Joe P. Asher
The first Benham City Council meeting since the resignation of the former mayor focused on routine city matters without much mention of the previous meeting’s controversy.
Mayor Shirley Dodd addressed her previous position as council member.
“It’s my understanding that when I accepted the position (as mayor) that my council seat’s automatically open,” said Dodd. “But I did write a resignation.”
The council accepted Dodd’s resignation as council member.
The panel got the first view of a sign which had been acquired to reflect the recent renaming of the former Coal Miner’s Memorial Theater to the Coal Miner’s Memorial Betty Howard Theater.
“The theater sign — I’ve got that made — and it’s ready to be put up,” said Dodd. “I took the old sign and told them to make it the same size.”
“When is this going to be presented?” asked council member George Massey, who has been an advocate of renaming the theater in honor of the former mayor.
An unidentified audience member informed the council Howard was ill and would not be able to attend any presentation in the near future.
Dodd asked the council if they would prefer to wait until Howard could be present to install the sign or go ahead and install the sign and hold a ceremony at a later date.
The council decided in favor of installing the sign immediately and having a ceremony at a later time.
The panel approved the use of coal severance tax money to repair the roof on the theater.
“This was the $50,000, the house bill 265 special money. It can be used for things like that,” said Dodd.
Dodd advised the council the city had a maintenance truck in need of repair that could be paid for out of the same fund.
“The maintenance truck needs a lot of work,” said Dodd. “This is an estimate on the truck, it’s $1,575. We can use some of that money for that if you all want to do that.”
It was suggested the city may be able to purchase a truck at state auction for less than the repair cost.
The panel decided to table the issue in order to check into purchasing a truck at auction.
In other council activity:
* Dodd advised the signs had been made for the bicycle trail through Benham that is part of the Trail Town project;
* Dodd advised the council she will not accept any pay for serving as mayor.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510 or email@example.com