JUNCTION CITY — If things go as Junction City Council members hope, they will be able to use newly purchased property as the site of a municipal building someday, members shared at Tuesday’s City Council meeting.
The purchase was voted on at a previous meeting; however, the deed was finalized last week, transferring ownership from Jerry and Denzil Findley to the city. The property cost the city $30,000.
The vacant lot on Shelby Street adjoins city property where a train caboose and community center are located. Mayor Jim Douglas and other officials hope the lot one day will contain a building that can house all of the city offices and service the community in a whole new way.
Members have ideas on how they hope it will work, including housing the mayor’s office, the fire department, and the police department.
“We want one building that’s big enough for everything,” Councilman Lloyd Bowling said.
Douglas echoed this but said the size will have to be within reason, because they only want to build what they can afford.
However, Douglas and council members stressed that they want a place that also can double as a shelter in the case of bad weather.
Councilman Kenny Baldwin referred to the 2009 ice storm, when some of the city’s residents had to go out of Junction City for shelter.
“If we have a shelter here, then that would help residents and take some of the strain off of (the city of Danville),” he said.
For now, the city is just beginning on the project and hopes to seek grants as a way to offset some of the expected costs.
When asked if the city planned on tearing down the current buildings, Douglas seemed uncertain of their fate. However, they will not be going anywhere any time soon.
“Until we get things in motion, which will take quite some time, we won’t be tearing anything down,” he said.
In other business:
n Council members gave first reading to a proposed ordinance protecting Junction City from open burning. This is in response to people who have been caught burning items such as carpet, treated wood, and tires, said Douglas.
Some residents expressed concern that the ordinance would include the burning of tree limbs or clippings but were told that these would still be allowed. Fire Chief Scott Terry assured them it was pretty much the same as the one for the county, with a few different things that pertain to the city.
n Mayor Douglas informed council members of a problem on Ila Avenue where school buses are using a resident’s yard and driveway to turn around on the dead-end road. This was resulting in a damaged yard and driveway.
Members voted to blacktop the remainder of Ila Avenue, which Douglas said would help the man who had resorted to blocking off his driveway in order to keep it from being used as a turn-around.
n Police Chief Merl Baldwin shared with the council that the modem on the Mobile Data Terminal in his cruiser had stopped working, which could cost about $4,000 to replace. Instead, he had located a laptop for $698 that will be compatible with the programs they use. The money to purchase a computer already had been set aside in his budget before the modem stopped working.
n Community members approached the council about the possibility of having a Christmas parade in the city limits. They are planning the event for Dec. 1, about 5 p.m. Baldwin explained he would have to make sure the state highway department will approve a street closure, and he will request that immediately.
The group also wants to host a tree-lighting ceremony following the parade and have a Santa for children to meet. More details will be determined about the event.