VERNON — The Vernon City Council learned the Garden Club will be receiving a $100,000 highway beautification grant and welcomed two new council members on Monday.


VERNON — The Vernon City Council learned the Garden Club will be receiving a $100,000 highway beautification grant and welcomed two new council members on Monday.



Pam Cates shared a letter she had received from the Florida Highway Beautification Council notifying her that the Vernon Garden Club had received a $100,000 grant for a beautification project along Highway 79.



“You may remember, I came before the council a few months ago asking for permission to apply for this project,” Cates said. “I was thrilled to find out that our project was accepted.”



The Vernon Garden Club was one of 30 applicants for the grant, Cates said. The project will include irrigation and landscaping work from Creek Road south to Pompei Street, Cates said.



The beautification project is meant to go along with the planned widening of Highway 79, and Cates said she hopes the new highway plans include a median.



The grant requires that the plans for the project be complete and required agreements executed within one year.



The council also welcomed two new members as Shawn Sanders and Tray Hawkins were sworn in to their offices on Monday. Council President Tina Sloan was also re-elected in the March 12 city election, as was Mayor Michelle Cook, who was unchallenged.



Sloan was re-elected to the city council by 52 votes, coming in first in the citywide election results and securing a two-year term on the council.



Shawn Sanders earned 46 votes, which also got him a two-year term as councilman.



John W. “Tray” Hawkins III came in third with 42 votes, which means he’ll serve a one-year term. Hawkins previously served on the Vernon council.



In other business, the council also re-appointed Sloan as president and member Joey Brock as vice-president.



The council approved the use of the community center on May 4 for the Miss Vernon Pageant and approved the use of the community center on May 30 for Project Graduation.



The council also set the date of the Miss Firecracker Pageant, which will be held on June 29.