Purdy council reorganizes
Brian Bowers resigns from West Ward, becomes mayor
There’s a new mayor in Purdy.
The city council reorganized following the April 6 election, appointing West Ward Alderman Brian Bowers as city mayor and administering the oath of office to East Ward Alderman William Hughes and West Ward Alderman Scott Redshaw, who ran for re-election unopposed.
Bowers has been serving as mayor in his position as mayor pro-tem since the resignation of Mayor Bo Prock in February 2020.
Because Bowers was still serving as West Ward Alderman, he had to resign that post before being sworn in as mayor.
Once Bowers was sworn in as mayor, the council voted to appoint West Ward resident Heather VanNote to his vacant council seat.
Bowers then administered the oath of office to VanNote, Redshaw and Hughes. Hughes was also appointed as mayor pro-tem.
In addition to reorganizing the council, city leaders also reviewed an updated city-wide burn ordinance. As written, the new ordinance allows refuse burning until 6 p.m.
Bowers requested a change, pointing out that he and many others work until 5-6 p.m. and the ordinance would be too restrictive.
The council requested that the burn ordinance allow burning from 30 minutes before sunrise until 30 minutes after sun set. Once that change is made, the ordinance will be brought before the board next month for final approval.
The new ordinance provides guidelines for refuse burning only, and does not apply to recreational fire pits or barbecues.
The council also discussed a potential future for the old City Hall building located at 101 Front Street, which has been vacant since the council moved city administration to the new city hall building adjacent to Purdy High School.
Redshaw said he has been approached by two individuals who said they have been unable to find rental properties available to open new retail businesses in Purdy.
“One went to a different town and one is buying a place to open a business,” Redshaw said. “We haven’t been able to sell that building, so if we could put it up for rent, I don’t see why we shouldn’t.”
Bowers said he has looked into installing electric and gas meters in the building that would allow the city to continue using shop space for the public works department, while still renting the office space out to someone who would like to open a business.
He pointed out that the additional gas meter will be a fast and easy change, while adding an electric meter is likely to come with some cost. He also said that the city would be on the hook for minimum utility costs on the new meters until the building is rented out.
“I think it would be a smart move, even if there is some expense up front,” Redshaw said. “It’s perfect for some small retail.”
The council directed City Manager Debbie Redshaw to look into drafting a rental agreement for the property and return to the council next month with a proposal.