By Michael G. Maness
CHESTER – Chester Mayor Robert Poynter swore in new Councilman Joe Neal at the council’s regularly scheduled meeting Monday evening, Mar. 6.
Neal grew up in the area and looks to help. Councilman Austin Odom submitted his resignation earlier in the week, effective Mar. 6, as he had recently moved outside the city limits.
Poynter was able to confirm that the grant for the playground has been completed and work will be begin near the first of May.
Nick Hoelscher, an engineer from Goodwin, Lasiter and Strong, was present to facilitate the opening of bids for two GrantWorks projects. Rather frustrating to the council, both bids again came in over the grant limit, and that despite Hoelscher’s clear orders from Poynter for them “not to waste our time” with submitting any bids over the grant. Those grants for a street and the Ballpark Loop improvements were tabled so that Hoelscher and Poynter could work with GrantWorks on another bidding process.
Surprisingly, and to the council’s pleasure, the past-due list only had three. City Secretary Balela Mahaffey reported that all the others were in good stead with several following their respective plans to catch up. That was the lowest number of past-due bills in recent memory.
Cheryl Neal asked about developing a Facebook page for “new comers and old timers” in order to keep the community aware of events. Poynter mentioned the city page, his page and Chester Chat.
In other business, the council quickly passed the financials and the minutes to the previous meeting.