By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
A 35-year Tucker resident, Donna Hood, stepped out of her comfort zone during a meeting held by the Parsons City Council to ask for guidance and help acquiring some athletic improvements for the children of Tucker County. Hood explained she had four children graduate from TCHS and had recently learned that the City of Parsons may have a large amount of money available to them.
Hood said, “I feel like this is important enough to get out of my comfort zone to say something. I have wondered about this for some time, and it has come to my knowledge just recently that the City has quite bit of money.” Parsons City Major Dorothy Judy laughing said, “You give it to us, and we will spend it.”
Hood was referring to the Harman Fund Monies managed by the Tucker Community Foundation. The City of Parsons receives the interest off the fund to help in maintaining the cemeteries, the parks and recreations department, the libraries, and projects needed for the good of the citizens of Parsons. Hood was under the impression that the city has access to the whole $20 million in the Harman Fund account.
Board member Melissa Jones explained to Hood the process of the Harman Fund monies and said, “What we do for the benefit of the citizens is if there is something that you are interested in you would submit a letter stating what you are wanting the money for, how much funding you would need and how much funding you are requesting from the city. It would then go to our committee for the benefit of the citizens. They would make that decision. They would bring it to us during our Harman meeting and we would sit down and discuss how much money would go for that.”
Hood explained that her children were on the TCHS track team in 1992 and they did have a good track from the school and at the current time the high school still does not have a decent track to run or host track meets. After explaining to Hood that Parsons has no jurisdiction over the schools, Board member Kathy DiBacco recommended Hood go to the Board of Education and the Tucker County Commission.
Hood also explained the poor conditions of the bathrooms and changing rooms at the field house of the football field. Hood said, “They are terrible. And the boy’s changing rooms, I have been told, are horrible. I was just hoping we could start with something small like the changing rooms and the bathrooms, so we are not embarrassed when people come from other counties.” Again, Hood was reminded that was county property.
Acting City of Parsons Treasurer, Jason Myers, said to Hood, “The BOE would have to put in a request on behalf of them. I can see some projects getting done if the board could have some money, the county, and the city council could have some money. It rests on this body here (City Council).
Mr. and Mrs. Harman loved kids, dearly. That is why part of that (Harman Fund) was for the parks. That money as you see the parks today that has been done with very little grant money. It has been done with Harman money. The biggest part of their endowment has gone to the kids, and it also goes to the TC Foundation for scholarships.”
Hood finished by saying, “I think that drugs are bad here. I think that drugs are bad everywhere, and the kids need to have pride in something but when they see the parents do not have pride, so they think why should I have pride.”
Board member Tim Turner suggested to Hood that she may be able to find someone to do some grant writing to help procure funds for the needed projects. Turner said, “Do your short term goals but continue to work on your long-term goal. Do not give up on it and keep pressing toward that.”
In other city council news, the City of Parsons has proclaimed September 2022 as Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. The proclamation states, “Causing more deaths than any other female reproductive system cancers, ovarian cancer affects women of all ages and backgrounds. Each September, in honor of the women who have been taken by ovarian cancer and the brave individuals still fighting this disease, we affirm our support to carrying forward the important progress of reaching for prevention, treatment, and a cure.”
Tucker County cheer coaches, Kristen Pennington and Kim McCrum have submitted a request to change the date of the homecoming parade and festivities. The TCHS homecoming weekend is now set for October 6-8, 2022. The coaches stated in their letter, “We would love to have the homecoming parade once again on Thursday, October 6, 2022. Beginning line-up would be at 5 p.m. at the Dollar General on Pennsylvania Avenue. The parade will then start at 6 p.m. on First Street and end on Chestnut Street at the high school football field. We are hoping the students and kids can follow a tradition of building floats and participating in a parade, while the community can come and support all teams and join the fun!”
The city council approved the request for the use of the streets for the parade.
The City of Parsons Personnel Committee recommended the following personnel changes for the council’s approval. Interim City Administrator Agnes Arnold was motioned by the committee to be promoted to the role of City Administrator. Council member Tim Auvil said, “Thank you Aggie! You are doing a phenomenal job!” The council members approved this motion.
The committee also recommended to promote Nicholas Gidley to a non-supervisory rank and to be a training officer. Gidley’s promotion to Patrolman First Class (PFC) was approved by the council members.
William “Rob” Rothenburgh’s promotion from part-time status to full-time status effective November 1, was also motioned and approved by the city council.
Lastly, the recommendation to promote Mistee Griffith as the Wellness 24 Fitness Center manager with a one dollar an hour raise was approved by the council.
The personnel committee also recommended posting job advertisements for the Municipal Judge and part-time Fitness Assistant positions in the local paper for two weeks.
Council member Sam Humphrey proposed to fellow council members changing the speed limit within the city limits from 25 mph to 15 mph. The council voted to place a survey on the city’s Facebook page to obtain the residents opinion on the matter. The council also referred the proposal to the Streets Committee for further review.
In a letter addressed to the council, President of the Tucker County Fire Association, Kevin White wrote on behalf of the association their stand on the current Corridor H issue and voiced their support to finishing the portion of Corridor H as currently proposed.
White stated, “At our monthly meeting on August 4, 2022, the Tucker County Fire Association, which encompasses all Emergency Services in Tucker County, (fire, law enforcement, EMS, 911, OEM, LEPC) endorsed that the original Southern Route of Corridor H in Tucker County, (the only route that’s been approved to this date) should proceed without further delay.
We are united in this opinion for multiple reasons. The delay in pursuing the newly proposed Northern Route for Corridor H would be catastrophic for the citizens, visitors and emergency personnel in our area. A delay could result in the loss of funding and therefore, halt construction, leaving just a few miles of the highway in Tucker County between Parsons and Thomas/Davis unfinished. We believe that this would cause many safety issues for residents, guests, and first responders.”
After discussion DiBacco made a motion that the City of Parsons endorse the Southern Route of the Corridor H. DiBacco said, “The Southern route, the original route and the only route to go.” The motion was seconded and approved by vote.
The next regular City of Parsons Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 20, 2002, at 6 p.m. and located at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building. If you would like to place an item on the agenda, feel free to contact the Parsons Business Office at 304-478-2311.