By Lee Weyhrich
Much of the discussion at the May 7 meeting of the Pinson City Council revolved around parks and recreation.
Mike Sullivan has been named Pinson’s new director of parks and recreation. According to Mayor Hoyt Sanders, the new director has many years of experience and certification for maintaining aquatic attractions. The council authorized the purchase of a new Dodge truck and a used EZ-Go utility vehicle for Sullivan’s use on the job.
The Lane-Palmer house, currently located at the site of the new Pinson park, may have a second chance at life. The council voted earlier this year to demolish the house, but a company has offered to buy it from the city and restore it at a different site within the city limits. The council voted unanimously to declare the house surplus and open the removal of the house up for bids.
The council voted unanimously to end the city contract with Pinson Valley Youth Association. The split was an amicable one prompted not only by the hiring of the new park director, but also by changes in the program’s dynamics.
Volunteerism has been on a steady decline, said PVYA President Tammy Hogan, and Pinson was one of the few municipalities still relying on volunteers to maintain ballparks rather than handling those responsibilities in house.
“People are overwhelmed with responsibilities and adding one more thing to (those) just can’t happen anymore,” she said. “And the cost of upkeep has also exceed the money earned from signup.”
The council voted to bring most park duties in-house, though volunteers will still be needed from time to time. The changes will take full effect July 7.
In other matters:
The council voted to convert the brick building behind the Rock School into a secure garage area with basic climate control, three roll-up doors with electric openers and space for storage. The building was previously set up as classrooms and will require extensive renovations.
The council made a temporary change in the city’s contract with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department following the retirement of one of the city’s four contract deputies. Rather than hire a replacement, the city will continue with three deputies for the remainder of the contract term. Schedules will be shifted to effect little change in police presence. The change will save the municipality more than $7,000 per month until the contract expires at the end of November. Sanders said a fourth police officer could be rehired at a later time.
Pinson recently welcomed another 18 homes into the city limits through annexation, including two homes in Astro World, four in the Willow Ridge area, two in Sleepy Hollow, two in the Mountain View Park area, and eight others scattered throughout the area.
Pinson Valley High School student Jaime Lambert was recognized for winning a design contest to create a logo for city trashcans. A version of her logo can now be found on all of the new trash receptacles in the city.
The farmers’ market is hoping to return May 15, Sanders reported. Hours will be from 2 p.m. until at least 5 p.m.