In Oct. 15 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
The city of Jamestown will go forward with plans to host a 2010 Lakefest celebration. At least that was the word at this month's Russell Springs City Council meeting.
Russell Springs Mayor Hollis DeHart told the council he had recently met with Jamestown Councilwoman and Lakefest Chair Marcelene Taylor and former Jamestown Mayor Donnie Wilkerson, both members of the Lakefest committee, and it became clear to him after the "fruitful" talks that Jamestown wants to put on the event next July.
"We discussed the pros and cons," DeHart said. "I felt like I represented the feelings of the council during our talk and I expressed to them the value of having the Independence Day celebration at the fairgrounds."
The mayor said he discussed the parking and shelter possibilities at the grounds, among other issues.
"Be that as it may, they still contend that they want to have the Fourth of July celebration down there and I can certainly understand that."
DeHart said that during the meeting, Jamestown officials offered to come to Russell Springs and help out with their Fall Fest and annual Christmas parade and in return the city of Russell Springs could help out with the Independence Day celebration in Jamestown.
"They also indicated to me that they would, after this next year, give serious consideration to moving the Fourth of July celebration to the fairgrounds," DeHart said.
The mayor said that they all agreed that the two cities, Jamestown and Russell Springs, did not need to be talking about one another.
"While I would really like to have it over here I think it would cause some real problems," DeHart said. "I think we have a real opportunity here to patch up some of our relations by accepting the decision of the Jamestown committee."
DeHart said he feared that if Russell Springs holds a celebration at the same time as Jamestown the two cities would be getting into a contest of "oneupsmanship."
Councilman Eric Selby said he didn't think the county could support two Independence Day celebrations and while he would support helping Jamestown with a celebration he still believed the city would have a tough time putting on the event around Monument Square, where in July of next year there is expected to be heavy construction going on at the site of the new Russell County Judicial Center.
Councilman Ricky Barnes said it was his opinion that the city should leave the door open to hosting an Independence Day celebration if by some chance Jamestown decides not to go forth with Lakefest in 2010.
Due to numerous factors, including logistics, the city of Jamestown canceled their longstanding Lakefest celebration this past July prompting the city of Russell Springs to sponsor their successful celebration at the fairgrounds.
Councilman Ray Barrett said he believed the two should work together, no matter the location.
"There is no reason why everybody can't get together and do things together," he said.
The mayor said he believes the positive relations between the two cities is currently at an all-time high.
"We're two little municipalities," he said. "We need to work together so bad ... we don't need two little towns here fighting each other."
DeHart said he believed the offer from Jamestown was for physical help but said he didn't oppose financial help either, if that is what Jamestown wants.
"We will make ourselves available and if they need us to help in any way, we'll do it," the mayor said.
DeHart told the council to mull the proposition over for the next month and in November come to him with their thoughts on the issue.
"We have had the Lakefest 43 years and we would certainly welcome their help," Lakefest Chair Marcelene Taylor said at last month's Jamestown City Council meeting. "We've always tried to include the whole county when we planned activities but we never did have much interest to serve on the committee but people from Jamestown."
Last month Taylor said whether the celebration was moved to another location or held in Jamestown, they would welcome any help.
"We hated that we had to put (Lakefest) off last year but there were so many problems that we were facing, we didn't really have a choice but this year things are coming together," she said in September. "I don't see any obstacles this year."
Jamestown has already allocated $8,500 to the 2010 Lakefest, according to Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates.