MASON — Officials were sworn in, signifying the beginning of a new term of office, when the Mason town council met Wednesday.
New council members Ron Heath and Becky Pearson, as well as returning Mayor Donna Dennis, Recorder Ciji Casto, and council members Ray Varian, Emily Henry and Marty Yeager, set meeting dates and received their committee appointments. The council will continue to meet on the first and third Thursdays at 6:30 p.m. Mayor Dennis appointed Pearson and Heath to the streets committee, Varian and Henry to the parks and recreation committee, Yeager to the dilapidated properties/building inspection committee, and herself as police commissioner.
The mayor listed accomplishments of the prior eight months, after she was appointed to office. Street paving, employee pay raises, and upcoming sidewalk, water and sewer projects were among them. She asked council for input on goals for the next two years, with suggestions including attracting new businesses and getting more dilapidated properties removed.
There was an inquiry as to zoning for business made during the meeting. Mayor Dennis said she will look into the matter further and get back with the representative wishing to establish either a restaurant or liquor store.
The council discussed a police officer who did not pass the physical agility test at the academy for a second time. He has been released from his duties at Mason. The mayor said the officer has been given the chance to try a third time at his own cost. The council will then have to decide if they want to hire him back if he passes.
Council member Henry discussed final plans for the Fourth of July celebration. She listed the games set for the park, as well as prize money. It was also decided the town would sponsor a float contest, with the prizes being $50 for first place; $30 for second; and $20 for third. She also discussed the possibility of having fireworks at the Harvest Festival in the fall, and asked that a date be chosen soon so preparations could get underway.
In other action, the council:
Granted a request, made by Sarah Stover on behalf of the Christian Brethren Church, that First Street between Center and Horton streets be closed from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on July 2 to allow for Vacation Bible School bounce houses;
Heard concerns from Toni Given about the large amount of stray cats on Fourth Street;
Received invitations to the opening of the Virgil A. Lewis Memorial Reading Park on Friday, July 10, 11 a.m., and the grand opening of Advance Auto on Thursday, July 16 at 11 a.m.;
Agreed to hire the same attorney and accountants for the sewer project as were hired for the water project;
Discussed the leash law and a pit bull that reportedly chased children and a separate family on Brown Street;
Discussed speeding 4-wheelers on Maple Street, Fourth Street, as well as other locations throughout town; and,
Approved minutes from the previous meeting and bills for payment.