After a few acrimonious Batesville City Council meetings, Mayor Rick Fledderman set a few ground rules Nov. 13 about public comments. “I think the last two meetings have gotten out of hand. Unacceptable behavior will not be tolerated.” No profanity, outbursts or discussions in the audience will be allowed, he said. Each speaker must step up to the podium and state his or her name and will have a three-minute limit.
Council members voted to allot at most $25,499 in Belterra riverboat revenue-sharing funds for three projects. Community development director Sarah Lamping asked for and received a maximum of $13,500 to purchase seasonal banners for winter, spring and summer that she hopes will last seven to 10 years. Currently 90 fall banners – 30 large and 60 small – purchased with Economic Development Income Tax funds are displayed. She reported, “We’ve received quite a few comments about how great they look, They’re very inviting” and draw tourists into downtown.
After receiving an estimate from Pro-Prints, Batesville, she said, “I intend to get three additional quotes” to insure a competitive rate. Council President Gene Lambert noted, “What we’re always trying to do … is excite people about our community, make it attractive.” He thought fewer than 90 banners are needed of each kind. “That’s overkill.”
Two pieces of equipment to help persons in the Liberty Park Pavilion feel more comfortable and hear better were OK’d. Parks Commissioner Mike Baumer asked that $7,639, including installation, be spent on a 16-foot Right Height fan. In addition to increasing air flow, it will make the area safer by helping the floor, when wet, to dry quicker. He also got the nod to buy a $3,760 portable public address unit, which will be used at the Memorial Day service, Christmas tree lighting and other events.
Kiwanis Student Leadership Academy member Leo Giesey, a Batesville High School senior, requested $600 to organize its first annual five-kilometer, untimed Color Run slated for April 4, 2014, at Liberty Park and the adjoining Liberty Trail. Of the $15 entry fee, $5 will be set aside for next year’s race expenses, and $10 will go to the Kiwanis for Kids program, which allows BHS students to mentor Batesville Primary School kids.