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Work on tennis courts to begin

Work will begin this week on revitalizing the area around the municipal tennis courts on East Pointer Trail adjacent to Van Buren High School.

The council Monday night accepted a bid of $56,800 from Goodwin and Goodwin to add sidewalks, improve drainage and install concrete block walls to help grounds crews better maintain the area.

Mayor Bob Freeman said the work is part of the 2013 tennis court project that included new lights which have already been installed. Previously, the council approved purchasing the lights from MUSCO Lighting for $83,000 and installation by Hill Electric Inc. for $46,800. The project was funded by a 1-cent sales tax approved by voters in 2012.

Members of the Van Buren High School tennis team have undertaken a fund-raising project to incorporate red brick pavers in the sidewalk, according to VBHS tennis coach Brandy Mosby.

The Van Buren Living Legacy Sidewalk will provide an opportunity to honor tennis team members and alumni or a even a special fan.

Mosby cited such as examples: Jane Smith All-State 1976, Proud to be a Pointer and Jim Smith Pointer Tennis Senior 2014.

Also Monday, aldermen authorized a partnership with the Crawford County Assessor’s Office and Pictometery International to conduct aerial photography and mapping services.

The city will expend a total of $30,000, in three yearly installments of $10,000, for the project.

“For us, this is a really good price,” Freeman said. “This gives us mapping and aerial photography and it links directly into the assessor’s database. It’s a really good deal.”

In 2008, Freeman said the city paid $100,000 to have the the aerial photography and mapping services done.

The council approved several street closings to accommodate a 5K run to be held by First Baptist Church Sunday evening, Veterans Day Parade Nov. 11, Living Windows Dec. 7 and Run With the Knights March 15.

Other action by the council included:

• Condemning property at 120 Fayetteville Road and 11 S. 25th St.

• Disposing of two outdated network servers and an unrepairable digital voice recorder system in the police department.

• Vacating a public utility easement along Fayetteville Road as requested by Larry and Paula Gordon.

• Renewing the levy of a 2-mill tax on real estate and personal property for general municipal purposes and 1.4-mill tax for Van Buren library maintenance.

• Designating the district court as the responsible party for collecting fines for the city.

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