Euharlee approves security cameras for Joe Cowan Park
by Jason Lowrey
Feb 06, 2013 | 1285 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
In light of three vandalism incidents in the past two weeks, the Euharlee City Council approved the purchase of 10 security cameras for Joe Cowan Park during its Tuesday night meeting.

Planning and Zoning Administrator Ron Goss said the motion-sensitive cameras would be installed on the park’s main building where they would have a good view of the rest of the park and the playground. Aside from the cameras, the $10,700 purchase will include a 30-day recording unit, a monitor and the ability to stream a live video feed to the Euharlee Police Department.

Goss said the most expensive of the three vandalism incidents cost the city approximately $2,500 to $3,000. Concrete that was drying overnight, he said, was vandalized with obscene drawings, words and symbols. Two other incidents included four-wheelers driving through part of the park and causing slight damage and obscene graffiti on the park’s brick buildings, which are still being cleaned.

Mayor Kathy Foulk said she wanted the suspects punished.

“My recommendation on this is if these kids are caught, it’s not a slap on the hand. It is full prosecution and parents pay all damages plus fines. ... I hate this and I don’t care if one of my grandkids was involved with it — I’d be saying the same thing,” she said.

Council member Sammy Carden said he supported purchasing the security cameras in order to protect the community’s investment at Joe Cowan Park.

“I can’t tell you how much I want the vandals caught and dealt with,” he said, “because this is all our property, our community, our home and I don’t want this. It means too much to everybody here.”

Goss believed it would be roughly a week before the cameras would be installed. In the meantime, EPD Chief Terry Harget said his officers were patrolling the park at least once an hour after dark.

Other business related to Joe Cowan Park included the council paying $384,662.90 in project payables and approving a change order.

The change order applied to Field 1. Citing the potential for increased revenue from allowing high school baseball teams to use the field, Goss asked the council to approve additional lighting for Field 1 so it would be large enough for such teams to use. The council approved the additional lighting in the total of $35,000.

Earlier in the meeting, the city council also decided what to do with the Granary after John Montgomery’s lease ran out. Kathy Bibbings said she was taking over the Festival of Trees, and wanted to continue holding the event at the Granary, with the addition of one or two other events to help finance the festival.

While the council understood her desire to have as low a lease as possible, they were not sure whether to lease out the building for an entire year or lease it out only on certain dates. City Manager Trish Sullivan then suggested using the Granary as an extension of the Euharlee History Museum.

“I think we should use it as part of the museum and do travelling exhibits down there. You know, like if we had an artisan that wanted to come in and do a demonstration on wool spinning for short periods of time, and that way we can utilize the space, drive our tourism and economic development and use it for the Festival of Trees,” Sullivan said.

The entire council supported the idea and approved giving Museum Curator Katie Odom the ability to use the building, with the stipulation that the Festival of Trees be allowed to continue operating there as needed.

At the end of the meeting, Fred Werner questioned the council about proposals for testing the Etowah River that were tabled in October 2011. He asked for the matter to be clarified, as he had not heard any updates on whether the city was testing the water in the river. He said he was concerned about testing since the water would be used to irrigate Joe Cowan Park.

Sullivan said Fox Environmental tests the water for Bartow County and the improved proposal submitted in 2011 was going to be incorporated into the city’s budget.

Other city council business included:

• Reading and approving a resolution on National Acts of Kindness Day, which will be celebrated Feb. 17 at Euharlee City Hall from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m.

• Approving the EPD and Info Tech Budget.

• Awarding a roofing contract for the Commissary to D&T Construction.

• Awarding a tree removal bid to Stanley Tree Service in the amount of $2,450.

• Approving the purchase of a 51-inch deck Grasshopper diesel lawnmower in the amount of $7,606 after trade-in.

• Approving the appointment of Carliss Fletcher as EPD chaplain.

• Approving Deanna Berry’s bid to plan the Euharlee Covered Bridge ’Que Festival in the amount of $3,200 with a 10 percent commission.

• Approving Samantha Berry’s bid to plan the Euharlee Fall Festival in the sum of $3,750.

• Approving the Urban Redevelopment Agency plan.

• Appointing Frank Bennet, Chad Sentry and Shelly Whipple to the URA board.

• Approving payment of the city’s $32,421.50 invoice to the Bartow County Library.

• Renewing a Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements memorandum of understanding.

• Approving the EPD’s March 30 Easter egg hunt and granting EPD $300 for the event.

• Approving a road dedication deed for Ferguson Fields.

• Approving a $300 discretionary spending account for Euharlee Public Works.

• Approving a motion requiring all employee evaluations to be completed by Feb. 28 and that all future evaluations must be done in November and finished by Nov. 30.

The Euharlee City Council’s next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 19 at 7 p.m. at city hall.