AGRI-PARK COMMITTEE MINUTES – 1 October 2021 (unapproved)
Committee member attendees: Chairperson George Witt, County Executive Melissa Greene, Commissioners – Terry Harwell, Rodney Journey, David Wamble, Joyce Woodard and Larry Worsham Other members – Mayor Pat Ford, Benny Birdsong, Jason Doggett and absent Pete Britton. Other Attendees: Commissioners – David Adams, Harold Brooks, Rose Brown, Brad Butler, Mike Cesarini, Erin Curry, Stoney Jackson, Duane Jones, Gayle Jones, Tommy Pollard, Roger Reedy, Joseph Sutton, Other: Beth Moore-Sumners, Financial Management, Dr. Vicki Beard, School Superintendent, and Knox Vanderpool and Joe Parker, School Board, Scott Stewart Pulaski Citizen
Chairperson Witt called the meeting to order. Benny Birdsong led the prayer and pledge.
Last meeting minutes of 12 August 2021 were approved after a change noted by Joyce Woodard that the date shown on those minutes was 10 August. Motion for approval was made by Mayor Ford and seconded by Joyce Woodard.
First Agenda Item – Evergreen Expedition (This is a trail of Christmas trees and displays in Giles County’s Agri-Park). A handout was provided by County Executive Greene showing updated information from previous year handout. Melissa reiterated the timing that being Friday night on the 10th of December from 5pm until 9pm, Saturday, December 12th from 6 – 10pm, and Sunday, December 13th from 5-9pm. Again, keeping entry free, with suggested cost of $20 per each sponsored tree, with having 45 trees currently scheduled. A motion by Joyce Woodard and seconded by Larry Worsham to use $20 as the sponsor fee was made. After the following discussion, the motion was approved including timing. There were 600 cars last year that toured, with typically 3 – 4 people in each car. Question raised by David Wamble on how much is estimated as required for this year. Last year there was no cost other than electrical cost, with much of the sponsors providing items such as candy canes. This year the funding raised would be used for items such as candy canes (if not provided by others), and for gift cards given randomly to some selected number within the touring vehicles. Some discussion on asking for donations such as a food item, but Mayor Ford recommended this being a free activity, care should be taken showing not a necessity. Other questions about some inside activities or having a Santa Claus were discounted this year due to COVID concerns and with the comment perhaps next year. Other ideas considered but not in place this year: Angel tree (already available in several other places and timing not compatible between expedition and gift giving); and letter drop off. Melissa suggested to all commissioners if they wanted to set up a tree that would be welcomed as well. Also, that she would be looking for sign-up times from the commissioners to support this activity for the community. Melissa also mentioned the Chamber of Commerce (CoC), showing appreciation for their help in getting the word out last year, and she would check with them again on that, and on yard signs. Benny Birdsong mentioned a walk through on Saturday since at night passengers see only lights, generally, and the trees are decorated. Rodney suggested 1-3 for the walk through.
Second Agenda Item – Update on Here’s the Beef Festival and Chairman Witt asked Benny Birdsong to provide that update. Benny said approximately 7000 people attended and receipts totaled approximately $11K which was good compared to some previous activities. CoC asked for any ideas be emailed to them for the future. Chairman Witt noted some areas are potentially unsafe, the seating around the derby area, and that removal of those boards should be considered. Chairman also questioned whether there might be a grant to help with the funding.
Next Order of Business was to elect new slate of officers. David Wamble with Terry Harwell seconding moved that George Witt be elected chairman. Motion approved. Joyce Woodard moved with Rodney Journey seconding that David Wamble be elected Vice-Chairman. Motion approved. Rodney Journey moved and Terry Harwell seconded that Joyce Woodard by elected Secretary. Motion approved.
Old Business – Benny Birdsong mentioned the walking trail noting the pathway needs to be finished, either with crusher run, or other so that walking and or pushing strollers can navigate easier. Mike Cesarini mentioned another part of the county where a concrete pad is to be crushed and perhaps time both jobs at same time. However, Melissa mentioned the timing may not be similar and Mayor Ford mentioned there might be some environmental issues to be considered. Melissa said she would get in touch with the Highway Department for their expertise/support. Erin Curry brought up some nearby unsightly problems with items such as picnic tables and Benny said they could be moved, perhaps nearby the playground area. Melissa mentioned again that the county is pursuing a Blue Cross/Blue Shield grant which is for $750,000.
A motion by Rodney Journey and seconded by Larry Worsham to adjourn was approved.