By Cheryl Splain, KnoxPages.com reporter
MOUNT VERNON — City Council members passed a resolution Monday night allowing Scouts to tent camp at Ariel-Foundation Park during Scoutfest 2016 and killed an ordinance dealing with tent camping in city parks.
At their April 11 meeting, council members gave a first reading to an ordinance allowing tent camping in Ariel-Foundation Park only. Council members requested the ordinance be amended to clarify details; that ordinance, with the amendments, was on Monday’s agenda for a second reading. Council voted to postpone the ordinance indefinitely, effectively killing the ordinance.
Instead, council adopted a resolution authorizing the Scouts to tent camp on a one-time basis, allowing council to fulfill its blessing given last fall for the Scouting event. Council will ultimately approve future requests for group tent camping at Ariel-Foundation Park.
Rob Broeren, city law director, told council that the administration and the Ariel-Foundation Park Conservancy are still hammering out a lease agreement. The discussion includes who has the authority to authorize events held in the park. The conservancy has exclusive control over some sections of the park, as does the city; other sections are under joint control.
“Any group would come to one or both of us and then we would have to agree as to how we are going to go forward,” he said. “If there’s an agreement between the administration and the conservancy, at that point it would come to council.”
Large groups such as the Scouts would need the entire park, which is why the administration and the Ariel-Foundation Park Conservancy will need to agree, he added.
In other business, council adopted legislation allowing the safety-service director to advertise for bids for the Vernonview Drive/Beech Street sidewalk project. The project is funded through a Community Development Block Grant. The sidewalk will extend from Vernonview Drive north of the Kroger Co. and along the north side of Beech Street toward Sychar Road.
Waiving the required three readings, council passed an ordinance setting the compensation for seasonal personnel in the parks, streets, cemetery and water/wastewater department at $8.10 per hour. Crew leaders will receive $8.60 per hour.
Council also approved the appointment of Michael Percy to the Board of Zoning Appeals and Todd Burson as alternate. Julie Miller, Knox County health commissioner, updated council members on 2015 fourth-quarter statistics and other activities of the health department.
Joel Daniels, safety-service director reported the following to council:
- Arbor Day Friday 4/29, 2 pm Pleasant St elementary
- City is in the process of developing a city Facebook page
- 5/2-5/7 city cleanup week, $10 residents, rest city pays
- successfully completed the pump repair and well is at full capacity again. No boil advisory, okay to use water although hopefully will still conserve
Council member Susan Kahrl is recruiting volunteers to work in Schnormeier Event Center and Clockhouse at AF Park
Council president Bruce Hawkins reminded those in attendance of the monthly "unofficial" meeting of some, not all, members of council and the public. The next such meeting is May 7 at 8:30 a.m. at Happy Bean coffee shop on South Main Street.
To watch the online video recording of Monday's meeting click here.