BONIFAY — The Bonifay City Council agreed to the contract terms between the city and the Bonifay Kiwanis Club for the use of Memorial Field on Monday, Sept. 9.
“We’ve negotiated a contract setting the amount given to the city per year at $6,000,” said City Attorney Lucas Taylor. “This is a five-year contract and at the end of the five-year contract it will be renegotiated at that time.” The terms and conditions of the contract were discussed and set during a workshop held on Aug. 29 after Assistant State Attorney Brandon Young came before the Bonifay City Council on behalf of the Kiwanis Club to renegotiate a 50-year contract between the city and the club during the city’s Aug. 12 meeting.
“There is a 50-year agreement between the Bonifay Kiwanis Club and the City of Bonifay for the use of Memorial Field that was renewed in 1995,” said Young. “Before the Kiwanis Club would receive numerous bills to pay various people for jobs and this contract was arranged between the club and the city so that the club would pay one lump sum to the city to cover all the expenses associated with using Memorial Field for two events.”
The original contract was for $5,000, but Young attested that this was for the cost of two events, now that someone else was managing the All Night Sing, the Kiwanis Club only had one yearly event. Young said he had factored in cost of living increases and costs for increased law enforcement and negotiations lead to the amount of $6,000 per year.
The council also approved of the Capital Improvement Plan presented by Grant Writer Bob Jones.
“We needed it for the new park project as well as just the required periodical update,” said Jones. “Right now it contains six future projects, which are the water and sewer expansion and replacement, the recreation Banifill Memorial Site for 2014-15, Middlebrooks Park improvements, water system upgrade, waste water treatment improvements and water system renovations phase three.”
Real Estate Agent Andy Gonsalves came before the Bonifay City Council to announce his intention of marketing his property to large companies and businesses.
“We’ve had Wal-Mart interested in building here and there seemed to be something between the city and the project that it never went through,” said Gonsalves. “I’m here because I think the best thing to do is come before the council and talk about it, that way if there’s any questions or concerns we can all be on the same page.”
Mayor Lawrence Cloud said that he was interested in seeing growth come to Bonifay.
“We’re all about growth and that would be considered a great asset,” said Cloud.
Gonsalves said that he was interested in looking into marketing to Cracker Barrel and a large RV Dealership.
He also said that the company building the subdivision on Griffith Circle was approved but because of the economy was unable to finish, so their companies are now collaborating to continue but that it would become a gated community.
“We’ll have all of the access codes given to city and county workers, since it is still a county maintained road,” said Gonsalves.
He said that he would be back as soon as he had an interested buyer.
“Beach Boy Reality has been serving the panhandle for over 31 years,” said Gonsalves. “Bonifay has over 18,000 vehicles traveling through a day and growing, it’s about time we grew to accommodate.”
Resident Jerry Cooley came before the council with an issue that he was having with his neighbor, Council Member Richard Woodham.
“Five years ago I talked with my neighbor, Mr. Woodham, about splitting surplus land,” said Cooley. “I thought that you had to notify adjoining landowners and give them a chance to have the land split. Woodham decided to keep the whole thing to himself.”
Taylor explained to him that it was presented to the council on Jan. 25, 2010, however the land was considered city property.
“Counties are bound by different policies on how they deal with land, however, as this is city property they have different rules and they don’t have to advertise and they don’t have to notify the public when dealing with their land,” said Taylor.
Cooley said that he understood but he felt betrayed.
“I wouldn’t have taken this so serious if I hadn’t talked with Woodham before hand about dividing that land,” said Cooley. “I believe in justice and I believe this was underhanded and dishonest.”
Woodham spoke up and said that he had given Cooley two years to make his decision and that Cooley had not made any attempt to get in contact with him in regards to those decisions.
In other business, the council agreed to have a demonstration be made of an excavator that the city may be interested in purchasing.
“We’ll be getting some Federal Emergency Management Agency money in and we’re going to want to be cleaning out some ditches, but we don’t have a machine to do that,” said Cloud. “I’ve been doing some research and Flint Equipment Company is willing to allow us to have a demonstration of their product before we decide to purchase it so that we know if it’s going to do the job.”
The council approved the parade permit for the upcoming Rodeo Parade to be held Friday, Oct. 4 and Saturday, Oct. 5.
Council Member Roger Brooks made a motion to accept a resolution agreeing to Gulf Power’s rise in rates, however it died due to lack of a second.
“We just want to be treated fairly,” said Brooks. “Every time we have a problem here it seems like we’re last on the priority list and we have to wait until a truck becomes available.”
Darrin Wall, Office Manager for Gulf Power in Chipley was present and Brooks asked him if there would be a service truck available for this area coming soon.
“We’re doing all we can to provide effective service to this area in a timely manner,” said Wall. “I can’t say anything for sure but we’re trying.”
Taylor informed the council that he was in touch with an attorney that would help in the City’s BP claim.
“This guy is paid contingent that we’re paid, so if we don’t get paid, he doesn’t either; but if he does it’ll be 25 percent of what we recover. BP’s not going to come in here without being asked and I just want to remind you this is a claim, not a lawsuit,” Taylor said.
The council also approved of Ordinance 386, which sets for the city’s budget to be approved at 6 p.m. on Sept. 23 at the Bonifay City Hall during their regularly scheduled meeting.