By REID TUCKER
Walton Middle School teacher Cathy Mosley and Gulf Power rep Terry Dawkins presented the DeFuniak Springs City Council with a photograph of the city taken from several hundred feet in the air.
Mosley, a photographer, and Dawkins, who is also a pilot, combined their talents to capture the aerial photo, which includes many of the city’s famous historical landmarks such as the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood, Lake DeFuniak, the downtown district and Walton Middle School. The photograph was presented to the Council at its regularly scheduled meeting on Jan. 27, and the image’s unveiling drew a round of applause from those in attendance. Mosley and Dawkins, both having served on the board of the Walton County Heritage Association in the past, are keenly interested in preserving the cultural heritage of DeFuniak, which Mosley called “the jewel of the Panhandle.”
“I love old pictures of DeFuniak Springs,” Mosley said in her address to the Council members. “To see our city captured on film, preserved forever is so important. The frozen moments in time allow us to keep our past alive.”
Newly hired Assistant City Manager Tilman Mears jumped straight into his role as the city’s public works director in the last week, and he brought several agenda items to the meeting for the Council’s approval. All three requests met with unanimous aye votes from the board.
First, Mears and Fleet Supervisor Perry Chapman requested authorization to finance the purchase a used bucket truck for the Public Works Department at the cost of $63,602.18. The amount for the vehicle – a 2009 Dodge – is roughly $2,500 more than a comparable Ford, but engine problems with similar Fords led to a recommendation for the more reliable Dodge unit. Additionally, though the price tag for the Dodge came in about $13,000 over-budget for a replacement bucket truck, substantial savings after the purchase of a new fire truck enabled the city to more than cover the difference.
Next, the Council approved the purchase of five new vehicles for the water, gas and streets departments. The total cost for the utility and service trucks came in at $138,095, a savings of $1,845 over the budgeted amount.
Finally, the board unanimously approved the $10,625 needed to cover emergency repairs to King Lake Road on the night of Jan. 23, when city crews not only fixed a leak in a 10-inch main on the corner of King Lake Road and U.S. 331, but saved the roads as well. Workers encountered a situation in which the access hole was rapidly caving in faster than it could be filled, putting other water lines and telephone cables, fiber optic wire and the road surfaces at risk of total collapse. However, city crews, backed up by Gum Creek Farms personnel, located the leak, repaired it and repaired the roadway, putting everything back in operation before they left the site that night.
By REID TUCKER