BY DAVID FISHER
GLEASON (January 18) — During the January 18 Gleason City Board meeting, Gleason Mayor Charles Anderson announced three new businesses are coming to town. The board also discussed school traffic safety and the purchase of new police patrol cars.
According to Mayor Anderson, B. Mac’s Grub House Restaurant, formerly Charlie Mac’s Farmhouse Restaurant, (the old J&J Drive-In Restaurant), located at 3723 Hwy. 22, will officially open around the last week in January. It will be open Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays for evening meals.
Also Tumbleweed Trading Post, which is an antique mall, will be open by February 1. The store is located at 547 East Union St., inside the old Dollar General Store building.
Additionally, on February 4, Barker’s Auction Company will be opening an auction house inside the former Kimberly’s Market building, located at 545 East Union St. in Gleason.
“We really appreciate these businesses opening in Gleason,” Mayor Anderson said. “They could go anywhere, but they chose Gleason.”
School Traffic Safety
“We’ve received citizens’ complaints about how long it takes parents to drop off their children at school in the morning,” Gleason Police Chief Brian Legons said. “Traffic is sometimes backed up all the way to the Gleason Clinic on 105 North Cedar St. So, we got with Gleason Principal Lee Lawrence and Administrator of Weakley County Schools Randy Frazier, Public Works Director Rodney Garner and myself, and we talked about what we could do to make it more efficient. We observed school traffic for a couple days and saw that parents would only drop their children off at the main entrance.”
Chief Legons stated they decided to allocate space between two white bars for parents to drop off their children. So, instead of dropping off students one vehicle a time, they could drop them off six vehicles all at once. However, the police chief noted there has been a little bit of a backlash from parents, because they don’t want to see their children walk to the school without an adult being present outside. “We reached out to the school, and they said they did not have the staff to be out there in the mornings,” Chief Legons said. “So, it’s still a work in progress.”
Police Car Purchase
Mayor Anderson reported, approximately three years ago, the City of Gleason received free surplus military equipment under the Law Enforcement Support Office (LESO) program, which authorizes the transfer of excess Department of Defense (DoD) property to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.
“The city is now in the process of selling this equipment,” Mayor Anderson said. “It hasn’t been picked up yet, but once it is, the proceeds received from the sale of the LESO military equipment will be used to purchase two police vehicles. The city received delivery of the first police vehicle on December 14 and will soon receive the second vehicle. The equipment we had for sale brought a whole lot more money than we thought it would, giving us the money we needed to purchase the two vehicles. We needed the cars, so we went ahead and obligated ourselves to buy them.”
The mayor stated expenditures made from the money received from the sale of LESO equipment will be outlined on a spreadsheet and discussed during the February meeting.
“We are taking applications for a park director to run an organized park program for the summer,” Mayor Anderson said. “We don’t have any applications yet, but we’re going to run an ad in the newspaper. If anyone knows of someone who would like to take that job, have them contact Gleason City Hall. Last year, we paid $6,000 for the job and that’s what we have budgeted again for this year. That’s about four months’ worth of work beginning in late February and ending in late June.”
The mayor also reported Gleason’s new librarian, Michelle Wilson, is working out really well.
Concerning the Downtown Revitalization Committee, Mayor Anderson said, “We had a really good summer activity.” Mayor Anderson stated the 2021 Gleason Christmas Parade was cancelled due to the tornado that ravaged much of Weakley County. He noted, although Gleason was spared any tornado damage, the City of Dresden experienced major destruction. “The tornado sort of put a damper on things. We just couldn’t celebrate with our neighbors in Dresden suffering the way they were,” the mayor said.
“Instead of a Christmas Parade, the City of Gleason hosted a Christmas Open House for the first time, with over 100 people in attendance. We had a really good Christmas celebration here at city hall. A Christmas tree was decorated with 100 ornaments, provided by the local school children. They decorated the ornaments, with the best decorated entries receiving cash prizes. We had milk and cookies, and Santa Claus also showed up for the event, so it turned out really well.
Looking ahead, Mayor Anderson said, “We’re planning on having an even larger Christmas event in December of 2022.” The mayor reported plans call for hosting a July 4th event again this year on Saturday, July 2.
Because President’s Day falls on Monday, February 21, the next Gleason City Board meeting is set for Tuesday, February 22.