The citizens of Blue Ridge filled the room of the City Hall on Monday, March 3rd for a special called city council meeting. With a full agenda, the council would be faced with some tough items for the night.
To start with, EMA Director Robert Graham was there informing the council of the NIXLE upgrade. This is the upgrade that the county commissioners passed agreeing to pay a portion of if the cities would do so.
After hearing the ways the upgrade would help the citizens of Blue Ridge, the council agreed to pay for the 23% that was asked of them if all of the other cities came on board.
If you have been to a Blue Ridge City Council meeting you would know that it is hard to hear everything said in the back of the room. This is all going to change as a motion was made by Rodney Kendall for the council to purchase a PA system so that everyone will be able to hear.
The next big ticket item was a contract with the school board. This contract is agreeing to let the Board of Education lease the softball field out of the city park if the board makes improvements to the field.
The improvements will be in the form of adding a knee wall, new netting for the backstop, new dugouts and upgrades to the scorers stand. This contract has been in the works for a few months ever since some parents asked for help from the school board in late 2013.
Parents of the softball players have held meetings with Athletic Director Scott Ramsey working out details the parents would like to see done in the way of improvements.
Coach David Dyer told the parents in one of the meetings,
“I think the girls will be able to take more ownership in the field and have more pride in it.”
The city has agreed to the contract and will await to see if the school board adopts it during their next monthly meeting. The upgrades will take around three weeks to complete once the contract is made official.
Sunday Sales has been on the agenda for months and months with never a decision besides tabling the argument. Both sides have been talked about whether it is for or against and the council has finally come to a decision.
For the first reading of Sunday Sales referendum to be put on the ballot, Rhonda Thomas made a motion for the reading followed by a 2nd from Kendall. Harold Herndon would raise his hand in the all in favor vote. This was the three votes that the Reading needed to pass with “No’s” coming from Bruce Pack and Angie Arp.
The vote and motion came and went with little discussion or movement from the audience unlike past times.
Upon the Sunday Sales passing, Angie Arp introduced her new policies and procedures that she would like to see put into place. After nearly 40 minutes of discussion and frustration between the council members. They agreed to put the procedures in place. Most of the items have been voted on it the past and this will be a document to have on file instead of having to look at old meeting minutes for answers.
To end the long meeting the council agreed that it would have a limited role in the upcoming years “Light up Blue Ridge.”
The councils next regularly scheduled meeting is set for Tuesday, March 11th at 6:00 p.m.