John Willoughby: Greene Publishing, Inc.
Some new exciting things were shared, proclaimed and discussed during the Town of Lee's regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, June 5. Will the Town of Lee see an old business return and will they have another annual event for the people of the community? Only time can tell, but by the agreement of the council, it sounds like there will be new happenings in the Town of Lee pretty soon.
Toward the beginning of the meeting, an annual audit report was completed for review by the Town of Lee Council. According to the auditor, the Town of Lee is "in a good financial spot" and if the Council chooses to do so, has an approximate one-year excess that can be used to pay off loans or begin projects, whatever their choice may be. "That's pretty exceptional," said the auditor.
Madison County Veterans Service Coordinator Oliver Bradley was in attendance to help proclaim the Town of Lee as a Purple Heart community. As stated in the proclamation, the people of the Town of Lee have great admiration and the utmost gratitude for all the men and women who have selflessly served their country and this community in the Armed Forces.
"The Purple Heart was the first American service award or decoration made available to the common soldier and is specifically awarded to members of the United States Armed Forces who have been wounded or paid the ultimate sacrifice in combat with a declared enemy of the United States of America," the proclamation stated.
Bradley stated that he is working with County Coordinator Brian Kauffman on getting a sign put up on the west and east side of Madison County, letting travelers and citizens alike who cross the county border know that Madison County is a designated Purple Heart County. "It's a great honor to honor all of our veterans, especially those who are recipients of the Purple Heart," said Bradley.
Asking for the use of the field behind Town of Lee's City Hall, Frank Premorel, of Lee, came before the board in regards to organizing the first "Car Show for Kids." Premorel stated that the event will include cars, hot rods, drag cars, race cars, etc., hopefully sparking interest in participation from certain surrounding communities. "There ain't a whole lot for kids to see and do in Madison [County]," said Premorel. "If they see certain different stuff out there, maybe it will make it to where they'll have a project with their family."
Premorel continued to state that he will be paying expenses out of pocket and expects 50 to 60 vehicles for the show, possibly more, with food vendors for refreshments. Premorel also considered turning the event into a yearly thing. "It's just something I want to do," said Premorel.
The idea seemed to sit well with the Council. Dianne Beck stated that she would like to keep costs down and Mayor Eddie Bell stated that the Town waives event fees for the steam engine show to try and get events back into the community. "I'm gonna come back another time and talk about that too," said Premorel. "When was the last time we had Lee Day? I don't mind taking that role on, either."
Beck made a motion to allow the event to take place on Saturday, July 14, and that the Town of Lee waive the event fee. McMullen seconded and the motion carried, 5-0.
Mike Mosher approached the council for the purpose of bringing back Mike and Candy's Taekwondo, a martial arts class, to the Town of Lee and Madison County community. The main request from the Council was asking permission to use the gymnasium at the old Lee school.
Mosher, a 28 year resident of Lee and a Vietnam veteran, once taught martial arts at the Lee United Methodist Church for four years to anyone from the age of six to "I don't care how old you are," said Mosher. He also stated that he was not coming back for the money. "I do it to give the kids something to do, and that's why I'm doing this. They loved it before. At one time, I had over 42 students of many ages. Even Rev. Quackenbush was one of my students. I did whatever it took to get them in to give [kids] something to do other than walk streets or get in trouble. I teach respect [and] non-violence." Mosher continued to state that he is covered under insurance.
As far as rental of the gym, Mosher is looking to rent the gym for two classes per week. Bell stated that the current tenants are billed $100 per week. Considering that Mosher is starting up again from scratch, "I don't know if that's a feasible number to charge someone that's trying to do something for our community," said Mayor Bell. Beck brought up the idea of drafting a small agreement and reconsidering rental fees after a year of seeing how well the agreement and the business is going in a month or two.
Classes will be two hours with a set schedule, and anyone under the age of 18 must have a parent or guardian with them at all times. "I will not teach a kid by themselves, no matter where they're at," said Mosher. Currently, there is open enrollment. Robinson made a motion to approve the use of the gym for $200 per month, with reconsideration after one year. Shirley vonRoden seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Acting Lee Community Volunteer Fire Department Fire Chief Leroy Rutherford gave a brief rundown of the fire services for the month of May. As far as what has happened, there have been two medical calls, one brush fire, two vehicle accidents, four structure fires and one power utility issue. Rutherford also announced that there was a training function on Saturday, June 2. 13 individuals signed up for the class and 11 completed the class.
Rutherford continued that there needs to be a workshop with the assistance of the town manager and a council member. "I'm getting some information from the fire college. We are going to be inspected at the end of the year. We've got to come up with some protocols [and] some guidelines. We're gonna have to give them a count on water source availability and flow rates. I'm not sure how to go about that."
The next regularly scheduled meeting will take place on Tuesday, July 3, beginning at 7 p.m. The Town of Lee City Hall is located at 286 County Road 255, in Lee.