Samburg promotes tourism

Samburg promotes tourism
Samburg promotes tourism | Samburg promotes tourism
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Samburg is continuing to invest in tourism development and will have a presence at two national boat shows early next year.
The Samburg mayor and board of aldermen met Monday evening and were given an update on work being done by the city’s tourism committee.
Board member Eddie Fickle, who serves as chairman of the tourism committee, informed the board of a January 2013 boat show in Cincinnati and another boat show planned in Indianapolis in February 2013. He said 11 people representing the Reelfoot Lake area are scheduled to have booths at the Indianapolis show.
One of those exhibitors, Ron Dyer, has agreed to include some of Samburg’s promotional material in his booth at the Indianapolis show.
The Indianapolis show runs from Feb. 15-24 and is one of the biggest boat shows in the country.
The Cincinnati show runs from Jan. 18-27. The Samburg tourism committee will spend $885 for a booth at the show and will cover the expenses for two representatives to work the booth.
Samburg’s booth will feature the city’s new tourism brochures as well as Reelfoot Lake photographs, T-shirts and new Samburg caps. Fickle showed off the new caps at Monday evening’s board meeting and said the caps are also being sold at City Hall.
The Samburg board also agreed to split the cost with the tourism committee for new display tables and chairs that will be used for the Cincinnati boat show and for the new city hall building.
There was some discussion during Monday’s meeting about participating in other national boat shows in the future. There was a brief discussion about boat shows in St. Louis and Chicago.
Fickle also announced that Samburg’s Waterfowl Festival will be held Oct. 13-14 and there will be a street dance from 7-11 p.m. Oct. 12, featuring the Larry Frye Band.
Monday night’s 45-minute meeting also included a lengthy discussion of city street lights and a proposed rate increase from the Reelfoot Lake Regional Utility and Planning District.
Again it was Fickle who took center stage as he updated the board on his work on a street light study. Concerns have been raised in recent months over whether Samburg is being properly served by its street lights.
Fickle reported he has found three to four street lights that need to be relocated and another 12 to 15 street lights that need to be removed.
Over the course of the next month, special ribbons will be placed on those light poles scheduled to be removed and Fickle will make a follow-up report at next month’s board meeting.
Samburg has a total of 78 street lights. Fickle explained moving the existing three to four lights and taking down the other 12 to 15 lights will save the city an estimated $1,500 to $2,000 a year. It is expected to cost about $30 per pole to move the light poles, with the work to be done by Gibson Electric Mem-bership Corp.
It was Al Hamilton who brought to the attention of the board a proposed 15 percent sewer rate increase recently approved by the Reelfoot Lake Regional Utility and Planning District. Hamilton serves on the seven-member board, of which Tim Bunch serves as chairman.
In reference to the rate hike, Fickle said he made a statement at the utility board’s meeting. “I told them what they were doing is absolutely wrong.”
“I just don’t think we’ve been treated fairly as a city,” Samburg Mayor Larry Gene Davis said Monday night.
Hamilton circulated a petition opposing the rate increase, and several board members signed the petition.
Hamilton said the petition will be forwarded to the Tennessee Utility Manager Review Board in Nashville once it has at least 61 signatures.
The petition already has more than 40 signatures and Hamilton provided board members with more than eight pages of documentation related to the controversial rate hike. Included in his paperwork was a three-page complaint letter to Bunch. There was also a breakdown of customers served by the utility district, which includes 144 residential and commercial users in Samburg and 175 customers in Hornbeak.
There was also a brief discussion dealing with the cost of the utility district’s new office building in Samburg. Hamilton provided board members with paperwork showing a near $80,000 cost overrun for the building, which he said has cost nearly $620,000 to build. The new building was built using $400,000 in USDA funding, $140,200 in utility district funding and there is still a $79,740.21 overrun, according to Hamilton.
Absent from Monday evening’s meeting were board members Junie Fickle and Gerald Reed.
Published in The Messenger 9.11.12

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