MOUNT VERNON — In an effort to give all children in the city of Mount Vernon the opportunity to spend a day of fun in the sun at Hiawatha Water Park/Pool, members of Mount Vernon City Council and city administration are spearheading a new scholarship program.
“We want to establish a regular program for underprivileged children to get at least one afternoon at the park,” said Chuck Dice, 2nd Ward representative.
Dice explained he, and council President John Booth, discussed the need for some form of a scholarship program. Last week, Dice met with Mount Vernon Mayor Richard Mavis, City Auditor Terry Scott and Jerry Clinger, pool manager. That discussion led to a preliminary draft of legislation that would create the Hiawatha Water Park/Pool Scholarship Fund.
Preliminary design of the fund would allow for the opportunity for qualifying children to receive, at the most, two free passes to the pool during the summer. For families interested in a season pass, a maximum scholarship of 90 percent of the pass price could be awarded.
Qualifications for the scholarship are continuing to evolve, Scott said. A formula similar to the free or reduced lunch program at the local schools was used when the park first opened. Scott said he was trying to acquire additional information about the program before using it as a guideline.
Councilman Bruce Hawkins cautioned Scott on the complicated process of the free/reduced lunch application process and said many families might not be eager to apply with a similarly complicated application process for a $12 benefit.
Applications would be assessed through a screening committee formed with a representative of the Knox County Jobs & Family Services, a representative from the pool’s management, Mavis, Dave Glass and Scott.
When asked what was happening with donations already provided for scholarships, Scott said checks were being held temporarily in order to establish a fund. Following a request by Councilwoman Nancy Vail, Scott said he would go ahead and deposit the checks in order for donors to reconcile their bank accounts.
The creation of the special fund, Scott said, would allow any contributions to be tax deductible items for which the city would provide a receipt for tax purposes.
Dice asked council members to take the opportunity to read through the draft legislation and bring concerns and suggestions to the next council meeting.
In other council news:
•An emergency resolution was passed to appoint Keith Stuart to the board of trustees for the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County. Stuart will fill the unexpired term of David Baker which ends on Dec. 31, 2013.
•Approved the following supplemental appropriations: $13,033.33 for fire casualty at 75 Sychar Road; $774,240 for road paving and improvements at Edgewood Road and Gambier Street intersection; $5,000 for EMS training which is covered by a grant from the Ohio Department of Public Safety/Division of EMS; and $6,000 for exceeded estimated resources for school property tax collections.
•Approved the payment of $3,500 to Community Development Consultants of Ohio, and $4,779.96 to CenturyLink for annual telephone maintenance contract.
•Mayor Mavis announced a Makers Market will take place in front of City Hall during the next two Saturdays. The event is an opportunity for those who make items to set up shop during the Farmers Market. Mavis said it is a pilot test project.
•To date, parking tickets have generated $2,170 in revenue. Payroll for the parking attendant has been $1,680 so far this year, Scott said.
The next Mount Vernon City Council meeting will take place Aug. 23, at 7:30 p.m. in council chambers, 1 Public Square.