DFS Council learn about “Take Stock in the Clock” effort
By ALICIA LEONARD
During the Feb. 23 DeFuniak Springs City Council meeting, the Council approved a land purchase, heard the results of their yearly audit and got a peek at the “Take Stock in the Clock” project that aims at restoring the First National Bank Clock.
Ken Little, Terry Dawkins and Cathy Mosley presented a video presentation to the Council at a new project aiming at getting residents to take stock in repairing the quickly deteriorating historic clock located on Baldwin Avenue.
The project asked that residents help with restoring the timepiece by purchasing a piece of stock in the clock. The group, made up of members of the Walton County Heritage Association, is asking citizens to invest $125 each to raise the anticipated$50,000 needed to restore the clock to its original glory. For their donations, each person will receive a stock certificate with their name on it acknowledging their help in restoring the clock. The certificates do not confer any type of ownership as the clock belongs to the city, but are a reminder of the help the donor gave to the project.
The city has applied for a historical grant to repair the clock, but does not know if they will receive the grant. Little told the Council and the audience, “We believe this is worth restoring for our community. It’s just one more piece of history that makes our community special. If we are not able to raise all the funding, all of the donations will be returned to the donors. We understand that we can not expect the city to foot all the expenses for projects like this, so we wanted to raise awareness of what is needed and help all of the community take part in repairing the clock and have a little stock in it.”
Any and all donations are accepted, but those working on the initiative request that donations total at least $20 for the cost of buying and printing the stock certificates. To “Take Stock in the Clock,” contact the Walton County Heritage Society at 951-2127 or mail donations to WCHS, co/ Take Stock in the Clock P.O. Box 1681 DeFuniak Springs, FL 32435.
The Council then approved unanimously to waive the fee for the Chautauqua building for the Walton High School Air Force Junior ROTC military ball. Mayor Harold Carpenter commented on the ROTC unit that so often plays a part in local veteran and Memorial Day festivities. Carpenter said, “You young gentlemen and ladies are always there for us, anytime we call on you and I feel we need to repay the favor.” The Council agreed although there was some discussion on setting some prerequisites regarding when the Council would waive rental fees and when they would not.
The Council then moved onto approving unanimously the land acquisition for the new Well No. 10. The Council passed the motion that no more than $170,000 be spent on the land and all business pertaining to the purchase such as title searches and such.
The Council unanimously renewed their fire protection agreement with the North American Family Institute (NAFI). The Council also approve new amendments to their employee sick-leave donations. The new amendments only clarified when employees would be able to donate sick leave to co-worker, payment for accrued sick leave would be handled and outlined acceptable uses of sick leave by city employees.
The Council then moved to unanimously agree on approving a smoke-free workplace policy. This will extend to all city vehicles and covers all forms of tobacco.
The Council agreed unanimously to approve a contract with Peters Municipal Associates, Inc., for services with the Florida Department of Transportation beautification grant. The beautification project that runs along portions of the east and west U.S. Hwy. 90 is scheduled to be completed by October 2009.
DeFuniak Springs Financial Director Sara Bowers received a glowing audit report from Tipton, Marler, Garner and Chastain. The city has increased its net assets by $1,329,474 in 2008. The total net asset of the city sits at $29,577,904 with a combined total of liabilities and assets of $45,899,146. The only advice the city received from the audit was over purchase orders.
In the past, the audit found that there were goods purchased and then approved. The audit recommended that a purchase order be approved before purchases. Bowers and City Manager Kim Kirby told the Council that this had been corrected and had only happened in instances of Internet purchase such as travel accommodations for the Council.
The next city Council meeting is scheduled for March 9 at 6 p.m.