Dixon Commission was faced with a difficult task on Monday night, selecting a replacement for one of their own following the death of first term commissioner Don Poe last week.

At a special called commissioners meeting on Monday, a vote was held to appoint Jeff Graham to fill the vacancy.

Graham was a Pastor at Providence First Methodist from 1989-1993 and has volunteered as a leader for the Boy Scouts. His wife, Linda, is a retired Webster County teacher.

Graham is now retired but plays a big role at the Providence Community Food Bank. He stated that it is important to him to stay involved in his community and do what he can to serve the city of Dixon.

Jeff Graham was put on the payroll of the city of Dixon at $75.00 a month and his term on the board will last through December of 2022.

In other business, a budget for the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funds of $114,070 was reviewed. The city plans to replace the wall between the male and female restrooms at Baker Park, using these funds. They also plan on moving the fence at the park further down Lakeview Drive, allowing a city owned house located there to be used by the community.

The house will be available for people to rent to host gatherings, such as birthday parties, family reunions and weddings. While also providing a shelter for members of the community in urgent situations such as, loss of electricity or home.

Cameras have been installed at both Baker and Borland Park. Members of the park board will have a log in to review and watch live feeds of footage from the cameras 24/7. The Members of the board were also advised to call the law to the park at the first sign of suspicious or dangerous activity at either park.

The Green River Area Development District (GRADD) will help the city determine where ARPA Funds can legally be utilized. The funds are required to be used to Decrease the spread of COVID-19 and Restore the loss of Revenue to the city of Dixon.

The commission encourages everyone to wear masks and get vaccinated. Masks are available for free to those who need them at the city community building.

Mayor Carolyn Townsend plans on trying to recover the money spent to hire private contractors to mow Borland Park, when COVID-19 restrictions wouldn’t allow the jail to continue to do so.

The City also plans on donating some of the ARPA funds to the Food bank located in Providence to help more people in the community in need of groceries. The Food Bank currently offers $1 worth of groceries for only twenty-five cents. GRADD will be addressed to confirm if city workers are considered essential workers, allowing a raise to their hourly pay.

“Doctor, Nurses, essential workers on the front lines have received nothing while people not working are receiving all this money” stated Townsend.

ARPA funds will also be used for grants to help support small businesses compensate for any loss of revenue due to COVID dating all the way back to the beginning of the pandemic.

Landlords are suffering due to the mortarium on evictions. They are not receiving rent payments and water bills on properties are adding up. The only qualifications needed on the grant applications will be a Federal and a State Tax ID for your business. All applicants must be able to show a loss in revenue separate your personal income due to COVID.

The next scheduled Commissioners meeting will be on September 13th, 2021.