Last updated: July 17. 2013 3:34PM - 303 Views

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Chad Abshire

Staff Writer

WILLIAMSON — Thursday’s meeting of the Williamson City Council had the presence of a familiar face who had been absent for a long, long time.

Councilman York Smith’s name was said during the role call at the opening of the council meeting for the first time in months.

“Here! Thank the good Lord!” Smith said when his name was called out.

“And we’re glad that you’re here,” Mayor Darrin McCormick said. The council gave a brief applause for Smith’s return.

The lead-off topic on the agenda was concerning the Williamson Redevelopment Authority’s passage of a resolution to work with the council, Board of Parks and Mingo County Commission to come up with a formal strategic recreation plan.

McCormick suggested that the council do the same, and asked city attorney C. Christopher Younger to look into the Board of Parks’ ordinances to add two at-large members to the board. One would be appointed by the MCC, in which a commissioner could be chosen, and one from the general public appointed by the council. However, each person would have to be a Williamson resident. The addition would bring the member count to seven, allowing for a majority rule in order to facilitate decisions in the strategic planning. A motion was called for, seconded and unanimously passed.

The mayor then read a letter from the Wildwood Garden Club in which the club thanked the council for its continued support in beautifying the city through its hanging baskets program. According to the letter, the council and the work from Veolia Water allows the club “to make our town a more appealing place to work and visit.”

McCormick then mentioned the recent GeoCaching event that took place, saying that 500 people registered for it but far more than that showed up, due to entire families coming into the town. McCormick said that the attendance turned the event into a mega-event, which will make future events better because it opens up corporate sponsorships to pitch in.

“I spoke with people from Ohio and one guy drove all the way from Wyoming for this event,” McCormick said. “Hotels and inns were completely booked up.”

The mayor also announced that “another house had been cleaned up in West Williamson,” and that Maple Walk was almost finished. McCormick also said that there were some fire houses in Peter Street that were planned to be cleaned too. McCormick said that each building was treacherous and that the plans are to demolish two or three more buildings this year.

Smith got to speak afterwards as the small agenda was quickly dealt with, who spoke on his delight to be back in his seat on the council.

“It’s good to be here,” Smith said. “I’d like to thank all the churches and people who prayed for me. and all the nice people who sent me cards and called me.

“I didn’t know I had so many friends.”

However, the councilman went to business, saying that he wanted to have the sidewalk fixed up, since he had been in a wheelchair for the past few months.

“You don’t know what it’s like,” Smith said. “I think we need to call the governor’s office and get it done.”

Smith also praised the Williamson Police and Fire Departments, saying that he had been hearing nothing but good things about both.

Councilwoman Connie Rockel and Councilman Matt Thornsbury also said that they were happy to have Smith back. Councilwoman Sherri Brown was absent.

“We’re glad to have you back,” McCormick said to Smith. “You can’t keep a good man down.”

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