By LINDA MESSMER
Orville Redenbacher would be proud. A little kernel of an idea has heated up and is about ready to explode. A new contract was discussed for the Popcorn Festival of Clay County and two more events were added during last night's Park Board meeting at City Hall.
The contract will be between the Brazil Park Board, the Popcorn Festival and the Clay County Historical Society as the latter is the organization that will supply the necessary insurance.
Festival representatives Kenny Pickett and Glen and Evelyn Brown got permission from the board to add a quarter midget race and a carnival to the program.
The race will be in the pavilion and is run by youngsters up to pre-teens including kids as young as four years old. It will be held Oct. 5. The carnival will run all three days of the festival: Oct. 3, 4 and 5.
The Board also gave the Popcorn Festival committee permission to repeat the festival in 2004.
The Board discussed damage to the parks from recent storms. Brad Pell from Pell's Roofing and Siding Co. agreed to start work within the next two weeks on repairing the pavilion roof. It should be completed within 30 days. Pell estimated the cost at a high of $29,950.
The small pond in front of the Chafaris dos Contos Fountain took a direct hit from a large fallen branch caused by the storm. The little fountain and pump in the pond had to be replaced. Some of the fencing still needs repaired.
Board President Ruthann Jeffries said total cost of damages to the parks thus far is $38,336.90. That does not include the cost of tree removal or some electrical work.
The Thelma Wallace bequest was discussed. The Board has already received $10,000 and expect another $4,000. They would like to spend the full amount on a project that otherwise could not be done.
The possibility of erecting a concrete wall 60-70 feet long on the west side of the baseball diamond facing SR 59 was discussed. Board members recalled the big green wall that used to be there with a mural of a diver, baseball player, tennis player and golfer.
Kenny Pickett said he and Bob Nevis would donate two 4 by 8 feet slabs of limestone in which the pictures could be carved if the board was interested.
Also discussed was the possibility of placing decorative lights over the bridges and elsewhere in the park with the Wallace money. The Board tabled the items and are interested in public input on the matter.
The Board gave Beverly Lawson permission for her son's theater group to present a puppet show at Forest Park one weekend of the Covered Bridge Festival in October. Lawson said her son is part of a Christian non-profit theatrical group. They build their own puppets, some of which are 10-14 feet tall. The program will be presented in front of the Chafariz dos Contos Fountain.
The merry-go-round from the playground is not yet completed. Board treasurer John Tilley reported that Julie Parsons said they have the materials but a helper had recent health problems, which has slowed the progress.
There have been complaints about the mosquito problem at the park. Jeffries said the Board has investigated the situation. Neither the city nor the county have the equipment to spray the park. Reports are that the spraying doesn't control the problem as it kills only the adult insects, but has no effect on the eggs.
A request to have a turkey shoot at Craig Park was denied by the Board. Jeffries said she checked with the Brazil City Attorney and Police Chief. There is an ordinance that firearms cannot be discharged in the city.
The next Brazil Parks Board meeting will be Sept. 3.