By Mollie LaSalle
WOODVILLE – Woodville mayor Amy Bythewood signed two proclamations at Monday night’s city council meeting, one designating February as American Red Cross Month, and the other honoring the Woodville Lions club’s 75th anniversary in recognition of years of service to their community. Lions’ president Clif Flowers was in attendance, along with several club members to receive the honor.
Council approved the appointment of Rebecca Chastain as Court Clerk, and she was sworn in by Teri Bible. Fred Sullivan was approved to retain his appointment on the Allan Shivers Library & Museum Advisory Board. The agenda item that brought the most discussion was the consideration to approve a new lease agreement for the Chamber of Commerce building. The next agenda item was a discussion to approve cosmetic changes to the building.
The Chamber building is owned by the city and has been in disrepair for about 12 years. Chamber president Cathy Bennett spoke before council on the condition(s). She specifically cited a non-functioning restroom and stated the need for painting to be done; she also presented council with her vision of a mural that would be painted on the side of the building, as a showcase for the county. She stressed that she has been hustling to get as much time and materials donated for these projects; Fred Sullivan has agreed to donate the paint, and there are others who have offered their services. Bennett was passionate about her long-range plans for the Chamber building and wants to get started as soon as possible to put her ideas in motion. Council opted to table these items and opted to discuss them in executive session.
Another agenda item that generated a lot of discussion was the condition of the equipment at the city park. Bythewood appointed aldermen Mike Cabaniss and Cliff Wright as the committee members responsible for evaluating and finding solutions to upgrade equipment that is unsafe and in disrepair.
“We need a city park that we can be proud of, and that the children can play on and be safe, “ Bythewood said. There is money in the city budget to address some of the issues, but per alderman Wright, “when you start talking replacing playground equipment, you are looking at costs upwards of $100K for each apparatus, as most of the existing equipment is antiquated.”
He did mention that there was a company in Goodrich he had spoken with, and they were interested in checking out the situation at the park, with possible solutions to these upgrades.
Bythewood advised council that Judith Haney has tendered her resignation as Municipal Court Judge, effective March 13.
Bythewood then put before council to approve naming Sergio Ramos as regular court judge, effective March 10. Ramos was previously sworn-in as temporary judge in January.
Plans are to host a retirement party for Haney in March, to thank her for her years of faithful service to the city.
City Administrator Mandy Risinger is rolling out plans for the annual city wide clean-up campaign, which happens every year in March for two weeks, and reminded all that Dogwood is right around the corner, with the Festival of the Arts weekend kicking it off, March 18 and 19, Western Weekend is next, with the Lions Club Rodeo March 24 and 25, and the final weekend is the Queen’s coronation and pageant, and the annual parade earlier that day, April 1.
Council opted to go into executive session at 6:30 p.m., and upon returning to regular session voted to approve the new lease agreement, and the proposed cosmetic changes to the Chamber of Commerce building.