Cookeville City Council approved the replacement of water fountains around city hall and in other city facilities Thursday night.
CARES Act money will be used to replace water fountains with push buttons or twist handles. City Manager James Mills said the city will attempt to get all non-touch fountains so long as they comply with ADA rules. Mills said he hoped to include water bottle fillers as part of the fountain.
Mills said the average fountain costs in excess of $1,200. Council approved up to $30,000 in replacement, an increase in the amount Mills had originally ask for.
Council also approved a new voting system and audio visual equipment and voting system for the Council Chambers and the Shipley Conference Room. Cultural Arts Superintendent Chad McDonald said the $55,000 project will be paid for using CARES Act funding. Audio Visual of Tennessee from Murfreesboro submitted the winning bid among five bidders.
McDonald said the new digital system would allow the city to more easily livestream meetings and work sessions. Hand-held devices will allow votes to be recorded both in the chambers and online.
Mayor Ricky Shelton joked that the current voting system, “made of a couple of washers,” should be housed in the Cookeville History Museum.
Council also approved changes to the fee structure for the utility departments. No members of the public spoke at a public hearing considering salary additions to the 2020-21 fiscal year budget. In addition, council voted changes designed to help the city be more competitive with hiring by providing a pay increase across all pay grades. The city will also award a one-time pay increase in December for the majority of city employees.