AG-PARK COMMITTEE MEETING MINUTES
19 MAY 2022
Chairman George Witt opened the meeting asking Benny Birdsong to offer a prayer and lead the pledge. Minutes of 22 April 2022 were moved for approval by Commissioner Rodney Journey, seconded by Commissioner Terry Harwell and were approved.
First Agenda Item – The Community Health Grant. This grant addresses obesity, is due 30 May 2022 and must be completed by 30 June 2023. County Executive Melissa Greene thanked Savannah Jenkins, NHC, who brought the $250K grant to the attention of the county and has already done 99% preparation of the work for the grant. A handout showing the Ag-Park master plan was provided, showing a potential extension of the existing walking trail and a location for a pavilion. The current walking trail is approximately 750 ft, with the proposed extension providing a one-mile trail, and with a pavilion included. Since the county’s Highway Department initiated the first part of the trail, they had been included in a previous meeting. Commissioner Journey asked if there would be a cash match, and County Executive answered no. Bennie Birdsong moved for approval to apply for the grant, with Commissioner David Wamble seconding. Motion approved. Discussion followed: which should be built first, pavilion or trail; enough funding to do asphalt on the trail and why use asphalt (Barry answered that the trail would have to accommodate equipment being moved on the trail); Bennie had an estimate of $40K for an open air pavilion with the trail coming through that pavilion; Savannah said the pavilion is a major integer of the plan, with accessibility being addressed and the different users, e.g. a farmers’ market and various groups in fitness programs. Commissioner Mike Cesarini asked if the county provided funding, possibly a 15% match, would that help in being selected. Savannah said might set the grant apart from others. Savannah also mentioned the current Farmers’ Market that is on the Pulaski Square one day a week, and this proposed market would reduce some drive time into town to buy produce at stores. Those stores do not typically have fresh produce or locally grown as this proposed market would. Savannah also mentioned for the grant, it would show multi use as well as support existing programs. Bennie described part of the proposed trail as perhaps taking advantage of some of the drive path where there is also grass along that path and he made the offer to have any commissioner, that wanted, to visit and drive the proposed path. Commissioner Harwell moved that the pavilion be done first and the extension to the trail be done after the funding is available after cost of the pavilion is known. Commissioner Wamble seconded. Motion approved. Question of a bid for the pavilion was raised, and the County Executive said after approval and receipt of the grant funding of $250K, the bid process would be initiated.
Second Agenda Item – Purchase of cameras for the park. A handout from Preventia was provided, with the existing cameras that are connected mentioned as Preventia being the company that did that work and providing an estimate of $7,489. Cameras would be installed with 6 outside and 1 inside, and with an additional $8 per camera per month for the data service. That service is 24/7 and is cloud based. A question about being on all the time was raised by Commissioner Butler, or would it be motion activated. He also said that you could set thresholds which would be more effective than having any movement such as a leaf blowing set off the activation. County Executive Greene said she would check. Commissioner Joyce Woodard asked source of funding, and later mentioned the Hotel/Motel tax could probably be used. Since the Ag-Park budget is bare-bone, somewhere around $5K – $6K was mentioned by Bennie, this item can not be covered under the park budget. Joyce then asked about fund raisers, i.e. corporate signs on the fences. However, the hanging of signs on the fences brought up a discussion about the potential wind damage experienced in the past with signs on the fence. Commissioner Wamble asked why bring up the purchase of cameras at this time; has there been much experience in the past of theft/vandalism. Bennie said only one item in the whole time he has been at the park. Others answered that this is looking to the future, with more use of the park, e.g. farmers’ market, construction on the shelter, and others discussed insurance so as to not hold the county responsible if for example an injury might have occurred that was not the county’s fault. Commissioner Rodney Journey moved to send to the budget committee, Commissioner Terry Harwell seconded and motion was approved with Commissioner Wamble and Bennie Birdsong voting no. Commissioner Wamble explained that he would like to see other options, and County Executive Green said she would try to get multiple prices prior to the 30 June meeting of the full commission.
Third Agenda Item – Farmers’ Market. A flyer was provided to all with the request that it be posted by each attendee in a prominent place. From an earlier meeting, County Executive Greene noted that a $5 vendor fee had been approved. However, that raises problems for the county with no one entity being held responsible for the park, which is the more common approach. She suggested, after meeting with the Lions Club, that the park be rented to them, and they in turn charge the vendors and cover the market under their insurance policy. She also noted how helpful the Lions Club has been in the past supporting the park, and stressed her appreciation in helping Giles County grow. Questions about how much to charge the Lions Club, if at all, were asked. For instance, what are the county expenses for a farmers’ market, such as bathroom, utilities? County Executive Greene said the expenses should be minimum. Those bringing in frozen items would generally be responsible for keeping those items cold, and the bathroom expenses would be generally incorporated in all the usage of the bathrooms. Commissioner Judy Pruett stated that the county should make this as user friendly for the vendors, and the Chairman mentioned that in the earlier meeting there was to be a no-charge to allow them to get started. Commissioner Rose Brown noted that a monthly charge to the Lions Club would be appropriate. Final determination was made in a motion by Commissioner Rodney Journey and seconded by Terry Harwell that the Lions club be charged $50 a month for five months. Motion approved.
No old business. New business – County Executive Greene mentioned earlier litter grant funding which could be used for purchasing benches to go along with the trail, with a sign showing Tn Department of Transportation. A question was raised by the Chairman on the need for more trash cans, which the County Executive said were really costly, more than a bench. She also had 200 bags which could be used during the farmers’ market, and the bags were part of the litter grant. Commissioner David Adams asked about the delivery date on the dumpster and would we pick it up. Answer – 5 – 6 weeks was last noted and yes, the county would have to pick it up.
Bennie mentioned another fund raiser, which was to be for a portion of the trail extension and if the grant was approved, the funds from this activity could go toward placing different items along the trail. He mentioned buying bricks and putting names on those bricks and selling.
Commissioners Terry Harwell and Rodney Journey moved, and seconded, for adjournment. 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 Other members Benny Birdsong, Jason Doggett (absent), Mayor Pat Ford (absent) Pete Britton (absent)/ Other Attendees Commissioners – David Adams, Rose Brown, Stoney Jackson, Duane Jones, Gayle Jones, Tommy Pollard, Roger Reedy, Mike Cesarini, Brad Butler, Judy Pruett/ Other Superintendent of Roads Barry Hyatt and Steve Kelley, Director UT Extension Giles County Kevin Rose, NHC Savannah Jenkins, Other members of the public