The Down Home Christmas is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 5, and officials in the Village of Bethel are concerned with appearances. One of the biggest concerns has been the exterior of the Grant Memorial Building.
“I would like to recommend that we get the exterior painting done for the Grant Memorial Building,” said public works chair and councilman Tim Cherry, during the council meeting on Monday, Nov. 9. “Grant Memorial Funds are available. I’d like to know what the possibility is of getting the painting done in time for the Down Home Christmas.”
Fiscal officer Angel Burton told council members that the state auditor had taken into account the need for the village to leave more than $5,000 in the general fund. She noted that she would like to keep at least $1,500 in the fund as a cushion but that there was money available for the project.
Council members approved the bid from Books and at the recommendation of Cherry they waived the three-reading rule and adopted an ordinance to amend the annual appropriations and provide funding for the project.
As far back as February council has been trying to get funding to get the building repaired and painted. It was discussed in February that funds had been set aside for historical improvement purposes. With the financial situation facing the village, council tried to get help in covering the cost of repair and paint. In August, when council asked the Burke Trust Commission for the funds, they were denied.
Village Administrator Travis Dotson was instructed by council to contact Books about getting the building painted as soon as possible. Dotson was unsure if the weather would permit the project to be completed in time for the Down Home Christmas, but said that he would contact Books.