Signs of progress welcomed by Union City Council
By: Donna Ryder Messenger Associate Editor
By DONNA RYDER
Messenger Associate Editor
At least two items of business reported to the Union City Council Tuesday night showed significant signs of progress, something council members like.
A sound of elation was sparked by the announcement that a contract was ready to be approved for the replacement of the bridge on West Cheatham Street.
The council awarded the contract to Ford Construction Co. in the amount of $194,505.60. The company has been given notice to begin construction on March 1. It has 75 days to complete the project.
The council also granted permission to the Boys & Girls Club to apply for a Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant. If awarded, it will be used to renovate the former Central Elementary School. Any matching funds will come from the money the Boys & Girls Club has been able to raise or has been committed for the project.
The city council had to give permission for the grant request because it owns the property.
Clint Joiner of the Boys & Girls Club said they have been lucky enough to work with the Obion County Sheriff’s Department, which has supplied inmate labor to help move trash and other items out of the building that were vandalized. He said Barker Brothers has hauled the debris at no cost to the city or the Boys & Girls Club.
Clay Woods informed the council the club is close to hiring an architect and plans for the renovation should be drawn up soon. After that happens, he said it will take the state fire marshal’s office about six weeks to review the plans.
The club is having the glass in the building, which was broken by vandals, replaced. They are starting in the gym to try to save the flooring there, Joiner said, adding because the building is on the National Register of Historic Places, the club has to replace glass with glass.
The club expects to be able to sign a lease on the building with the city in January or February. It is still working on several financial avenues.
Woods said since the club placed signs that the building is the future home of the Boys & Girls Club, there have been no further acts of vandalism.
Councilman Dianne Eskew said residents in the neighborhood will call the police when they see anyone on the property.
In other business, after the meeting was opened in prayer by city attorney Jim Glasgow Jr., the council:
• Passed on second and final readings ordinances which annex property on West Main Street and zone it B-2 intermediate business. A resolution adopting a plan of service for the annexed property was also approved.
• Agreed on first reading to rezone property at the corner of 1635 East Reelfoot Ave. and 1309 Sunswept Drive from R-1 (low density residential) to H-M (hospital-medical).
• Awarded a bid for $61,000 to Allen Searcy Builder Contractor for renovations to the minor division baseball field.
• Decided to purchase a Ford F150 from Union City Ford for $14,404.50 to be used by the animal control officer. The current vehicle — a mid-’80s model pick up — is sitting in the parking lot with transmission problems.
• With hesitation agreed to purchase a Dodge Charger from Jenkins Motors for $21,846 for the police department. Councilmen were concerned because it took six months for the delivery of the last vehicle ordered from the business. The council asked that a 90-day delivery time frame be stressed.
• Accepted the resignation of Joel Shore from the Obion County Board of Equalization. City manager Don Thornton said Shore is to be commended for this many years of service to the city.
The council decided to postpone a replacement for Shore until the next meeting. Thornton said the body is an appeals board when property owners don’t agree with their property assessment. He said the board only meets once a year, but that sessions can be lengthy.
• Was informed by councilman Bill “Rat” Harrison that driving over the Cheatham Street railroad crossing is as smooth as “sleeping on silk sheets.”
• Heard there was a correction on the sales tax report as delivered to the council members. The report was printed correctly in The Messenger on Tuesday.
• Asked for an update on the former Reelfoot Packing Co. building. The city has done all it can do, according to Thornton.
Harrison said it is a “disgrace” for people who are driving through Union City to see the building.
• Learned several people are taking advantage of the trout fishing at Reelfoot Pond, located on the site of the former Reelfoot Packing Co. Residents are asked to park at the former packing company and not in the parking lots of adjacent businesses.
Mayor Terry Hailey said the trout limit is seven and the pond will be restocked in January. He asked people use trash cans which have been placed at the pond for their trash. “We’re trying to keep it looking as nice as we can,” he added.
Thornton said several phone calls have been received at City Hall thanking the city for the program.
Associate Editor Donna Ryder can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com.
Published in The Messenger 12.19.07