By Alex Haglund
Deb Guest of the University of Illinois Washington County Extension office spoke to the Nashville City Council about putting new benches in on the sidewalks at the front of the Washington County Courthouse, and asked the city for financial support in doing so.
“The Nashville Eager Beavers 4-H Club, for the past two years, has been doing a plastic recycling project,” Guest stated. “We recycled all these lids, we hauled it all out to Evansville, Ind., and they used it to make the benches and the picnic table.”
Guest said that the plastic had gone towards an eight-foot bench now at the county fairgrounds, and a picnic table in Memorial Park in Nashville. The table was unfortunately vandalized, but was able to be repaired.
In front of the Courthouse, “we are proposing to put, at a minimum two, and possibly up to four six-foot benches in.” Guest said. She added, “the kids came up with this. This wasn’t my idea, this wasn’t Rhonda’s (Mueller, also of the county extension center) idea.”
Guest asked for the council’s approval in putting the benches in front of the courthouse and, if possible, a donation to help purchase the benches. While the Eager Beavers have enough plastic banked up for the benches (and more that they will soon be bringing to Evansville), they need approximately $224 per six-foot bench to have them made.
So far, after collecting donations at area businesses, they had enough to purchase one bench on their own.
Mayor Raymond Kolweier said that prior to Guest’s appearance at the meeting, he had spoken with County Board Chairman David Meyer. “I don’t think that there’s any objection to it from the county,” Kolweier stated.
“The club would love to be able to put four up there,” Guest said.
“I think it’s a great idea. I think the benches up there would look really great,” Police Chief Brian Fletcher said.
“In my opinion, if the kids buy one,” said council member Erik Rolf, “I don’t see why we can’t buy the other three.”
The benches would measure six feet long, weigh 185 pounds each, and are guaranteed for life. While the council did mention some concern about whether the benches would stand properly on the concrete pads already in front of the courthouse, the concerns were short-lived.
“So what if they don’t work out?” asked council member Josh Fark, “then we’ll find some other place to put them in the community.”
“And we would be fine with that too,” Guest told the council, who then approved the donation to pay for the rest of the benches. The 4-H Club will be planning on making a trip to Evansville on Friday, November 11, Veterans day, to pick the benches up.
Chief Fletcher told the council that the department’s four-wheel-drive vehicle, an old Jeep Cherokee, was slated to be sold at an auction being held on Saturday, October 22.
The Water Department is looking at purchasing a new SCADAR system (the computer that controls numerous water plant functions) in the not-too-distant future.
Middleton stated that he and a few other water department personnel were planning on making a trip to Fairfield soon to take a look at a system in use.
City Clerk Joyce Sheridan told the council that there would be no meetings of the zoning board of appeals or of the planning commission for the month of October.
The city approved a payment of $2,000 to help fund the Nashville Washington County Enterprise Zone for 2017. This is regularly just $1,500 per year, but with the recent successful reapplication for Enterprise Zone status, more expenses than normal have been incurred.
City Treasurer Rose Ann Hunter submitted her September report to the council. It was approved and filed for audit.
A representative of Colonial Life Insurance stopped in and requested an opportunity to meet with city employees about supplemental insurance that could be made available to them. Policies somewhat similar to this have been made available to employees from AFLAC and Liberty Insurance, which had Street Department Superintendent Rich Schuette and Fletcher tell the council they were not sure if there would be any interest in meeting with the Colonial Life representative. Middleton said that they would poll their employees and let Sheridan know if there was any interest.