Christmas time was on the agenda at the Farmington City Council meeting at Long Memorial Hall Tuesday evening.
City Administrator Greg Beavers brought up Christmas events to the council and asked what was planned for the season. He brought up Santa’s Workshop.
“Canceling Christmas is the mayor’s job, not mine,” he said. “Winter Wonderland has all the first to fourth grades during the school week. A thousand kids, about 250 per grade. I talked to Matt Ruble, he said if we have Winter Wonderland, they can still plan now on bussing the kids over.
"I don’t know how much participation we will have after-hours, because a lot of people are nervous about it. If you’re not nervous about your kids and yourself, it’s coming up on holiday season and there’s a lot of family gatherings with grandma and grandpa, and the worry of transmitting to them. We estimate between 5,500-6,000 people a year for the event, that includes kids and parents. I’m concerned about the labor required for that event, and then not having full participation.”
Beavers also discussed about where they were going to assemble the skating rink this year. He noted all the labor involved in putting out all the holiday season’s decorations and brought up some alternate plans for celebrations.
“Currently, that requires the same crew,” he said. “We don’t have the work release crews to assist. Last year we put the skating rink at the library. We leveled the pad with gravel, shot it and graded it. The tourism board had planned on this year — which we will have to do very quickly — pouring a concrete pad on the A Street parking lot just to accommodate that, about a $45,000 expense.
“What I propose this year is to install the ice skating rink at the Wilson-Rozier multipurpose court. Then, having an alternate Christmas event going on one lane down there in the park. It would be much less labor intensive for us. It would put all our events outside instead of indoors where to the extent we can we comply with the health guidelines.”
During presentation of legislation, the council rejected an ordinance to rezone 609 North A Street from residential to commercial. The location is behind or south of Domino’s Pizza. In earlier hearings, several local residents opposed the rezoning.
Development Services Director Tim Porter brought up the 2020 Census which is winding down for the year.
“This is the first time ever that the citizens had the ability to respond to the census count online,” he said. “Our self-response rate this year is about 71%. I hoped it was a little higher than that. The final tally has to be delivered to the president and Congress on Dec. 31. We should probably around March, that’s when redistricting information has to be delivered to the states.”
Porter talked about the importance of getting the Census correct for the city.
“The biggest thing is that we have district information right so that we have representation. We have a pretty big congressional district, if we can get more representation for our area, it’s a good thing. There is some funding tied to it. Our fire department just had some grants that were tied to it. There’s a lot of things that may come about over the next 10 years that they have to have a way to come up with where that money’s going to go.”
Mark Marberry is a reporter for the Farmington Press and Daily Journal. He can be reached at 573-518-3629, or at email@example.com
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