Jewell sworn in to Thayer City Council

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
Russel Jewell was sworn in as alderman to the northside during the council meeting held on Thursday, May 11.
Renee Janes

Thayer City Council met for their regular monthly meeting on Thursday, May 11. Before addressing city business, City Clerk Donna Martin swore in Russel Jewell to fill the position, previously filled by Clay Risner.

Moving on, the city approved the consent agenda which included minutes for the monthly meeting in April, a special called council meeting, court report, fire department minutes, an article regarding “Public Funds, Private Benefit” and a report on the Thayer Flood Evacuation Center. Alderman Stephen Clark made a motion to approve the consent agenda, Alderman Earl “Buddy” Rogers seconded the motion. The motion carried. Next the council approved the April financial report as well as bills paid and to be paid.

Eric Barton, from Barton Insurance Agency, discussed insurance for the city employees. The council voted to keep insurance with this company.

Emergency Management Director Mark Arnold addressed the council about damage throughout the city from the April 30 flood. Arnold informed the council that representatives from the State Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency were visiting the region to assess the amount of damage that the city incurred. He stated they will also have representatives from the Small Business Administration for businesses that had damages from the flood.

He talked about a resident that needed to be rescued from her home. In less than 30 minutes, the water went from approximately shoe top height to about knee deep. He also discussed fence damage that will need to be reported of a family that did not have to evacuate but received damage to their fence.

He discussed individual, small business and public assistance. Arnold said there were two basic areas in the city that suffered damage. Those two areas were city public facility and Thayer School received damage to the ballfield. “The rough estimate is a little over $35,000 for the baseball field,” said Arnold. He stated he received information the cost could go up because there is damage to a light pole that may need to be completely replaced. In the city, the damage total was approximately $51,000. It is broken down in to categories such as debris removal and protective measures.

Arnold also informed the council of other estimates for repairs that will be needed from the flood such as the road to the shooting range, bathroom facility at the Thayer City Park as well as the pavilion and playground equipment. Arnold stated he wanted to thank Donna Martin and her husband, Luke Martin, Daryl Childers and the department as well as Stephen Clark for helping during the time of the flood. “We were fortunate, unlike our friends in the northeast corner of this county and folks to the north and south of us. The bullseye originally started over the top of us, and the 15 inches of rain moved to the north. But I want to thank these people for coming and helping us,” said Arnold.

Martin updated those in attendance of what was taking place with the Thayer Spring Fair. She stated a pageant contest has been added to the event. There are many vendor booths that will be on site such as informational booths, crafts, make-up and emergency workers. The fair will begin Tuesday, May 16 through Saturday, May 20. It will be open from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and will be open from 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturday. Most of the activities scheduled will begin at 6 p.m. such as singing. There will also be events held in the Saddle Club Arena such as chasing a calf or greasing a pig. There will be a St. Jude benefit auction Thursday evening. Bingo will be featured every night. Shuttle will be available for parking. There will be no cost to enter the fair. Armbands will be available. Miller’s Expo will be providing the rides.

During the public participation portion of the meeting, Doris Brown addressed the council about acquiring rosebushes and flag holders at the Veterans Memorial Park. She asked the city to replace five of the roses. It was decided that the city will buy five rose bushes. Regarding the flag poles, the city will provide $300 to help with the purchase. Mayor Cotham suggested to raise money for poles that they put a canopy at the Thayer Spring Fair with a donation bowl for flag poles and it will not cost them.

Next, Fred Asbury and Patty Simon addressed the council about their Art Village that they are opening. He thanked the city for the warm welcome they have received in the community and informed the council of the project they are working on and of future endeavors they would like to bring to the area such as performance arts, literature, poetry and writing. He also stated that a lawyer also approached to assist them with legal work they may need done.

In other business, the council discussed when to have a budget meeting. It was decided to have the meeting on May 30.

Thayer City Council meets the second Tuesday of the month in Thayer City Hall at 7 p.m.

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