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Banfill Cemetery deeded to City of Bonifay

By Cecilia Spears
Published: Tuesday, October 15, 2013 at 11:55 AM.

BONIFAY — Grant Writer Bob Jones informed the Bonifay City Council during their city council meeting Monday that land owner Roger Williams was deeding Banfill Cemetery to the City of Bonifay.

“Banfill Cemetery, which has been neglected for years, can be cleaned up, revitalized and maintained by the city from then on,” said Jones. According to the City of Bonifay website, G. W. Banfill surveyed one square mile, platted the town on a map in 1886 and named the streets after the states, though he named main street after his hometown, Waukesha, Wisconsin.

“He was responsible for building the Hotel Eureka and was said to be buried next to his mule and cat,” Jones said.

The council approved holding Trick-or-Treat for the City of Bonifay from 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.

The council also approved of the request from Bonifay First United Methodist Church to close Virginia Avenue from Oklahoma Street to Varner Street so they can hold their annual Light the Night Celebration from 4:30 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31.

“Light the Night will be using the parking lot for truck or treat and games,” wrote Children’s Ministry Director Verna Roberts. “Hot dogs and lemonade will be served on Virginia Avenue necessitating closure of the street. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.”

The council held the final reading and approved of Ordinance 387 to renew Gulf Power’s franchise agreement with the City of Bonifay with a vote of 3 to 1 due to the absence of Council Member Micah McCormick with Council Member Roger Brooks voting “no.”

“I voted no because 30 years ago this agreement was discussed, we had workshops and we were able to voice issues and ask questions,” said Brooks. “Now it’s like they just dropped it off and they won’t even give us the time of day. There’s still things we could be potentially penalized for, such as not having a service truck available in the case of an emergency, plus they’re renewing five years early and a lot can happen in five years.”

Mayor Lawrence Cloud explained that he did request that a representative be present for any potential questions but said he was rejected, saying that they told him the matter could only be discussed between the city’s lawyer and Gulf Power’s lawyer.

Resident and business owner of Doc’s Market Chuck Dockery said he was thinking of repaving his parking lot but he had issue with large amounts of long standing water on the corner of his property, which is the corner of Sand Path Road and McKinnon.

Public Works Supervisor Jack Marell said plans were already underway to put in culverts under McKinnon, which tied in with Council approving to authorize a change order to allow Rural America, Inc. to repave Mathushek Road and McKinnon Road for between $40,000 and $50,000, which excludes the mobilization fees since they are already in the area.

Brooks wanted to commend the City of Bonifay’s new Facebook page.

“They’ve got quite a few hits today,” said Brooks. “It’s a very good project and looks good for the city to be branching out this way.”

City Clerk Jeri Gibson read two letters, one sent by the Holmes County Public Library and the other from Bonifay Middle School Theater and Show Choir.

“Holmes County Public Library will celebrate its 40th anniversary on Dec. 12,” read Gibson. “At this time we will be closing the Florida Viva 500 historic capsule to be opened in 10 years. If you have any 2013 happenings of interest for your school that you’d like to place in the capsule, please contact Ann Leavins or Susan Harris to give us your information.”

The number for the Holmes County Public Library is 547-3573.

“The state is set to develop a tremendous performing arts program here at Bonifay Middle School,” read Gibson. “In addition to the excellent band that has been constant in our community, students now have opportunities in theatre and show choir. To further the expansion of these new programs we are seeking your support by asking you for donations, either monetary or material and in appreciation of your contribution you will receive free tickets for the BMS performance of your choice during the school year and your name or business name will appear in all programs for the school year.”

The latest upcoming production is The Jungle Book and they list needed items as 2x2 and 2x4 lumber, 8-10 casters, canvas, tulle and any fabric in bulk and paint in colors black, white, brown, dark green, light green and light brown.

“Please feel free to contact me at 547-2754 or at cookj@hdsb.org if you have any questions,” wrote Director of BMS Theatre and Show Choir. “Thank you for your support of the performing arts at Bonifay Middle School. On with the show.”

The next meeting of the Bonifay City Council is set for 6 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the Bonifay City Hall.