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Leesburg Town Council Meeting, June 6

(WEIS)-The Leesburg Town council meeting kicked off with their pre-council meeting on Monday, starting off with Cindy McGinnis with the Family Care Center and the upcoming Duck Race.

The town council approved for a seasonal temporary employee to be hired until January 2023. The employee will be responsible for cutting grass, as well as helping out with special events such as Leesburg day in September and Christmas in the Park in December. This is to help alleviate the workload in lieu of an employee who is undergoing chemo treatments for liver cancer. The council is in hopes that he will be able to return to work at least by January.

A liquor store opening in Leesburg was approved in tonight’s meeting. Steven Kirkpatrick and his business partner explained to the council that there is not a liquor store on this side of the lake, and they have come up with a good idea to give back to the local economy and help invest in that by opening “Leesburg Liquors”.

It was discussed at last month’s meeting that the Leesburg Fire Department needed new uniforms. The council has decided what is really needed is the purchase of new appliances that were left off of the remodel project, as well as a mini-split AC Unit for the Leesburg Fire Department. The appliances will cost around $1,248, and the Mini-split, being purchased at Vaughn’s Heating and Cooling, will cost around $3,200 installed, for a total of $4,448. This would be purchased through funds that are already available.

The fire department also needs five sets of new gloves, which will cost around $500. The uniforms that are also needed, Mayor Brandy Pierce stated those would need to be in another budget, as they will cost approximately what the new appliances will cost. Overall, approx. $8,622.34 is what is needed to purchase everything for the fire department.

A heated debate also occurred between resident, Greg Lumpkin and Mayor Pierce.

Resident Greg Lumpkin approached the council on the topic of the Trash Nuisance Committee. “Why would you appoint somebody to the council to draft a abatement ordinance to present to the council, if they were against it from the beginning? To me that doesn’t sound like that would be the logical thing to do.” Lumpkin asked. Leesburg Mayor Brandy Pierce then asked Lumpkin, “Who drafted it?”, in which Lumpkin had to restate his statement to the council and those in the meeting, “Our mayor appointed some members to the committee to draft an abatement ordinance.” “No I didn’t.” Mayor Pierce said. “My attorney drafts the ordinance, I do not. We haven’t even gotten that far because ya’ll can’t get along on nothing.”

In a back and forth conversation, Lumpkin stated that from the beginning, there was a vote taken before they even discussed what kind of ordinance they would have, to see if the members of the committee even wanted an ordinance. The vote was 3-2 against having an ordinance. “So what are you insinuating, let me ask that.” Mayor Pierce said. “I’m not insinuating anything, I’m just saying If you’re going to appoint somebody to a committee to draft an ordinance, you would think you would want someone on that committee that would be in favor of it.” Lumpkin stated.

Councilman Joe Sonaty spoke up in the discussion, highlighting different members on the committee, and how their voice deserves to be heard, whether they are against it or not. He stated how one member owns over $1 million in land in Leesburg, and another gentleman has lived in a big city and knows ordinances and how they affect people, which is why he volunteered to be on the committee. “The other three people on the committee from Embos Island all sat here in our meeting and volunteered to be on the committee. So the Mayor actually went by what the people were asking and by what the people were requesting and volunteering for.”

Mayor Pierce then asked if Lumpkin was insinuating that he had stacked the vote to make it work. “That’s your opinion, sir.” was Lumpkin’s reply.

A gentleman on the committee also spoke up by making an observation, “I have been on a couple of committee’s in my life. I have never been on a committee where the proponent for the ordinance was allowed on the committee. That’s all I’m going to say.”

A public hearing was set for June 14th on this matter, but the town council voted to seek legal guidance first and tabled the topic to next month’s meeting.

And finally, a resident has requested sewer service that would require a 1,000 ft. extension down Ewing Gap Road. There will be another lot near the resident that could take advantage of the sewer service, but this is mainly for the one that is requesting it. There is another resident who resides on Lakeshore that is paying to have pipe installed for sewer service. No prices for this project were discussed during the meeting.

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