By: Jennifer Britt
The Parsons Advocate
John “Red” Lipscomb and the City of Parsons Water Treatment Plant was awarded with the Drinking Water Performance Gold Award for a 2021 Optimized Water Treatment Plant from the State Health Department.
The Gold Award recognizes water systems that exhibit elevated levels of performance in the areas of product quality, customer satisfaction, employee and leadership development, operational optimization, financial viability, community sustainability, enterprise resiliency, infrastructure strategy and performance, stakeholder understanding and support, and water resource sustainability.
Lipscomb said, “What this means is that our filtered water coming out of our plant has met the state and federal standards of treatment filtered water of .025 or less for 95 percent of the time. They re-evaluated our filter stability for the last year, and they stated our water quality was actually 95 percent above the state’s compacity of treatment. Which this means our water is high quality. It all comes from the good operators that we have.”
Mayor Judy Dorothy said to Lipscomb: “I appreciate all that you guys do.”
Executive Director of Parsons Revitalization Organization (PRO) Cynthia Kolsun welcomed new City of Parsons council members by saying, “I would like to welcome the new council members. All of you will have a lot to contribute. This group is a great group of people to work with and I have been able to see how they can get stuff done and they are so fortunate to have you on that also.”
Kolsun then updated the council on ongoing and upcoming projects. One of those projects was the Downtown Appalachia: Revitalizing Recreational Economies (DARRE) Initiative survey posted on the City’s Facebook webpage for the citizens of Parsons to participate in back in May. Kolsun presented the results of the survey to the council and those results will be released to the public in the upcoming months in three stages.
Another project Kolsun touched base on was the historical mural being painted downtown in the Pocket Park by artist Heather Johnson. The mural is through the sepia color stage and Johnson will continue to work on the mural adding color to certain areas. Some areas of historical significance will remain in the sepia color. The noticeable square in the middle will be used for an outdoor movie screen. Landscaping will begin once the mural is completed.
Council member James “Sam” Humphrey inquired of Kolsun, “We do not have enough parking on Front Street for our businesses, as far as Becky’s business goes and as far as the Wilfong’s business goes, and I do not understand why we put in the Pocket Park.” Kolsun responded and said, “The Pocket Park was there before those two businesses were.”
Humphry continued by suggesting selling part of the Pocket Park to a business owner that wants to expand their business. Humphry also suggested that something needs to be done about the apartment tenants parking on Front Street instead of a designated parking area. Kolsun said, “Those are all things we will have to look at. We are all kind of spoiled here because we think if there is a business, we need to be able to park right in front of it. We should be able to walk around the corner.”
Council member Melissa Jones inquired to where the closest handicapped parking was located to the Front Street to which she received no answer.
Parsons Chief of Police Kevin Keplinger would like to put citizens on alert concerning recent events with individuals committing property damage and “porch pirating”. Porch pirating is when an individual will unlawfully enter another’s property and steal delivered packages off of porches, steps, or stoops.
Keplinger said, “We are seeing an uptake in property crime, particularly in what we call porch pirates. People are having an Amazon or FedEx delivery put on the porch and they are coming home to notice that it was delivered but its not there. We had an issue with the car wash with the locks cut and some change stolen. I think it is just a sign of the economic time.
Keplinger advised, “If you are going to have a delivery try to have someone keep an eye out or try to schedule deliveries for when you are going to be there. Absolutely let us (Police Department) know because we are aware, and we are tracking that problem.”
Keplinger also informed the council members that his department would be completing Stop the Bleed and CPR training. Keplinger will be upscaling their first aid kit in the officer’s vehicles. There was incident where an individual was injured on the bike trail across from Ben Long’s and two police officers were already providing aide to the victim before EMS responded.
Keplinger said, “When the EMS responded, and please understand I am not bashing them because I love them all and God bless them, but when they responded they responded with a unit with the paramedic driving by herself. We had been on scene 15 to 20 minutes before that occurred. When I pulled up it was like something out of a sci-fi movie with gauze going everywhere and Gidley and Slater were working. It impressed me; it really did. It is what we are called to do. We are public service. We are not EMT’s, but the reality of things is that we are more likely to respond before EMS and we need to be prepared. I want to commend Gidley and Slater as well as Ben Long for responding and assisting.”
Keplinger reminded the council of the upcoming The Last Ride event on July 19 in memorial of Adam Arbogast. The memorial will be in front of the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building located at 341 Second Street at 1 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the City Council is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Tuesday, August 2, 2022, at the Charles W. “Bill” Rosenau Municipal Building. If you would like an item placed on the agenda, feel free to contact the Parsons Business Office at 304- 478-2311.