With the passing of Providence council member Derek David last week, the city will be seeking to fill the untimely vacancy on the governing body within the next two weeks.
By Kentucky law, the council has 30 days from the date the seat was vacated to appoint a new member to fulfil the term. That period will end between the city’s two regular meetings in December, the 6th and the 20th. The council decided Monday to work to appoint a replacement at the Dec. 6 meeting.
Those interested in the office may contact any of the council members to put their name on the list for consideration. The council will deliberate and seek to approve the new member during that Monday meeting.
Council member Shannon Layton said she believed it would be of help to the group if those interested wrote a few sentences explaining why they would be a good choice for the city. The council agreed that it would be helpful in making an informed decision.
Mayor Doug Hammers informed the members that while he could make recommendations to the council, the final decision would be theirs. He added that if the council could not appoint someone by the end of the 30-day limit, the decision would be made by the governor’s office.
The mayor expressed his condolences to the family of David, who passed last Wednesday
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family during this difficult time,” he said.
In other business, there was some disagreement over the roofing project at the building that houses the fire department, city emergency dispatch, council chambers, and the Providence branch of the Webster County Public Library.
The roof repairs to the building had been split into three sections, one of which — the part over the truck bay — has been completed. The other two segments remain incomplete — one over the bunk house for emergency personnel, and the other from the truck bay to the end of the building where the library resides.
At the council’s last meeting on Nov. 1, members requested Hammers contact Nick’s Home Repair, the company working on the roofing project. Due to the time that had passed since the estimate had been presented, the group wanted to know if the cost of materials had risen.
However, there was disagreement over what precisely was requested.
Hammers returned with a new estimate for the section that includes the library, with the new amount approximately $40,000 after material costs had risen by about $3,800. The cost reported Nov. 1 had been $37,292.
Council members Layton and Myra Bell both stated they thought they had also asked for a new estimate for the section above the bunk area as well.
Council member Mark Turner said he felt that section was more important because people were living in that portion of the building while the library was only open eight hours a day.
The estimate for that segment of the roof is $33,484.
Hammers told the council he had divided the job into three sections to help ease the burden on the city’s finances, so they wouldn’t be paying for all of the work at once. He invited the council to tour the building to see the condition of the roof above the remaining areas. He said after the meeting that the segment above the library end was in worse shape than that above the bunking area.
Hammers said he had discussed the new estimate with Webster County Librarian Erin Russelburg, who had told the mayor the library board had agreed to pay half the amount of the repairs to that section of the building. Russelburg had told him they were still willing to pay half of the original estimate, and that she would bring the additional $3,800 to their attention to see if they would pay an additional $1,900.
Hammers requested approval to pay Nick’s Home Repair $23,215 as a down payment to hold materials for the repair to the library section. Since the work would not be done until spring, the payment would ensure the city would get the needed materials at current cost.
He added that he would contact the contractor before the next meeting to find out what additional costs may be incurred on the estimate for the remaining portion of the work.
Council member Chip Palmer moved to give Hammers permission to make the $23,215 payment to Nick’s, but the motion died for lack of a second.The council did not discuss the matter further.
In other business:
The council approved the second reading of ordinance 2021-05, which closes the alley between Payne Ave. and Cemetery St.
Approximately 100 people dodged the raindrops Thursday in Providence to attend the annual Providence Elementary School Veterans Day program. They were rewarded by a window of blue skies and presentations from each class from the school. The school changed things up this year, conducting a parade through the middle of town with each class stopping before the gathering of veterans and families. The students read poems, sang songs, and recited the Pledge of Allegiance as the crowd crowded the sidewalks around the Providence mini park.
An early morning ATV accident claimed the life of a Webster County sheriff’s deputy Friday.
According to a release from the Webster County Sheriff’s Office, Gary L. Cole, 59 of Sebree, died at the scene of the accident at the intersection of KY 283 and Cottingham Pratt Road. The single-vehicle accident occurred before sunrise, the report reads.
Cole was attempting to make a right turn from KY 283 onto Cottingham Pratt Road when the left front tire of the ATV left the roadway, the report states. The vehicle shifted sideways and entered the ditch, and Cole was partially ejected and caught beneath the ATV.
Webster County Coroner Todd Vanover declared Cole dead at the scene.
Cole had left his home on KY 283 to go hunting, according to the report.
Cole worked as a bailiff for the Webster County Sheriff’s Office. He is the husband of Webster County Circuit Clerk Janet Cole.
He retired from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet where he was employed as a superintendent. He worked as a USSSA baseball umpire, and loved any activity that took him outdoors.
Funeral services were held Monday.
Providence lost one of its elected officials last week, as Derek David lost his battle with complications from COVID-19. He was 44 years old.
David took office in January as part of a wave of new council members that saw three of the city’s six seats filled by freshmen officials. As Providence is not split into districts, the top six vote-getters on the ballot are seated on the council.
David spent several week in the ICU at St. Vincent Hospital in Evansville before passing Tuesday night
Some of David’s fellow council members posted statements on Facebook Wednesday.
Shannon Layton: Please keep this precious family in your prayers in the coming days, weeks and months. Derek David was a great man and I had the pleasure of serving on the city council with him for these past ten months. He loved Providence so much and wanted what is best for our city. Thank you Derek for your service to Providence — you will be greatly missed, friend
Mark Turner: Please keep the David family in your prayers. I had the privilege to serve with Derek David for the last 10 months on the Providence City Council. Derek loved this town and always wanted what was best for our community! Derek will be greatly missed by us all. Go rest high on that mountain, buddy, til we see each other again.
David worked as a representative in the fire safety industry for 24 years. He gained a seat on the Providence City Council in 2020 after coming up just short in his previous campaign. He was a member of Pleasant Valley Missionary Baptist Church in Providence.
He was an avid outdoorsman.
He was born in 1977 in Madisonville to Doris Hohimer Davis and the late Mr. James Edward David.
David’s wife, Jennifer, is a teacher at Providence Elementary School. She also worked at the school when it was part of Providence Independent Schools. They have two children, a daughter Taylor Denae David, and a son, James Edward David.
Funeral services were held over the weekend.