Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Council OKs removable speed bumps for East Stephens, $500 donation to new youth ministry

Lee Busick listened as Sara spoke.
The Midway City Council voted Monday evening to spend up to $5,500 for removable speed bumps for East Stephens Street and pay $500 to subsidize a local youth ministry's major fund-raising event.

The council also heard several updates from Mayor Grayson Vandegrift and a report from the new president of the Midway Business Association.

The stars of the evening were Sara and Lee Busick, local graphic designers who operate Locally Grown, a ministry for teenagers that works with local churches.

Sara Busick said the group meets twice a week and has engaged with 43 teens since it started this summer. She said its Wednesday meetings are aimed at spiritual growth and community service, and Thursday meetings focus on wellness.

The group took a field trip to Lower Howard's Creek Preserve.
"On a weekly basis we are meeting new kids . . . with an need, an interest in being part of the community," Busick said. "When a lot of these kids show up, the're lonely. . . . We really view it as a chance to develop relationships with caring adults," including church pastors.

She said most of the churches can't afford their own youth programs, so "This was kind of a unifying force to help all the local churches."

Earlier, she said, "The one goal of this program is to love and serve other people," helping the teens become good neighbors, good citizens "and a good human being on this planet."

Lily Savage, Emily Fanning and Lily Rogers worked in the
Midway community garden. (Photos provided by Sara Busick)
Busick said the program seeks donations so the teens bear no financial burden. The group's major fund-raiser of the year will be a June 26 scramble at Moss Hill Golf Course.

Vandegrift said the city still has $1,100 available in its budget for donations, and suggested that it sponsor the refreshments for the event, priced at $500, which the council approved. "This is a really, really great cause," he said. "It's an incredible thing for the youth of our community."

The purchase of removable speed bumps was proposed by Council Member Bruce Southworth, who lives on Stephens Street. He noted that the city still has $11,000 in its snow-removal budget, and asked that the council approve the expenditure of not more than $5,500 for the devices.

Vandegrift asked about possible liability for the city, and Southworth cited a state law, a regulation and an attorney general's opinion saying that was not a risk. The council approved the expenditure unanimously.

Peggy Angel, new president of the Midway Business Association, told the council that it wants to work more closely with city officials "to drive more people to our city." She said it plans to hold four events plus the annual Fall Festival, and has added several more members. The group meets at 9 a.m. on the first Wednesday of each month upstairs at City Hall.

Vandegrift reported that:
  • The city will soon offer the ability to pay water bills online, with a service fee of $1 or $2;
  • The Lakeshore Learning Materials plant in Midway Station (below, in photo taken March 23) is under roof and he will start work on a master plan for the development next week;
  • Walter Bradley Park now has a website and needs volunteers for a tree planting from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. April 22;
  • He expects homeowners in the city's sidewalk-repair program to have the work done by May 31; and
  • If the state ever replaces the Weisenberger Mill Bridge, it will give the old span to the city and haul it to the park at state expense. "They're not sure what they're going to do right now" with the long-stalled project, he said.

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