I stopped by Moonshiners after the Monday evening City Council meeting. It had a short agenda but some interesting announcements. To start the meeting one of the local insurance agents wanted a parking space in front of her office to have a two hour limit. Her complaint was one I have heard many times over the years, that employees of downtown businesses park in spaces that should be available for customers. The Chief of Police said that he would see what the current ordinance states because it might allow the spot to be changed to a two-hour limit without any Council action.
The Council approved the April gas tracker of a 5¢ decrease per hundred cubic feet and the transfer of funds of $80,000 to pay for various street repair expenses. It approved two requests for public relations funds, one of $400 for food and beverages for a Friday celebration for those who work cleanup week (May 7-11), the other for what will essentially be a loan of up to $2000 for the Gas Pipeline Awareness/Gas Department Open House on May 4, 11:00 am-2:00 pm. The Department has been awarded a state grant of $2000 for this event, but the money may not arrive until the event is finished.
The second May Council meeting, which normally would be held on the 28th (the fourth Monday) was moved to the 29th because the 28th is Memorial Day. The City received three bids for the removal of 60 trees (mostly dying ash trees) and accepted a bid from Reliable Tree Service for $36,000. This company has done tree removal for the City in the past few years and the City has been happy with its service.
The brick work on the new police station has been finished as has the interior drywall. The three remaining candidates for the police officer position will be interviewed by the Board of Public Works on April 23. Fencing for the new solar park north of town should begin this week. On Saturday Brookside Park will host a Park Spring Fling, which used to be called the Earth Day celebration. Also on Saturday, the Street Department will be accepting used electronics for recycling. (That is on the east end of Walnut Street.) The Airport will host a second Tunes on the Tarmac with two bands on April 21. Money raised will go to purchasing children's ID trailer that the Sheriff's Department will use at County festivals. The Vietnam Wall project is still in need of volunteers for various tasks, including setting up and taking down. On May 4 the Fire Department will host a fish fry.
As reported in the previous post, Walsh and Kelly have started working on City streets. Grace Street will probably be closed for a month. The new well project is officially 22% finished (as measured by how much the City has been billed on the contract.) The water main is complete from the treatment plant to the corner of Sparling and Milroy. The Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) has approved or accepted the planning document that was funded by their planning grant and there will be a public hearing or public forum on the plan at the May 14 City Council meeting.
Moonshiners is not the only new business to open last week. Also opening was County Bumpkin in the corner of what used to be Long's at 231 W Kellner Blvd.
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Street work continues. I was excited to learn that when Grace Street is finished, there will be a sidewalk on the west side of the street. I stopped by the water main project and asked a worker if the directional driller (located south of the Kannel Street intersection) was going to stop at the pit dug at the Monnett Street intersection or go all the way to the north end of Sparling. He said the latter was the target, but when they pull the pipe through, they will pull a section from the end of Sparling to the pit at Monnett, disconnect, and start a new section of pipe for the last 1000 feet.
A week or so ago after a heavy rain I noticed that the water in the river under the Talbert foot bridge had a muddy side and a clear side. The muddy water was contributed by the Maxwell ditch a few hundred feet upstream. I thought it unusual enough to photograph. (The picture shows the river to the west of the bridge.)