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Red Oak studies park lighting
Red Oak commissioners met Monday to discuss a variety of issues such as getting lights for the park, progress on sewer installation, and a request to permanently close one of the town streets. The topics were discussed at the regular town meeting on  March 1.

A representative from a lighting company, Musco,  was on hand to discuss the cost of providing lighting to the fields at the new Red Oak–Dortches Park so that leagues and local organizations can hold night games on the property. In the past, the town had received an estimate suggesting that the cost would be more than $340,000. Town commissioners sent a letter to county commissioners to ask for help with the project either in the form of direct help or in allowing the town a greater percentage of park profits in order to cover the costs of the lights.

The Musco representative said that he felt the town could get the lights now for roughly $30,000 less than the previously quoted price, due, in large part, to the state of the economy. The lights would have a 25 year warranty that would include normal maintenance and lamp replacement. The representative also suggested that the town apply for grant funding from the Baseball Tomorrow foundation to possibly help cover a portion of the lighting cost.

Commissioner Levell Langley, who is spear-heading the effort, expressed a desire to proceed with the lights. “I am just looking out for our young people,” he said. “We really need these lights.”

However, Mayor Alfred Wester suggested caution and urged commissioners to wait until bids came in for the sewer construction before the town made any decisions. He also wants to wait until they hear from the county about possible funding for the project.

Wester said that the sewer issue was well on track and that all but two or three people had signed the necessary easements for construction to begin.  One unidentified resident is demanding a payment of $1925 dollars before he signs the agreement, Wester said.  The mayor explained that most of the citizens were offered a free connection to the sewer line as part of their agreement. However, this particular person would not be able to tie in because of the land situation and fiber optic lines that run on the property. The payment by the town council was approved as fair compensation as it roughly equaled the cost of a sewer tie-in for the property.

Wester said that the Wooten Company would begin the bidding process for sewer construction this month.  Wester said that the process would last thirty days and that the town should be able to award the construction contract at the next business meeting.

In other business, Red Oak Commissioners discussed a request by the Red Oak Baptist Church that School Street be permanently closed at one end, making it a dead end road. The church wants to build a large building that would require closure of the road. However, Red Oak Commissioner Barbara Tyre owns the lots located on that road.

Tyre said that she did some investigation and found that the road had been dedicated to the public since November of 1950, a fact that had been overlooked by the town.  Therefore, the town is responsible for its disposition and maintenance. Tyre also said that she was surprised to learn that roughly 50 cars a day used the road as an alternative route for take children to school.

Tyre said that she was consulting with an attorney about the legalities of the situation and wanted to wait until she heard back before voicing her opinion on the matter. She said that she would have to recuse herself from a final decision since she was an interested party.

According the town ordinances, Wester said, a public hearing will have to be held on the matter before a final decision can be made.

Red Oak also has specialized license plates available for sale at Griffin’s store, Faulkner’s store, and Wooten Small Engine Repair. The tags feature a picture of a Red Oak leaf and a statement: Red Oak: A Nice Place to Live. The cost of the tags is $12.

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