By Heather Clower
The Parsons Advocate
City Administrator and Treasurer Jason Myers led the Parsons City Council in The Pledge of Allegiance followed by Mayor Dorothy Judy leading the group in a word of Prayer. The meeting was called to order and Councilman Bruce Kolsun took role; all were present. Although not present, the city had a plaque to present to Librarian Nancy Moore for her service and recent success. She did come in for a photo later in the week as the city presented her their gesture of appreciation.
Tammy Greenlief Michael briefed the council on the happenings between the Parks and Recreation board and the Big Mountain Run motorcycle group and event that typically took place at Camp Kidd Park. According to Michael, at the conclusion of the 2018 event they were told by P & R President Mike Betler that they weren’t wanted back due to damage done to a golf green by a dog and the bathrooms not being capable to hold the capacity of the event. Apparently there has been some contact between the BMR and P & R. P & R presented a proposal approving the event for June 6 through 9 of 2019 with the following stipulations: Rental fee of $5,000 (increased from $2,500 from all years past), no more than three hundred can stay overnight, six hundred daytime capacity, no camping on the side of the baseball fields, among other requirements. BMR was upset with this revised agreement even though BMR had offered to provide portable toilets and take over the cost of the insurance for the event. “People come from all over to go to this and take off for vacation, that’s their vacation,” commented Michael. The city council tried working with liaison and County Commissioner Patrick Darlington to resolve the issue, however a resolution could not be agreed upon. “Every business in this town lost a lot of money,” Councilwoman Amy Wagner shared stating one of her waitresses received a $100 tip from this group. Michael added BMR had mentioned they were going to donate to help towards the lighting project at River City Park as well, and now they aren’t coming. “Things like that (BMR) has such an impact on our town, I don’t think their board should be the only one that decides these things, I think everyone should be involved,” confirmed Wagner. This event benefited the whole town and the council feels everyone should be involved in making decisions that does such. Michael stated this was their tenth year and they had a lot of special events planned, to which Myers replied, “The biggest year they had and we’re going to push them away.”
Michael also updated the council on the entertainment for the Fireman’s Fair. Unfortunately, with the recent success of the Davidson Brothers, their price has sky rocketed and cannot be booked this year, though their success was congratulated. Red Hawk (contemporary), Heart String (gospel), The Rockin’ Rednecks, and the Soda Pop Gypsy’s have all been booked to perform. Events in Mill Race Park are also being booked, which will include Karaoke and potentially a former The Voice contestant Cody Wickland.
Moving on in the agenda, Allen Staggers was present as a representative of American Red Cross. He has been requesting a proclamation from local government to declare March as Red Cross Month. Kolsun read the proclamation as the City of Parsons all agreed to declare March as such.
Invoices were reviewed, the first being for $11,870.10 and the second for $870.41, both being approved. Myers moved into Control Reports of the general fund and accounts. This print out showed the current balances and necessary adjustments while explaining what some of the line items are dedicated to. He was very precise in explaining these accounts and their income and expenses to make sure to clarify any questions or concerns. At the conclusion of explanation and discussion, all revisions were approved. Two quotes were presented, the first from State Equipment for a set of tracks for the excavator with a cost of $1,798. Motion was made by Councilman Sammy Blosser with a second by Kolsun.
City Police Officer Travis Roberts presented the second quote for a 2011 Dodge Charger with 73,000 miles to be considered to add to the fleet of patrol cars. This is a vehicle currently owned by Pendleton County, and they are taking bids for the cruiser starting at $8,500. All of the equipment stays with the car, with the exception of the radios, and additions such as a brush guard and pertinent striping would need to also be added. The estimate for the necessary revisions, which will be voted upon and addressed later, is roughly $8,000. A motion was made by Auvil and second by Councilman Kenneth Morrison. “And how is the new officer doing?” asked Judy. “He’s doing well,” responded Roberts. “We’ve got him working a twelve to ten shift right now, to be out in the public a little later at night so they (the public) get used to seeing the cruiser a little later on,” he stated. Roberts is to be informed in the near future in regards to his acceptance to the next class at the academy.
The Region VII invoice was reviewed for the City of Parsons Water System GIS Web Map Application in the amount of $25,000, and approved. Councilman Tim Auvil read a report prepared by city worker John “Red” Lipscomb prepared on February 28. First he detailed the situation regarding the water main break that took place recently. Lipscomb was performing a tap test when an eight inch water line exploded due to incorrect installation. “We are very fortunate Red didn’t get hurt,” commented Judy. Actions were taken to address this as quickly and safely as possible, however half or more of the storage tank of water was lost due to this occurrence. “This exercised us in an emergency situation,” suggested Myers, “the guys did an excellent job isolating the leak.” Auvil added, “The cause of the problem was resolved.”
Auvil continued reading, stating the workers had noticed the Fork Mountain station has been cycling more frequently in the previous four months, though three days were spent looking for a leak that could not be found and deemed customer usage. After the pump failed to operate properly a few days later, process of elimination discovered a faulty inline check valve, which has been addressed. Lipscomb confirmed the last few water leaks fixed has saved around 75,000 gallons of water per day. A water pump vibration has been detected and will be addressed by the company as it is still under warranty. The last chemical feed pump has been used recently, which means there are no spares in the case of a malfunction. Auvil made a motion to put $2,000 in place to approve a chemical feed pump as a backup, with a second by Blosser.
Regarding Mill Race Park, the new entrance was discussed briefly as well as the slew clean up progress moving along nicely. The company is going to be hydro seeding and mulching the landscape prior to finalizing their work. Additionally, the crew has agreed to level a spot for a future basketball court. Myers also announced the need to secure a loan for the Industrial Park is no longer necessary due to the timeframe, so the motion was receded. Proposals were made to allow Myers to attend a Floodplain Management Conference in June, and Lipscomb, Myers, and Mark Burns to attend a Construction and Design Exposition in March. It was also agreed to sponsor a table at the Randolph-Tucker Children’s Advocacy Center’s annual Champions for Children Event.
Two correspondences were received and read by Kolsun. First was regarding potential placement of a broadband tower on a city owned parcel, which all agreed more information was needed to make an educated decision. The second was from Tucker County Commission President Lowell Moore addressing the remaining costs endured from the damage to the dike that FEMA is not covering. Discussion and emotions arose regarding this topic before it was agreed that more questions need answered by FEMA and their decisions in the amount funded.
Councilman David Greenlief, Sr. made a motion to adjourn with a second by Morrison. The next meeting of the Parsons City Council will commence at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, 2019 and is always welcome for public attendance.