenington as Office Manager allows Lenington to be paid for additional duties not assigned to the City Clerk by statute. Lenington will have a 90 day probationary period after which her pay rate will be reviewed. The Council also approved payment of $2,200 to have Data Technologies train Lenington on the accounting software used by the city. In the regular meeting on March 18, Council members authorized Mayor Watson Mitchell to spend up to $10,000 to hire an accountant to straighten out the city’s accounts and prepare to complete the overdue 2010 audit. Municipalities are required to submit an annual audit to the State Treasurer’s office six months after the end of the fiscal year. The fiscal year ended on June 30, 2010 and the audit was due by Dec. 30, 2010. Additionally, a new budget must be approved by the Council in June. That budget, by law, must be based on averaging the actual revenues brought in by the city over the past three years.