Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Slaughters commissioners discuss ‘Tractor Day’

New festival expected to draw crowds on August 3

J-E News Editor
Slaughters city commission met last Tuesday night for their regularly scheduled meeting. Among other items on the agenda was a discussion of ‘Tractor Days’, a new festival the city has planned to hold in conjunction with Independence Bank’s annual Tractor Ride.

The inaugural event will be held on Sunday, August 3, 2014 at the Slaughters Park, kicking off at 2:00 p.m. The planned activities, which will be held between 2:00-4:30 p.m. include: bingo; a duck pond; corn hole; softball throw; cupcake walk; inflatables; bubbles; face painting; water balloon catch; and hay bale treasure. There will also be a meal from 4:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.,with a softball game to take place at 5:00 p.m. There will be a church service held at 6:00 p.m.
The churches of Slaughters, along with the city commission, are the official sponsors and organizers of Tractor Day. They include: Slaughters Baptist Church; Slaughters First United Methodist Church; Mt. Gilead Baptist Church and Slaughters Christian Church.
Festival organizers asked the commission to provide 150 bottles of drinking water, but at Mayor Jeff Cooms’ urging, commissioners voted to supply 300 bottles.
City clerk Terri Link notified the commission that the telephone at the Slaughters Fire Department had been temporarily disconnected. According to Link, she mailed the payment of the city’s phone bill and the fire department’s bill together.
“Instead of putting part of it towards the fire department as they usually do, they credited it all to the city building,” she explained. After speaking with a customer service representative, the situation was corrected.
The city’s contract with Kemper CPA Group in Henderson was up for renewal. Despite advertising for new bids, the city only received interest from the same auditor. Commissioners voted unanimously to renew the contract.
In May, Link announced that the city had received a $35,000 grant for upgrades to the city park. The commission continues to move forward with plans to beautify the park as well as replace old park equipment.
“I spoke with the guy at Bluegrass Recreation,” Link told the commission.  “He is getting me quotes for new swings, but he said that he will not sell us seesaws. His company feels that they are a safety hazard, so he plans to offer us some alternatives.”
Currently the city plans to purchase two swing sets. One will have eight swings and is designed for older children. The other is designed for small children and toddlers. It will include two child seats for very small children.
Plans to possibly renovate the concession stand at the ball park have been put on hold. Mayor Cooms estimated that it would cost nearly $6,000 to get the building to where the health inspector would allow it to be used to handle food.
“I have reservations about spending that much money for them to be able to sell food for two or three months out of the year,” he said.
It also appears that, due to safety and liability concerns, the city has scrapped plans to build a bridge and connect the park with land owned by the city on the opposite side of a creek that runs next to the park.
In other business, the city received a bill for it’s property and liability insurance. That will cost Slaughters $7,084. The provider offered the city the chance to either pay the full amount up front, or spread the payments out over a seven month period for only a small penalty.
Commissioners voted to spread the payments out, as they expect to receive two insurance collection payments before the end of the seven month period. Cities, such as Slaughters, get taxes from all insurance sales in their city (property, vehicle, etc). Last year those payments to Slaughters totaled around $23,000.

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