Pumpkin Show Dance to be held at Legion Park

Versailles Town pursues renovation at Tyson

Wanda English Burnett, Editor

Since purchasing the old Tyson School Gym, the Town of Versailles Council members have worked toward renovating the spacious gymnasium and converting it into a community center/town hall.
At the September meeting, discussion continued with engineer Jerry Firestone presenting an update to the project. This new plan would eliminate the proposed addition and put the restrooms in a different area.

The total construction cost including contingency costs is now under $1 million. “I hope we’re getting this more in line where the board is comfortable with it,” Firestone told council members. The cost was down a half million dollars from previous quotes.

President John Holzer said he had several inquires about the progress on the project. He said he explained it was a money issue.

Council member Dee Dee Benkie noted it would be January before possible stimulus/grant monies would be available. She noted it was “more of a long term project.”

It was also noted that those wanting to contribute to the renovation project can do so with the contributions being tax deductible.

The town has taken the approach to restore the historical building preserving its original design as much as possible. People interested in getting involved in the plans for the renovation project are encouraged to call the town hall.

The Tyson Gym which has been the place for the Saturday night Pumpkin Show Dance, will not be used this year due to the construction. It has been moved to the Versailles Legion Park at 9 p.m. Benkie said organizers of the event who resurrected the dance last year, wanted to continue the tradition. This year the dress code will be more casual, but the dance will be held.

The long discussed dilemma of the leaking courthouse clock was again discussed at the meeting. Holzer said it was an unusual situation with the town responsible for the clock, but it is housed in the tower of the courthouse, which is county property.

Holzer attended a commissioner meeting where he said the commissioners agreed to have a company come and look at repairing the clock. He also said the county would pay half the expense to have it repaired. He said one bid was $14,000.

Holzer said, “I’m in favor of keeping the clock, but the expense is so great.”

Commissioners thought the damage was caused by a storm and they might be able to get some FEMA money to repair it.

In other business:

• Residents were encouraged to keep their pets confined.

• The marshal, Joe Mann, was given permission to put a holding type kennel on town property to hold loose animals until the county dog warden could pick them up.

• The council accepted the 2010 final adoption of the budget as presented by Kiersten Libby, clerk-treasurer.

• 20 signs from the Versailles Historical Preservation group will be erected throughout the town as soon as brackets for installation are received.

• Superintendent Kevin Hensley reported the water plant was running smoothly; three lift station problems were fixed last month; storm drains were replaced; the new Bushhog works fine and has been used to clear the field by the new fire department building. He noted the town has worked on water lines at the new sports complex and has mowed the area several times.

Holzer noted that he was “really proud of the town employees.” He said, “We’ve got a lot to do, but everybody’s doing their job.”

Benkie agreed, saying, “We’ve got a good team.”

The council voted unanimously to take sealed bids from those interested in purchasing the old senior citizen building, which belongs to the town. They will advertise in the local newspaper and have the sealed bids be submitted to the town hall no later than noon on October 8.

Attorney Larry Eaton was given the nod to take action against properties that need to be cleaned up.
Marshal Mann submitted his report to the council which included 5 accidents investigated; 11 citations issued; 69 warnings given; 38 citizens assisted; 9 fight/battery calls; 2 theft investigations, among many other duties, bringing the total of police calls for the month of August to 238.

All board members were in attendance at the meeting along with clerk treasurer Kiersten Libby and attorney Larry Eaton to advise.

The next regular meeting of the Versailles Town Council will be October 8 at 7 p.m. at the town hall.