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Lincoln Civic Center reopens to horses, ball practice

A cautious eagerness was felt in the Lincoln County boardroom as the Board of Supervisors met Monday and discussed reopening of the Lincoln Civic Center for activities.

Center director Quinn Jordan recommended to the board to reopen the center for horseback riding practice, or public free riding. Jordan also posed the question of when a safe return to horse shows could be made.

Guidelines issued under Gov. Tate Reeves’ executive orders of “Safe Return” limit group gatherings to a maximum of 50 persons indoors and 100 persons outdoors, where social distancing is possible.

“We need to get it back up and leave it to Quinn’s discretion,” said District 5 Supervisor Doug Falvey, suggesting the center be reopened for practice riding now and the board wait until its June 15 meeting to determine whether it was safe and practical to reopen the arena for horse shows, based upon assessment of the reopening for practice. The board unanimously agreed, and approved the immediate reopening of the arena for horse riding practice.

Jordan then referred the board to Gov. Reeves’ executive order 1491, as it related to a return to ball team practices. He said every player, parent/guardian and coach is contacted regularly through a text and email system for all league information. That system will be utilized to provide each person with practice guidelines — including player screening, parents remaining in their vehicles during practice, players providing their own water, etc.

The board approved a return to practices and will discuss league play at the next scheduled meeting.

“Thank you to the Board of Supervisors for opening the arena for practicing purposes only, effective immediately,” Jordan said. “This is a step in the right direction.”

Guidelines for both horseback riding and ball practices are posted on the Lincoln Civic Center and LCC Baseball Complex Facebook pages.

Trash disposal

Richard Urrutia, founder and CEO of Arrow Disposal Service Inc., also appeared before the board Monday to discuss ADSI’s garbage disposal service for the county.

The county entered into contract with ADSI on Oct. 1, 2018, replacing WastePro as the collector of household trash.

Jimmie Moore, ADSI vice president of governmental and public affairs, and Lincoln County ADSI manager Charles Lungrin, were also present.

Urrutia proposed to the board the purchase of carts for each authorized household garbage pickup location in the county. Use of carts would provide for cleaner containment of trash and less chance of Arrow employees being exposed to disease or injury, he said.

Cost to the county would be an additional $1.25 per cart, per month, beginning Oct. 1, for four years — finishing the current three-year contract and continuing into a three-year renewal of the contract. The amount would cover the purchase cost of the carts incurred by ADSI.

“Keep in mind that if we’re not doing a good job, you can fire us at any time,” Urrutia said, and the county would not be locked into an agreement to finish the contract, including the purchase of the new carts.

The board praised Arrow’s consistent performance, acknowledging the work of Moore and Lungrin to keep things going smoothly locally, and agreed the cost of carts and call for them was reasonable.

Urrutia assured the board that his employees would continue to pick up bagged trash in other usable containers, but not from homemade bins, such as those made with boards and wire.

“It’s been 10 years or more since we raised (garbage pickup fees),” said County Administrator David Fields. “The ideal time to do this is Oct. 1, because that’s the annual renewal time for customers. If we’re going to go up, it’s best to do that then.”

Urrutia said, with the board’s approval, he would submit a formal proposal this week for them to consider and vote upon at the next regular meeting. This would provide enough time for carts to be ordered and delivered prior to Oct. 1, if the proposal was approved by the board.

In other business

• County Engineer Ryan Holmes gave brief updates on projects about to resume around the county.

• Circuit Clerk Dustin Bairfield informed the board that head public defender Lisa Baker retired, effective May 31. Judge Michael Taylor planned to appoint Jason Barrett to replace her in that post Monday afternoon.

• The board approved: the minutes from May 27; Lincoln County Jail meal sheet for week 34; and personnel reports for Caleb Ezell and Damian Gatlin.

• The board also spent 55 minutes in closed-door executive session for personnel matters.