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Hawkins City Council

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Do Citizens want Oil Derrick moved?
By JOHN SPARKS

"I ain't sayin' it don't need to be in the city, I'm sayin' it don't need to be in that park!" Earlene Maricle said she was speaking for "the city" as she threw down a petition with 123 signatures of those who are opposed to the oil derrick which had been erected in the downtown city park in October 2006.

Maricle expressed concern about children being tempted to climb the structure and the dangers of them falling or jumping to injuries, even death.

Earlier in the meeting the council voted to formally accept the donation of the derrick from the Greater Hawkins Veterans Memorial Association. That group had received the derrick from a couple near Mineola. Volunteers, under the direction of Bob Schneider, painted each individual strut. These were bolted together and the derrick was erected in time for last year's annual Oil Festival in October.

Mayor Sam Bradley said he had discussed the derrick with the city's attorney and the city's liability insurance carrier. Neither expressed particular concern about the derrick. He noted the significance of oil drilling to the city's history and councilman Dwayne Hickey said, "That history is why we have Exxon here today."

Two councilmen said the city's water tower poses the same kind of temptation and danger to children and teens. One even admitted he had been one of those who climbed the water tower as a high-schooler.

The council accepted submission of the petition and instructed the city secretary to check the signatures against the eligible voter list. The item will be placed on the agenda for next month's council meeting.

Maricle said the signatures were gathered in the Texaco convenience store (U.S. 80 at SH-14) where she works. She did not advise people that they needed to be eligible to vote in Hawkins city elections for their signature to be valid. At least two of the signers were noted to have given a Gilmer address.

In other action, the council approved:
- a travel policy reimbursement for employees at 40-cents per mile and meal expense of $40 per day. No dollar amount was assigned for hotel/motel expense.
- an ordinance establishing a water conservation and emergency demand management plan.
- the rehiring of Mike Maberry, as public works employee. Maberry had resigned in October.
- an agreement with Wood County accepting $31,514 for emergency and fire department services to citizens in the unincorporated county.
- designating January 21-27 as National Nurse Anesthethists week.
- acceptance of annual racial profiling report from the Hawkins Police Department.
- payment of more than $5,000 for easement and utilities expenses at new Fred's store.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Hawkins City Council will be held Tuesday, February 19 at 6 p.m. A special meeting of the council can be called with 72 hours public notice.

 

Last Updated on Friday, 01 May 2009 14:23  

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