By John L. Ross
March 15 — that’s the deadline to submit an application to manage the city of Barbourville’s four recreational parks.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Barbourville City Council Thursday, one new business item on the agenda included planning a special-called meeting of the full council.
That meeting, according to Mayor David Thompson, is “to hire a water park and ball park manager.”
He explained that once the application deadline hits, all potential applicants will be submitted to the personnel committee of the council. That committee will review the applicants, and submit to the full council its recommendation.
Council member Gary Williams motioned to approve the personnel committee meet Tuesday, March 19.
Their decision will then go before the full council 6 p.m. Thursday, March 21.
Council member Wilma Barnes seconded that motion, and council members were unanimous in their decision.
On Feb. 21, council members held a special-called meeting to discuss the city’s four recreational parks — Thompson Park, the Barbourville Water Park, the ball park on Hinkle Street, and another ball field.
During that meeting, Thompson discussed the basic history of management at the parks. After a lengthy discussion, it was decided by council to change the management of the parks.
Council member Ronnie Moore made the motion that operation of the concession stands at the city park and the water park not be bid out to subcontractors. He continued with his motion, saying that instead, the city should hire an employee to operate the concessions — then all profits at the concession stands will be profit for the city.
Williams asked Moore in February if he meant one or two different people for each concession area.
Moore said then that part did not matter, saying council could get “one to run them all, or 10 to run them all.”
Council member Gerald Hyde seconded that motion. Council members were unanimous in their decision.
Moore followed that with a second motion — to hire a water park manager as a city employee, and one of that person’s responsibilities would be to oversee the management of the concession stands.
Williams questioned whether the duties of the concession manager and the water park manager would overlap, but Moore clarified the water park manager would be “over” the concession stand employee(s). Williams then seconded that motion. Again, council members were unanimous in their decision.
In other council business:
— Corey Moren, code enforcement officer, discussed a garbage collection issue during his report to the city council.
“Folks are putting their garbage out (but) not in cans,” Moren said. “Mills (the collection agency) will not pick it up if it’s not in cans.”
He explained they are tackling this issue “on a case by case basis.”
“It’s a nasty mess,” he said. “And it’s becoming more and more of a problem. (People) are not investing in garbage cans.”
Thompson explained “live-in” residents are allowed two cans a week, 16 cans a month.
Barnes commented that the collectors “treat the cans rough,” adding she requested two of her own cans be replaced.
Thompson explained the growing severity of the problem.
“There are five or six spots where dogs or other animals are getting into the bags and even spreading it on the street sometimes,” he said.
“We’re trying to get it stopped,” Moren said.
No decisions were required by council on this matter.
— Denise Wainscott, Barbourville tourism director, announced something new for the city.
On May 31 and June 1, Barbourville will host the first annual Barbecue Competition.
“This is open to anyone,” Wainscott said. “Whether you have a $10 grill or a $10,000 (grill), we want everyone to participate.”
A grand champion will be announced, and that champion will have to defend his or her title at next year’s Barbecue Competition.
She explained there are several categories, and that some sponsors are already lined up.
Rules and setup requirements will be announced “in the coming days,” Wainscott said.
For more information about this upcoming event, contact Wainscott at the tourism office at 606-545-9674.
— A new member was added to the city’s recreation board Thursday. Council members unanimously approved the addition of Jason Smith to the board.
Council member Darren West motioned to approve, with a second from Barnes.
—Josh Callihan, general manager of Barbourville Utilities, reported the Army Corp of Engineers will inspect the city’s flood wall in April.
“It’s in great shape,” Callihan said. “For years and years it’s been maintained.”
He added that the flood wall is considered “the best in the Cumberland River region.”
No council action was required.