By ALICIA LEONARD
Without much delay, the DeFuniak Springs City Council approved unanimously the approval of the First Baptist Church Inc. request to open a K-5 school during the week at the church’s facility.
Before the Council heard the request, city attorney Clayton Adkinson questioned Council member James Coffield about his role in the church business dealings. Coffield told the Council that he was a Deacon of the church, but would receive no benefit – finiancially or otherwise – from the approval of the school. Adkinson suggested to Coffield that he abstain from the vote and Coffield agreed. The church received a favorable report from the city’s traffic study. Church officials agreed to a cap of 88 students, stated pick-up and drop-off times for the students and stated that no physical changes could be made to the building without going through proper channels.
Wayne Graham made motion to approve and Henry Ennis seconded. The vote carried three to zero for approval, with Coffield abstaining and Don Harrison absent due to prior engagements.
Howard Rinker received approval for funds from Christmas Reflections to be donated to the Downtown Business Professional Association (DPBA) for the Fourth of July celebrations in town.
Leigh Morrison, director of the life enrichment senior center, gave her quarterly report to the Council. Morrison told the Council that the center now has 39 regular members and around 10-15 people visit the center everyday. Morrison has raised $1,424 from memberships and donations. The Council thanked Morrison for the report and moved onto police business.
City Marshall Mike Adkinson received two approvals unanimously for the release of a total of $15,650 already included in the budget. The funds will cover upgrading prior equipment and will allow officers to send and receive emails from police cars, back and forth to dispatch, and other offices. Adkinson said, “It keeps our guys out on the street more and in the office less. They will be able to have a mobile office and this keeps our department up to the same type of equipment that other departments in our area are already utilizing.” The department will also be able to purchase uniforms with the $650 that was released from their auxiliary account.
The Council approved 4-0 the budgeted purchase of five pick-up trucks for the city water department. The total cost of the vehicles will be $91,620. All five trucks will be set up for towing pumps, trailers, and other equipment used by the water department.
Gulf Coast Traffic Engineers received unanimous approved for their bid of $145,511.50 for new signage for the historic district, as well as stop signs and striping, and Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) signs.
Out of 14 bids, Tindle Enterprises,Inc. won low bid approval unanimously for sidewalk projects. The winning bid came in at $161,345.
In a final bit of business, City Manager Kim Kirby presented Mayor Harold Carpenter with an award from the American Public Works Association (APWA).
The APWA awarded Defuniak Springs with the 2008 APWA project of the year for the historical preservation/restoration for the Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood. The city also received a duplicate award that will be presented to Mike Josey Construction, Inc. during a future meeting for there work on the project.
MAYOR HAROLD CARPENTER RECEIVES A PLAQUE recognizing the city of DeFuniak Springs for the restoration/preservation of The Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood from the APWA.