| By John Howell Sr.
Rolando Curtis Foods spokesman Cecil Coward told Crenshaw town officials that hiring at the RCF facility should begin within days.
"We’re just waiting for the equipment to get here," Coward said during the April 2 meeting of Crenshaw’s mayor and aldermen, adding that the equipment should arrive in "about five days."
Coward had appeared at the meeting of the mayor and aldermen with Crenshaw Police Chief Darryl Linzy, both of whom represented the Crenshaw Fall Festival Committee seeking support for a festival on the weekend of August 2-5.
Coward’s statement about a hiring date was prompted by a question from Mayor Sylvester Reed. Alderman Alberta Bradley followed with a question about the wiring in the facility that formerly housed Dana Corporation.
Coward said that the wiring had been replaced "where the equipment would be." Wiring has twice been stolen from the vacant facility by thieves seeking to sell it for its scrap copper.
The building had formerly been owned by the county and was signed over to Rolando Foods last summer with a promise that it would locate a manufacturing operation there. The hiring has been postponed several times after the startup projection of last fall was missed.
The fall festival that Coward and Linzy proposed would include a weekend of competitive cooking, and tournaments in a variety of activities including spades, dominos, softball and basketball, according to a letter Linzy presented to the elected officials.
"We definitely need togetherness in this town," Linzy said.
"I think they will need time to read what you have given them," Mayor Reed said.
The fall festival weekend would also include competition between choirs, a car show and other activities, according to the letter.
In other business, several Crenshaw citizens urged town officials to move quickly to repair leaks and the heating and cooling system in the Sam Lapidus Memorial Library building. Concern about the libary repairs appeared to gain momentum following the split vote over a "pre-written check" for $3,500 with which the mayor had purchased a used van for the town.
Mayor Reed said that the library roof repairs were "being held up until the insurance adjuster was able to check it."
The mayor said that two estimates had been obtained for the repairs to the library central air system and he was attempting to obtain a third.
"The process has got to speed up," said Franklin Rayburn, whose wife, Martha, is library branch manager. Rayburn said that one of the library’s computers had been damaged by leaking water and that if repairs were not made soon, "it’s going to cost us a lot more."