Grant for Paxton Health Clinic is on its way [PREMIUM]

By RUBY KEARCE The Paxton City Council met Tuesday, June 21 at Paxton City Hall. The meeting started by electing a separate cemetery board. The cemetery board will have their own meeting within 30 days. Latilda Hughes - Neel then approached the board to discuss Grit and Grace, a stage-play drama depicting the life of Paxton native Bobby Kemp, as told by Bobby Charles and Brendan Roberta. The show is nearing completion, and it will be the second in a lineup of 11 stories about Walton County History. Hughes- Neel, with permission from Charles, read an excerpt from the play: “Mama and Daddy were a team. Mama went to city council meetings with Daddy. If he got overly excited about something, all she had to do was say ‘Bobby.’ And at home when she calmed him down, she would just quietly say ‘Bobby I’ve heard all I want to hear’ and if he’d kept on she would say ‘Bobby I said I have heard all I want to hear.’” The Council was invited to the performance of Grit and Grace. Patrick O’Neal, developer of the future Black Lake RV Park, then approached the board regarding utilities for the park. The project is projected to have 35 spaces and needs sewer services in order to move forward. O’Neal is asking the board for a letter of availability and a time frame in order to know if the project will need to be done in multiple phases or if it can be done in just one phase. The board decided that the city’s engineer will gather the needed information and get it to O’Neal in a timely manner. Public Works Representative Anna Hudson then came forward with a list of roads and sidewalks scheduled to be resurfaced. Council member Donna Smith, brought County Hwy. 147 to the board’s attention. The road is in need of more than resurfacing and will be used as the main entrance and exit for all Paxton School traffic. A motion to make County Hwy 147 a top priority was passed, and the board approved the resurfacing list Hudson presented. The board then discussed the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) application and ways to make the city’s application more competitive. The two suggestions made were for the city council to contribute $25,000 to the project and to form a committee appointed by Mayor Ann Sexton. The grant will be used to make improvements at the sewage treatment facility. In other business, the council agreed to donate a new credit card machine to the Paxton Post Office. And, the council passed a motion to change the monthly meeting time from 5:30 p.m. year round, to 6 p.m. during the summer, and 5:30 p.m. during the winter.


Paxton City Council met, Monday Aug. 29, at Paxton Town Hall for a public hearing followed by a continuation of the Policies and Procedures (P&P) Workshop. The public hearing held prior to the workshop was to discuss the planned health clinic and its grant funding. During the hearing, Deputy City Clerk, Judy Williams, announced that instead of an annual disbursement of funds, the city has opted for a lump sum payment. Everything has been finalized, and all forms have been submitted, including architectural drawings of the $1.3 million dollar facility. Funds can be released as early as Sept. 1. 

The discussion then turned to the P&P Manual Workshop, where Williams presented the corrected sections discussed at the previous workshop. Before the council went further, Mayor Ann Sexton asked them to review the city of Freeport’s P&P Manual and consider customizing a version of their manual to suit the city of Paxton. 

The city of Freeport’s P&P Manual not only addresses most of Paxton’s concerns, but it also has additional sections that could be beneficial to Paxton. Also, the language in Freeport’s manual has already been reviewed and approved by Attorney Clay Adkinson.

Council member Bill McRae then suggested Juneteenth be taken off of the city’s list of holidays and to change all the “He’s” in the P&P Manual to “He/She.”  

Mayor Sexton also suggested that the “political involvement section” be similar to the one in Paxton’s current P&P Manual. This section states that no city employee can support a politician while on city property, nor may they attend any political function during working hours. This is a state statute for elected officials, but Paxton’s policy specifies all city employees. 

Williams will take the council’s recommendations into consideration while she customizes the city of Freeport’s P&P Manual to meet Paxton’s needs. The first draft of this manual will be completed and distributed to council members for their review by the next workshop scheduled for Sepy. 29, at 6 p.m.