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Ag Park Committee Meeting Minutes – April 22, 2022

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22 April 2022

Chairman George Witt called the meeting to order asking Commissioner Roger Reedy to offer a prayer and lead the pledge.  Minutes of 1 October 2021 were approved after motion by Commissioner Rodney Journey, and seconded by Commissioner Larry Worsham.  A handout for price of dumpsters was provided for a later discussion.

Benny Birdsong then led a discussion about the existing and an extension to the current walking trail.  He stated that plans are for a one-mile walking trail around the Ag-Park, with the existing one requiring 7 laps for a one-mile walk.  For the current planned extension, he discussed adding to the existing trail, by scooping out the trail to the South corner and for now filling with gravel.  To fund, plans are for a BBQ in October perhaps raising $4 – $5K, and pursuing a grant.  A potential partner on grants would be the Lions Club with monuments for veterans along the trail.  County Executive Melissa Greene mentioned that the Health Department had been most helpful in applying for some previous grants and mentioned a previous grant for benches at the Park.  A memorial trail for veterans was also discussed with the potential for an individual tree for a veteran.  Bennie also suggested some covered spaces with a bench would be appropriate.  When asked by Commissioner Worsham about the water problem near the potential track, Bennie responded with “would just need to raise the path a little bit”. With no further discussion, the meeting moved to the next item.

Next Item for discussion – A Farmers’ Market.  Ms. Allison Neal, Forever in Faith Farm, and Mr. Matt Moore, Aspen Hill Growers, discussed a potential farmers’ market to be located at the Ag-Park. Areas of discussion:  limited to home grown (Giles only, or surrounding counties too, or additional Tennessee counties) (produce only, crafts {handmade only}, meats); application with required permits/certificates.  When would it start?  Possibly June due to local growing season.  Question about competition with the Saturday Farmers Market on the Pulaski Square (hold on Tuesday, or Wednesday so as to allow same vendors to be on square on Saturday); planned Bodenham market (per Diana Steelman, not set in stone just yet).  Questions about electricity would vary with many bringing their own generators (or coolers for refrigeration), although per Bennie could set up closer to power.  Hours, acceptable to Bennie who closes the park after events, would be 7 to 7.  Cleaning would be the responsibility of the vendors.  County Executive asked about insurance and asked for one point of contact.     Commissioner Duane Jones suggested Ms. Neal and Mr. Matt Moore form an organization, establish rules, e.g. insurance, officers, and that organization would ask for and be responsible for the use of the Ag-Park.  Jason Doggett suggested that the only motion needed would be to determine if the county would waive the $250 for use of the Ag-Park, and charge a fee instead.   A motion by Rodney and seconded by Bennie to accept a signed agreement from the organization and the county would waive the $250 fee and instead charge a $5 fee for each vendor.  Motion approved.

Next Item – Need for a dumpster for Ag-Park use.  Bennie mentioned that the convenience center located nearby is not always open when needed.  Funding source of $7386 was identified as coming from the General Fund Balance and would require to come before the Budget Committee.  A motion by Bennie and seconded by Rodney was made and was approved to purchase the dumpster (description, funds required and other info shown on previously provided handout).

Next Item – Security Cameras.  Commissioner Gayle Jones discussed the need for the cameras based on the investment in the Ag-Park, and the fact that the cameras would discourage vandalism.  Chairman Witt said would need a quote and County Executive said she had walked the property but did not yet have a quote with the goal of 6 outside and 1 inside.  Bennie said he had not experienced any vandalism and thought the money could be used more effectively for other projects.  A motion by Bennie, seconded by Rodney, was made to postpose any decision at this time.  Motion approved.

Next Item – Gift of 50’ metal poles from the Rotary or Soccer Park.  Pole movement to Ag-Park was discussed, but with the poles being in sections, the discussion moved to the Highway Department helping with the move.  A motion by Rodney and seconded by Larry to accept this gift was made and approved.  No date to do the movement was made at the time.

Old Business/New Business

The subject on using some of the Ag-Park land for a new ambulance service location was raised based on a previous discussion in another committee.  On being asked how much land would be required, County Executive said approximately 5 acres.  Chairman Witt noted that the Ag-Park is about 40 acres with Bennie saying 45-46 acres.  Questions about another entrance, and traffic flow from events at the park, as well as the long-term plan for the park were raised and discussed.  Duane said that now, it is just a suggestion.

County Executive gave an update on the new shelter with the information that an RFQ resulted in zero responses.  On discussion with some of the potential responders, their reasons for not responding were their heavy workload at this time.  Rodney mentioned the engineer working for the county on the courthouse and could that be discussed with them.  The County Executive said that she is reaching out to some known engineers.

Rodney moved for adjournment.  Duane seconded.  Motion approved.

ATTENDEES:  Committee member attendees – Chairperson George Witt, County Executive Melissa Greene Commissioner members Terry Harwell, Rodney Journey, Joyce Woodard, Larry Worsham, David Wamble (absent) Other members Benny Birdsong, Jason Doggett, Mayor Pat Ford (absent) Pete Britton (absent)/ Other Attendees Commissioners – David Adams, Rose Brown, Stoney Jackson, Duane Jones, Gayle Jones, Tommy Pollard, Roger Reedy, Joseph Sutton/ Other Allison Neal, Matt Moore, Diana Steelman, Bill Young, Ann Basinger, Scott Stewart