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Reece, Barry announce plans to leave city employment

Longtime city employee Larry Barry came before the council to announce his intent to resign following a round of medical problems. Barry has worked as the city mechanic for the last 23 ½ years, utilizing his own tools for the job. Barry stated that he was “thankful for the time I was with the city and I regret having to leave. I hope you will pray for me that I get better, and I will truly miss working.” After several words of praise for Barry’s excellent work, the council voted to accept his resignation.
During the approval of the consent calendar, Mayor Kevin Parsons explained that an emergency budget amendment in the amount of $5000 was made for the street department. The amendment was put into place in the possibility of further inclement weather to ensure that there would be funds for Public Works Director Bob Eller to utilize to purchase gravel and cover other expenses. Parsons went on to say that this is for emergency purposes and the money might not be used, in which case it would go back into unappropriated funds. The consent calendar was approved unanimously.
During his report Parsons revealed changes that he made to the new Mountain City Logo, which will make it more easily used in black and white. Following a brief discussion, Alderman Bob Morrison made a motion to approve the new seal for official use, which was passed unanimously.
Parsons also indicated his appreciation of Evelyn Cook for her dedication and service to the town of Mountain City and Johnson
County. Cook was a major force behind the establishment of Heritage Hall and has numerous accomplishments to her credit. Parsons suggested proclaiming March 1st Evelyn Cook Day in appreciation for her efforts. A reception will be held at 5:30 prior to the regular council meeting.
Parsons finished his report by announcing that the planning commission had met and that a surveyor is working on the issue of the doublewide home located on Ivy Street. As of now no legal action has been taken by the city.
Alderman Bob Morrison spoke enthusiastically about the recent opening of Big John’s Closeouts in town and urged town officials to formally welcome the business to the area.
Morrison also gave an update on the Willis Walker Living Memorial in Ralph Stout Park, commemorating the late alderman. The memorial will likely have a park bench installed and flowers and trees planted. There will also be a sign commemorating Walker. In relation to the park, Morrison also showed interest in placing signs indicating the general rules of the highly successful disc golf course that has been developed recently.
Alderman Lawrence Keeble brought up the subject of Brushy Fork
Environmental Consulting, which has generously donated thousands of dollars of time and labor to use in kind in a city roadscapes grant. In an effort to show appreciation for their work and to help defer some of the cost the council voted to pay the company $1000 for their services.
Vice Mayor Kenny Icenhour along with Alderman Keeble made a point of thanking Terry Reece for his long time service as the City Recorder. Reece formally announced his intent to retire at the meeting and Mayor Parsons expressed his regret at seeing him go citing the tremendous task of trying to find an individual to fill the position. Reece, who was grandfathered in, holds both the recorder and judge positions, which will now require two separate individuals.
Icenhour also made the point of calling to attention his appreciation of Animal Control Officer Gary Phillips, for the wonderful work he has done at the animal shelter. The shelter has recently seen the addition of new kennels and improvements to the flooring. Icenhour said he is “proud of Gary’s work and I know he works hard and is proud of his job.”
Icenhour concluded by relating his concerns about citizens using
Lefler Street, a side road off Shoun Street, to get around the traffic light at the bridgework on Highway 67. Lefler is a one-way street that is only connected through a private driveway. Icenhour stated that a dead end sign is now in place and the owner of the property has been using a rope across the road to prevent motorists from using his private driveway. Alderman Keeble asked about the legal ramifications for individuals still using the route to bypass the light. Police Chief Denver Church informed the council that this would be criminal trespassing and Keeble announced his interest in pursuing offenders.