Samburg eyes city projects

Samburg eyes city projects
Samburg eyes city projects | Samburg eyes city projects
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
Samburg is a town undergoing some significant changes, and more changes are on the way.
The Samburg mayor and board of aldermen held their final meeting of the year with an agenda dominated by city improvement projects.
Just prior to the start of the meeting, city recorder Mary Swain swore in the four recently-elected members of the board, Mayor Larry Gene Davis, Sharon Cunningham, Shelly Arnett and Joe Denton.  Davis, Ms. Cunningham and Mrs. Arnett were re-elected to the board, while Denton was elected to take the place of Johnnie Johnson, who chose not to run for re-election. (See related photo, Page 10.)
During the meeting, board member Eddie Fickle reported work on the new City Hall is nearing completion.
“I’m ready to lay the floors and be done with it,” Fickle said. “We’re close. We’re really close y’all.”
He has been doing a considerable amount of work on the building since this past summer and has been overseeing the work of contractors. There is still some electrical work that needs to be completed inside the building and Fickle said other work on the building will be done in phases as funding becomes available.
The new City Hall will house all city offices, including the police department and a tourism office, and there will be a community room at the back of the building.
One of the major items remaining to be done is the paving of the parking area in front of the building. The board spent several minutes Wednesday afternoon discussing the need to pave the parking area. The city has received one bid of $16,300 from Jessie Cathy of Martin, but several concerns were raised about the bid.
The city doesn’t have enough funds to completely pay for the paving bid but is anticipating a boost in the city’s revenues in early 2013 with income from property taxes. However, the board voiced concerns about the high cost to have the lot paved with concrete. There was some discussion about the use of 33c rock to cover the parking lot, but without any cost estimates no decision was made.
Fickle said he would look into that option, as well as other alternatives, and will report back to the board next month.
There appears to be an eagerness by board members to get moved in to the new building, but board members also voiced concerns about watching the city’s finances.
Other city projects that came up at Wednesday afternoon’s meeting were a new city entrance sign, a street engineering project, a federal housing grant and a couple of tourism events for 2013.
At last month’s meeting, the board approved spending $185 to have the Lake County High School vocational program build a new entrance sign for the city and the sign has been completed and will soon be erected, according to Mrs. Arnett.
Also at last month’s meeting, the board approved a $1,500 bid from L.I. & Associates of Paris to do a street engineering study. The mayor reported the study is being done and expects the company to make a report on its findings at a board meeting in the near future.
“Right now, they’re still working on their presentation,” Davis said.
A public hearing will be held next month in Samburg to begin work on a $500,000 federal housing grant. Davis said he met with grant officials last week and took care of preliminary paperwork for the project and next will come the process of identifying houses for rehabilitation.
So far, 11 houses in town have been identified. Davis said next month’s public hearing will put in motion the process of prioritizing targeted residences. He explained four houses will be worked on at a time, using the federal grant funds.
In addition to the new City Hall, new entrance sign and planned housing improvements, the Samburg Tourism Council has a couple of major projects in the works. The city recorder, Mrs. Swain, will be leaving in mid-January 2013 to attend the Cincinnati Boat Show. She will work at a Samburg tourism booth at the 10-day boat show and will have brochures, as well as special Samburg shirts, caps and other promotional materials.
Also, Fickle reported to the board Wednesday he has started work on an antique car show planned for early August 2013. He is the chairman of the tourism council and said he hopes to stage the one-day car show at locations around town.
“We thought that could be something we could pull into Samburg,” Fickle said. He explained he got the idea from the former Goodyear car shows in Union City. Published in The Messenger 12.13.12

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