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Lights on again in Ashley Glen

By Dwain W. Penn Williamson city hall was filled to near capacity for the April 6 meeting of council. Residents and home owners association representatives from the Ashley Glen subdivision were present to discuss community safety. ’Our street lights are turned off,’ was the first comment from an HOA rep. ‘We understand there is conflict between the city and the developer, but we are simply asking for the lights to be turned back on.’ Mayor Steve Fry informed the group that council voted last summer to stop paying for street lights which are on private property. The cost was simply too much for the city. One resident noted they are paying city taxes yet have received a reduction in services provided. ’Each house paid in taxes what was the cost of one month electric bill for the development,’ said Fry. ‘Williamson Trace pays the same taxes but have no street lights.’ Priorities were established early during discussion that the roads in Ashley Glen were the main issue. One in particular had a hole that needs fixing. But as progress to a solution seemed slow, the imminent need was changed to have the lights turned on. Several new residents sent word that if they knew the existing street lights were not used, they would not have moved into the community. One husband at the meeting confessed he did not tell his wife about the lights until after closing on the purchase. Fry thanked the citizens for taking time to attend the meeting to share their concerns. Little else could be said by the mayor or city attorney Rob Morton since there is pending litigation on the matter. Fry did sum up the situation expressing concern that the developer did not make contact with the city over potential problems prior to filing a lawsuit. COUNCIL ALSO: ’¢ Received the March library report: 118 patrons, $62 income and 49 books donated. ’¢ Heard a glowing report on the status of refurbishing the helicopter. Hundreds of hours of work have been donated to take the aircraft apart and fabricate parts. Once painted and returned to a new stand, the chopper will be restored to its 1968 condition from volunteer labor assessed to be worth $50,000. ’¢ Heard public hearings will be held in May for ratification of the city zoning map. ’¢ Adopted a proclamation designating April as child abuse prevention month. The vote followed a brief overview of local services provided by Pike County Family Connection from Mike Powell. ’¢ Received a summary from councilwoman Bunny Scoggins on an effort to acquire a railroad car for use as a visitor center. Inspection of available cars in other cities and the application process for a grant to pay for it have begun. ’¢ Entered into closed session to discuss potential and pending litigation, reconvening to approve, as recommended by Morton, for the city to exercise responsibility and have the Ashley Glen street lights reactivated.

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