The council last purchased wooden mulch in late 2011 and applied in early 2012. At that time, the street crew scraped all the mulch off the playground and applied two inches of mulch to the playground area, at a cost of approximately $5,000.
A motion from council member Clyde Nix to purchase another two inches of traditional mulch for approximately $5,000 failed.
Council member George Sides Jr. said the playground needed at least six inches of mulch, saying the playground was in the worst shape he’d ever seen.
“I hate to spend $5,000 now and come back next year and spend another $5,000 for another two inches,” Sides said.
Sides then made a motion to purchase four inches of a more permanent mulch made of rubber, which would not deteriorate and has a lifetime warranty. The cost for that mulch was approximately $20,000.
“That’s a lot of money,” Stephens said. “I’m always watching the money.”
He cited the unknown expenses facing the city for T.S. Boyd School, the armory and his hope to build a clubhouse at Horse Creek Golf Course.
Sides then proposed taking the money for the mulch out of the golf course’s fund, which he said has a current balance of approximately $300,000.
Stephens said he opposed taking the money from the golf course fund because of the planned clubhouse for the course.
That motion failed as well.
A final motion to purchase four inches of the rubber mulch from the general fund, made by Richard Lovelady, passed.
The council also discussed the city’s armory, which has fallen into disrepair. The city’s insurance carrier has ordered the city to repair the building or tear it down because it is unsafe for employees.
Stephens has a quote from a demolition company that would remove the building for $25,000. He strongly urged the council to consider removing the building and building a new shop building for the city’s street department and have enough money to work on the concession stand at the city park and other projects around the city.
Nix and Lovelady expressed an interest in exploring options to save the aging building, while Sides said he hated to lose the square footage of the current building.
“There is nothing wrong with the frame of that building ... it’s a good building,” Nix said. He asked to get a cost to save the main portion of the building.
No cost has yet been given for potential repairs to make the building safe for employees to occupy again. The council will continue to explore options for the armory.
In other business, the council:
•heard from Stephens that the city had not officially taken possession of the former T.S. Boyd School building due to scheduling conflicts between himself and the superintendent. Stephens said he hopes to be able to get the paperwork completed for the transition in the upcoming week.
•approved a new fireman and the purchase of one set of turnout gear and new pagers to replace several that were broken.