City Council approves Rotary Park project
by Dolores Hamilton
Rotary Park will soon get a facelift, thanks to a project being planned by Iowa Park High School senior Madison Yandell.
Monday night, Madison, a Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholar, was given approval by the city council for her project that entails making improvements at Rotary Park.
This is the same type project that IPHS graduate Molly Dutton accomplished at Foley Park two years ago. Madison is one of 10 students across the state, selected from 200 applicants, to be a Texas FFA Ford Leadership Scholar. This is a program through FFA that is endowed by Ford. In order to complete the program, she has to fund and implement a project within her community, and when it is completed, she will receive a $1,000 scholarship.
Madison said she chose Rotary Park for her project because there is a need for a nice park in the southwest part of town. “There isn’t a lot for kids to do or places to go,” she said.
Madison said the local FFA Chapter would help her with the project that includes landscaping, repair of playground equipment, baseball backstops, adding benches, picnic tables, trash cans, and possibly a soccer field.
When asked about financing the project, she said her estimated budget to do the project is $3,500. She was able to raise $1,500 by operating the cake walk at the Texas/Oklahoma Fair in September and Whoop-T-Do during homecoming. She will be able to sell items through the Athletic Booster Club and possibly receive funding from service organizations.
Madison was accompanied to the meeting by Cathy Smith with Smith’s Gardentown, who told the council, “We will help her with plants and give her a very good deal on plants for landscaping.”
The big work day for the project is November 10.
Other action taken during the meeting included rescinding the temporary restrictions for the use of combustible materials in an outdoor environment that were enacted in July. The county burn bas was lifted last week.
“We would like for people to still exercise common sense and use caution when they are welding or using outdoor cookers,” stated Mayor Dan Fears.
“After last year, if the citizens even smell smoke they call,” said Fire Chief Randy Fulbright, referring to the wildfires close to Iowa Park that did considerable damage last year. “Most people will be real careful about it, they realize how close they came last year.”
Because the council couldn’t give pay raises this year, they voted to give full time employees two additional paid holidays. They added the Friday after Thanksgiving and Presidents’ Day to the list of paid holidays.
The city’s Investment Policy for use by the staff in investing short and long term municipal funds was also approved by the council.
The city’s involvement in the cruise, tailgating competition and concert to be held in conjunction with the ParkFest event next spring was discussed. This is the third year the city has been involved.
It was determined that the police department would handle the cruise, the Library and PublicWorks/Public Utilities will oversee the tailgate cook-off competition, and the city staff will be in charge of the free concert.
The council agreed to close the 100 block of East Lafayette St. to through traffic on Saturday, Oct. 27, between the hours of 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. in conjunction with Faith Baptist Church’s Fall Festival event.