complex management discussed at Versailles Town Council meeting
Wanda English Burnett
We would have had the same discussion had they (sports
complex board members) been here, John Holzer, president
of the Versailles Town Council, stated at the meeting held Thursday,
A large portion of the August meeting was about problems with
the management of the towns sports complex this past season.
Holzer said he met with sports complex board members earlier in
the week and was disappointed in many ways.
First he said the lines of communication between sports complex
board members and the council was very poor. He used the example
of no one from the sports complex board being in attendance at
the present meeting as one problem.
They were asked to be here tonight, he said.
The sports complex board was supposed to hold regular meetings,
which Holzer says they did not do. They were supposed to stay
in communication with the Versailles Town Council, which Holzer
said they did not do either.
Holzer referred to minutes from the council meetings where the
Ripley County Soccer Club agreed to manage the concessions at
the sports complex. They were to pay the town $1,000 and donate
proceeds to the sports complex to start the next season.
As of the August meeting, Holzer reported that they (soccer club)
has done neither. He further noted that the town was given a bill
for $1,000 for mowing and maintenance at the sports complex.
Its completely out of hand, Holzer said. He
said there were financial discrepancies with no receipts produced.
Council member Sue Meisberger said, They (sports complex
board) didnt do one thing we asked them to do.
After much discussion, town attorney Larry Eaton advised the sports
complex board be dissolved. There was no formal action taken on
this. He noted that the sports complex needed someone with management
There was discussion about getting some volunteers instead of
paying for everyones work at the sports complex.
When asked about what he did when running the sports leagues in
years past, Ben Sieverding said he used dads of kids who
were involved for umpires, etc.
It was stated that there was a lot of confusion about who was
doing what and without a job description for each person involved
in the sports complex, many things didnt get done. After
the season at least 20 cases of Pepsi were dumped, according to
Council members also stated that in the beginning they believed
the sports complex board had good intentions, they just didnt
The council approved advertising for bids for the construction/renovation
of the old fire building. The plan is to use it for a town hall,
police department office, and town court office.
Carol Evans, town resident, said she didnt think it would
be big enough for a community building and questioned why they
couldnt have something like Holton or Osgoods facilities.
Holzer said it was about the finances and what they felt they
could do at this time. Otherwise, he noted, due to grants being
hard to obtain right now, it might be 10 years before they could
approach the idea of a grant large enough to build a community
center like surrounding towns.
Evans said she just thought if they were going to spend over $200,000
for the project, it should be done right. She felt it would be
too small for the towns needs.
Holzer said the building they have now is 2400 square feet, and
the new facilities would be nearly 8000 square feet.
In other business:
The request for the American Legion to have a beer garden
for the Pumpkin Show was approved unanimously. Council also approved
deeding about 2.5 feet of property to the legion.
The new contract for fire service with the Versailles Volunteer
Fire Department was unanimously approved for $22,000.
Fire Chief Ben Sieverding reported the department responded
to 25 calls last month. He also noted that supplies from Homeland
Security are now at the training tower for some repair work there.
Carol Evans requested the cherry trees in several places
throughout the town be trimmed.
Steve Mathes, new council member, asked about speed limit
signs on US 421. While that is a state highway, it was noted that
Kevin Hensley will talk with David Furnish, supervisor for the
state highway about the situation.
Marshal Joe Mann reported that Pete Stegner, reserve marshal for
the town, has given his retirement notice as of August 2. Pete
has done a great job for us, noted Meisberger, to which
other council members agreed.
The marshal is researching video cameras and told the council
there is a mobile unit they can purchase for about $12,000. The
council will take the information under advisement.
Marshal Mann gave the report for the previous month for his department.
They issued 11 citations, 39 warnings, assisted 35 citizens, responded
to five fight and battery calls, five theft investigations, 5
drug/alcohol investigations, and 29 misc. responses to needs of
citizens. Three warrants were served with three arrests being
made. They assisted other departments seven times and had three
special details for the month among other duties for a total of
All council members were in attendance, along with Kevin Hensley,
town maintenance supervisor, Marshal Mann, Kiersten Libby, clerk
treasurer, and counsel Larry Eaton.
The next regular meeting of the Versailles Town Council will be
held September 8 at the town hall.