By J.D. Charles For Civitas Media
July 11, 2014
The recent Freedom Festival was the main topic of this week’s meeting of the Logan City Council and how the event has grown over the years.
Ironically many of the hardest working people who helped to pull the festival off were present at the meeting — firefighters, police officers and other city employees who put in 18 hour days to make sure things went smoothly.
“It was probably the biggest crowd we ever had in downtown Logan,” admitted Mayor Serafino Nolletti. “I cannot say enough about the hard work done by our city employees through the whole thing. This kind of event could not have taken place without their hard work and help.”
Logan Police Chief E.K. Harper noted that through the whole thing there was not one serious incident — which was pretty amazing considering the sizes of the crowds over the multiple days of the event.
“There were no fights, no arrests for public intoxication. The worst thing that happened throughout was a child who got separated from their parent,” Harper noted. “We made one arrest and that was on an outstanding warrant that had nothing to do with the festival when the person was identified. When you consider the amount of people we had in town that was unbelievable.”
Mayor Nolletti and City Clerk Amber Miller Viars discussed the history of the event and how the current mayor himself got involved in it.
“It is hard to pull off,” she said, adding that one of the people who always worked hardest on the project was the Mayor himself, who seldom took any credit for Freedom Fest.
“Tom Esposito was the mayor when this started and he was always a supporter of it,” Mayor Nolletti said. “Over the years some people were fans and some weren’t. When Harry Ruloff was the Mayor the festival landed in my lap… I want to thank all of you for your help.”
“And this year’s event was the best ever,” the Mayor said. “We had more visitors than ever before, more vendors than ever before and we had some national level entertainers this year.”
Brandon Vance and Judy Tolliver of Rockin’ Rolls were honored with the trophy for the best booth at the meeting.
The other major topic of the meeting was the ongoing projects involving the Federal Emergency Management Agency in regards to several landslides and the Wilson Camp Project. Former Mayor Tom Esposito has been working closely with the city to help identify and contact absentee property owners of homes in Wilson Camp that will eventually be removed about buying them out.
Esposito told the Logan Banner that some of the hold ups have been due to the sheer number of people out of town or state who had to be contacted.
“We had one property that had six heirs,” Esposito claimed going down the list of how the heirs were finally contacted. “The last one will be coming to town soon to sign paperwork.”
Esposito told the council that most of the property owners who will be relocating have found new homes in different areas that they seem to be happy with.
Some families have already relocated.
“As soon as they are all relocated, we will close out on the project, demo the structures and close off the area,” Mayor Nolletti said.
The Mayor said other projects are in the wings for repairs and explained that the city is waiting on a $164,000 check from the government to pay one of the contractors.
“The plan is to fix High Street first and then get reimbursed for that as it is the most expensive. Then we will fix Lorraine Street next and get reimbursed for that one. Then we will do the next one…”
City Attorney Kendal Partlow discussed a claim one contractor had made for a tremendous amount of interest, which he said ‘amounts to nothing’ as it was not agreed to or approved. Partlow pointed out the agreement between the city and the contractor was a normal one and had been approved in all details.
Code Enforcement Officer Ray Perry said that finding a suitable dump site will still be a factor in upcoming demolition projects.