Officials continue preparations, anticipating holiday train guests 10/13/2015

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Officials continue preparations,anticipating holiday train guests

By John Howell
Batesville city officials during their October 6 meeting approved purchase of surveillance cameras for the downtown Square. Their unanimous vote to approve purchase of two sets of cameras mounted on poles on two sides of the Square was one of several actions by the mayor and aldermen prompted by anticipation of the Polar Express Train Ride’s November schedule.
Aldermen approved purchase of the video systems from Complete Computers for $12,961, about half of the amount of the quote from another vendor. Police Chief Tony Jones had obtained the quotes and presented them during his report to city officials.

“It’s going to be a pole on each corner at the railroad track, one facing Panola, one facing Court. It’s going to be four cameras on each pole; (facing) north, south, east and west … and there’s supposed to be one that’s attached to it also that will zoom and tilt,” Jones said, responding to questions from Alderman Eddie Nabors.

The surveillance system could allow merchants in the vicinity to add cameras “closer to their door,” Jones said.

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“Could we add on at a later date?” Nabors asked.

“I don’t think that would be a problem,” Jones said.

The surveillance system will be monitored at the police station, he said.

Enchanted Lane
Aldermen also approved a proposal presented by Sandra Darby that will allow her to transform 111 Public Square into an “Enchanted Lane” with Christmas scenes, seasonal and fantasy characters and refreshments before, during and after the train rides that are scheduled to begin November 20.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Alderman Eddie Nabors said, following Darby’s presentation.
Alderman Stan Harrison, who owns the building Darby will rent for the venture, recused himself during her presentation and the vote to approve it.

During the October 6 meeting, aldermen also approved requests from four city employees to be allowed to work part-time at various jobs on the Polar Express Train Ride.

Planning Commission
Harrison was on the agenda for yesterday’s special meeting of the Batesville Planning Commission to seek approval for paint improvements at the 111 Public Square Building as was Alderman Teddy Morrow who has an interest in 131 and 133 Public Square. Morrow will present proposals for site and building design review at the Stubb’s buildings.

Morrow will not seek approval for to locate a corn dispenser at the intersection of Highway 6 and Eureka Street, Batesville Code Administrator Pam Comer said. Planning commissioners, during the monthly meeting September 28 deferred decision on Morrow’s until yesterday’s special meeting.