Paxton City Council discusses post office and other bids, Simple Life Campground, and speeding

SPEEDING ON U.S. 331 was among the topics discussed at the Jan. 16 Paxton City Council meeting.

By RUBY KEARCE 

Paxton City Council met for its regular meeting on Jan. 16, and Paxton Mayor Ann Sexton informed the council that the Postmaster from Crestview officially has three weeks to remove what is inside the old Paxton Post Office. Sexton informed the council that they have yet to open the one and only sealed bid that was received for the leasing of the old Post Office building. The council agreed to the opening of the sealed bid, with Sexton revealing the bid from the Paxton Insurance Agency for $200 for the small office space inside of the building. The offices would be used Monday through Friday and the business has no issue with the continuation of mail being dropped off at the front of the building. 

Because the council was unaware of whether this offer was $200 a week or a month, City Attorney Clay Adkinson informed the council that since this was a silent bid, it can either be rejected or alternatively Sexton can be authorized to ask the bidder for more detail about the bid. There was a motion passed authorizing Sexton to approach the bidder for more detail about the bid. 

Discussion then moved to the bids for the propane tanks that Paxton has had for auction. With the 500-gallon propane tank having only one bid from local, Ricky Sanders, for $550, a motion passed to approve of the bid as is, with Sanders responsible for the transportation of the tank. The 250 gallon tank however, had three bids, with the highest also coming from Sanders for $650. A motion was passed approving the bid as is, with Sanders responsible for transportation of the tank. 

Latilda Hughes  – Neel has returned as city planner, and she brought before the council a minor development order for Simple Life CampGround. This development will be a 44-unit campground on 7.26 acres of land at the edge of Paxton’s service area, so the business will use public water but not public sewer. In addition to the 44 camping units, there will also be a bathhouse, an office, and a stormwater retention pond to account for storm water coming onto the property. The project has received technical approval from planning and all codes are met. The engineer for the project along with the owners of Simple Life Campground were present at the meeting and informed the council that the construction will take place in phases and the entrance of the business will be on Bear Bay Flats to get away from the school traffic. A motion was passed to approve of the minor development order. 

Council member Donna Smith then came before the council to suggest transitioning the Bobby Kemp Festival from a city hosted event to its own 501C3 non-profit. Proper documentation will need to be done, and there is a possibility it will not be completed in time for this year’s Bobby Kemp Day Festival. Making this transition will aid in the retrieval of donations and sponsorships, with the city still having the ability to act as a sponsor for the event. This event has grown from 30 vendors to 50 in its first two years and there are plans of it continuing to grow. There is a company willing to file the proper documentation for the transition for $600 to be paid from the Bobby Kemp Day fund. There is no action to be taken at this time. 

During Mayor Sexton’s report she addressed the council about the type of fencing the council would like to see for the retaining ponds at the upcoming Senior Center and Health Clinic. The council had the choice between chain link and privacy fencing, and after discussion, the council decided on chain link for its durability.

During Council member Bill McRae’s report, Lt. James Pitman with Walton County Sheriff’s Department approached the council regarding McRae’s concern about speeding on U.S. 331. Pitman came with statistics from 2023 stating that there were 73 traffic stops and 3,216 calls for service in Paxton alone over the course of 2023. Pitman explained that there are four WCSO districts and Paxton falls in District One that spans from Rock Hill Road to the Alabama state line with 25 officers spread out over four shifts. Pitman further explained that district one was awarded a new traffic unit in December of 2023 and has made 131 traffic stops as of Jan. 16. All of this was to say that although McRae or others might not have seen WCSO, they are in the area working. Pitman said, “I understand you don’t always see us here, but we are here working.” The council voiced appreciation for WCSO and all that they do in the community and thanked Pitman for taking the time to come further discuss this issue.