The city of Benham will soon be instituting “Project Help,” a program designed to help raise funds for the city on a purely volunteer basis. Council member Patsy McKechnie brought the subject up to the council, asking for their support during a meeting on Thursday.
“I would like the council to give me support on Project Help,” McKechnie said.
McKechnie reiterated her plan, which she has brought up in previous meetings.
“My idea is to give the residents an opportunity to give extra change…with 320 residents donating even $2 a month on their utility bill — and you could write that in, it’s not anything you have to do — we can help ourselves,” McKechnie said.
McKechnie pointed out that if all 320 households in Benham donated $2, that would give the city over $600 to utilize for the city.
Mayor Wanda Humphry clarified that this money would not be required, and participation in the program would be completely voluntary.
“It’s a choice,” said McKechnie. “But it would help…and we’d have some money given without beating anybody over the head. It’s your choice to help Benham. After all, we live here. This is home. And I think if we got together and talked about it, I think it would work. I really do. We need the money.”
McKechnie suggested putting an option on the city’s utility bills to give customers the option of donating.
“Do you like the idea or no?” McKechnie asked the council. “I would like to see it happen. We get the people interested in helping our town. It’s their town too.”
After some discussion ensuring council the project would be completely voluntary, the panel gave their approval for the project to begin.
City Clerk Jessica Smith said the city would include a note when utility bills were sent explaining what the project is and giving customers the opportunity to donate if they wished.
In other council activity:
• The council discussed an issue of an infestation of some rental property causing a problem with rats and roaches for some city residents;
• The council heard an update on the status of the refurbishment of the old clinic building;
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde