Paxton City Council discusses school zone designation, fundraisers and new equipment purchase



The Paxton City Council met for its regular meeting on Monday, March 18. Council member Bill McRae began the meeting by informing the council that he has been in communications with both state and county officials to designate County Hwy 174 West a School Zone and will keep the council posted on the outcome. City Clerk Judy Williams then informed the council of an email received from Chance Powell, the engineer for the county that works with the state and school district to designate school zones, who assured them that he is working to get this designation done, but no timeline was given. 

Williams asked the council how to proceed with the capacity fee, giving options to either add it to the discussion at the next 5-year plan workshop, or for it to be added to April’s agenda under new business. McRae suggested discussing it at the next 5-year plan meeting on April 18, rather than adding it to the regular council meetings agenda in April. 

Kevin Mock, with the Tanner Mock fundraiser, next came before the council to request the use of the ballpark and its facilities the first Saturday of October. This is the date that Mock is hoping to establish as the primary fundraiser day for the Tanner Mock Foundation, and he hopes to continue this event every year on the first Saturday of October.  Council member Donna Smith asked what this event would entail; Mock said that the primary fundraiser will be a Wiffle ball tournament, with some food available on scene. There was a motion passed to allow for the Tanner Mock Foundation to use the Paxton Ballpark the first Saturday in October.  

Mock moved on to give an update on the Memorial Wall that his foundation has been working on at the Paxton ball park. Mock said that it should be installed in the coming weeks, and that there is a park rededication ceremony scheduled for April 13 to rededicate the park to W. W. Adams. Mock informed the council that the sign should be installed by the rededication ceremony, although the other plans that Mock has for the park might take a bit longer than the sign. Council member Smith requested to be kept up to date with the timeline of Mock’s plans for the park. 

Mock was then asked if he would need access to city hall on the day of the event in October.  He informed the council that it would be ideal, since there are plans of selling some form of plate lunch from inside city hall. Although a motion was passed to allow for the use of the building, WIlliams informed Mock that she would need to double check the reservations for the building prior to making concrete plans. 

Williams then informed the council that a family has reached out to her wanting to book the city hall building to host a fundraiser of sorts for a 58-year-old citizen battling prostate cancer, via an auction, music, and food, on March 30. Due to this being a for-profit event, Williams informed the council that they will need to approve of the event before it can officially be reserved. A motion was then passed to allow for the use of the building for this event with the stipulation that the family must clean up after the event. 

Utilities Supervisor Adam Bryan then approached the council to inform them that the city’s backhoe is currently surging and is almost jerky when being driven. A speed sensor has been installed on the equipment by Beard Equipment from Freeport, and after testing it on another job, Bryan informed the council that the issue is getting worse. Beard was brought back to do a full servicing on the machine, and the diagnosis given was that the pump was failing. A quote was then issued by Beard for repairing the problem, and Bryan was informed by others that the quote given was about $2,000 less than what they had previously seen for this type of repair.

Paxton Mayor Ann Sexton made the recommendation to check out on prices for a new one, rather than attempting to repair this one. A motion was then passed to allow for Bryan to purchase a new backhoe, and then Bryan was asked if it would be possible to ask for use of a county backhoe in the meantime. Bryan responded that he has already made preparations for the use of a backhoe in the meantime, as well as being able to use the current machine carefully in the case of an emergency.