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By Carissa Sitki
Members of the Grafton Witches on the Water committee attended the Tuesday, Nov. 16, Grafton City Council meeting where they presented a check to Mayor Michael Morrow for $2,416, the total proceeds from their Oct. 23 Witches on the Water event. The committee said they wish for their pub crawl to be “something more” by donating the event’s earnings to the City of Grafton for a community project that will honor Veterans.
“We had so many people come out this year, it was amazing, and it’s only going to get bigger,” said committee member Trebe Bradfisch. “What we would like to do is to take all of our proceeds and give it to the City of Grafton for a Veterans Memorial and from here on out that’s our plan.”
Morrow extended his gratitude to the Witches on the Water committee, which consists of Jessica Hayes, Deseray Hardwick, Jennifer Floyd, Christine Brame, and Bradfisch.
Morrow announced that several anonymous donations were made to various organizations and departments in Grafton. There was a $4,000 donation made to the police department and another $4,000 donation made toward the Grove Memorial Park playground set. Another donation was made in the amount of $3,000 for the Christmas light display, which covers half of the total cost, and the Grafton Chamber of Commerce is covering the other half. The other two donations consisted of $500 to the public works department and $200 to the food pantry.
Additionally, Morrow thanked the Loading Dock for their generosity in providing holiday meals for those in need in the community. The council and attendees paused for a round of applause to celebrate the generosity of those who have donated their time, funds, and energy into the betterment of the community.
The Mayor also announced that the Grafton Ferry Committee has been working with the Calhoun Ferry Company to secure a three year grant that would open the Calhoun Ferry seven days per week on a schedule that would be ideal for commuters. Another grant the committee is trying to get, would benefit the Grafton Ferry, Golden Eagle Ferry, and IDOT State Ferry.
Another committee has been developed, consisting of Morrow, Andy Jackson, Mary Lillesve, Dan Ebbing of the parks committee, John Taylor, Beth Bear President of the Jersey County Business Association (JCBA), Dennis Wilmsmeyer of the Port District, Cass Shepard, and Nick Hutchins to attempt to secure a grant from the Governor. The grant has a minimum amount of $250,000, but could end up being millions of dollars, and the city would not have to match the funds. Some of the potential uses of the funds would be sidewalk replacement from post office to end of Third Ward and adding a crosswalk/sidewalk by Drifters, an all accessible playground set and all accessible bathroom. The deadline to get the grant proposal to the JCBA is Dec. 1, and they will brush it up and turn it over to DECA who will then write it up and get it turned in by Jan. 10.
Finally, the Council heard the monthly treasurers report, public works report, parks committee report, and the tourism and marketing report.
In New Business, the Board: approved a special event permit for Santa’s annual visit to Grove Memorial Park on Dec. 4, 2021; approved a special event permit for the Witches on the Water event on Oct. 22, 2022; approved layover of a memo of understanding between the Grafton Historical Society and the City of Grafton regarding the ownership of responsibility of the museum until the December meeting; approved Ordinance 751, the City of Grafton tentative annual property tax levy, which is one-half of a percent; approved the contract for Millennia Professional Services; approved Ordinance 752, adjusting the fee structure for commercial construction fees; approved John Taylor as Chairman of the planning and zoning committee; and reaffirmed the approval of the Marina lease.
The Grafton City Council is scheduled to meet again on Tuesday, Dec. 21, at 7 p.m. at City Hall.