Celina vying for downtown revitalization grant money

By THOMAS P. WEAVER, HORIZON Editor

CELINA-The local board of mayor and alderman approved a resolution to apply for a state-funded “downtown revitalization” grant at their first meeting held here early last month, and they also dealt with several other issues before the meeting adjourned.

“The state will choose 15 cities (to receive this money),” mayor Willie Kerr told the HORIZON Monday, “and we hope to be one of them.

“We all know we need to improve the looks of our town and this grant will be another step in the right direction.”

Kerr said the $15,000 grant “wouldn’t be a tremendous amount,” but he explained “every little bit helps.”

The grant, paired with future plans of constructing the new city hall just off the square in the downtown area–which the council voted to build in their final meeting of 2009, could be a welcomed addition as the city works towards the mayor-described “right direction.”

In other business, the council:

• approved the contract extension with Clay County to provide ambulance service to the county through July 1, 2011,

• approved a motion to build a “one-story” city hall building, and

• approved a motion to place “any topic discussions brought up for a vote in city council meetings” on the agenda 48 hours prior to the next meeting, “excluding emergencies.”

Mayor Kerr also appointed alderman Donald Haston, alderman Joey Locke, James Hamilton, and Joyce Strong to serve on the city’s ambulance service committee–which will be required to meet monthly.

Haston also brought up the topic of zoning during the meeting.

The city currently has no zoning laws and Haston inquired if the city had plans “to put in place zoning requirements,” which would include the appointment of a zoning officer.

After discussing the matter, the council decided to place the issue on the February meeting’s agenda.

Final discussion included an inquiry by residents about “the progress of the Clifton Rich Road” water project.

Minutes from the meeting said residents “were told the paperwork has been turned in regarding the environmental survey” and the city was “awaiting a release from Rural Development’s Jerry Jolley in order to be able to request bids” for the project.

Beer board meet held

Prior to the council’s January meeting, mayor Kerr appointed aldermen Donnie Long, Locke, and Haston as the new members of the city’s beer board in the board’s first meeting of the new year.

The appointments were confirmed and the approval of a beer permit for Houchens Tobacco Shop, located here next to Save-A-Lot, was made as the first business dealt with by the new board members.