Weeks of uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic have kept people apart by necessity, but with the shroud slowly lifting over our society, a triumvirate of upcoming events are offering hope again for group gatherings — with some restrictions still in place.
In addition to the Henry County High School graduation ceremony planned for May 29, there’s a Memorial Day commemoration coming up Monday, and, farther in the future, a joint Henry County/City of Paris bicentennial celebration.
The Henry County Commission heard about the latter two events during its Monday meeting at the county 911 offices. Nine of the commissioners were present in person (with social distancing in place), and the other six all attended via conference call.
County Mayor Brent Greer told the commission about Monday’s Memorial Day events, which will be on the north side of the court square beginning at 8:45 a.m.
“We had a very successful National Day of Prayer event recently on that side of the square, with everybody spaced out and it worked out well,” Greer said.
Commissioner David Webb, who is also the official county historian, made a presentation to the commission about the upcoming bicentennial in 2021.
Henry County will be 200 years old next year, while the City of Paris will turn 200 in 2023. Thus, a joint celebration is in the planning stages.
Webb also pointed out the Henry County Courthouse will be 125 years old next year.
“Right now, we’re just looking to generate ideas and we hope to plan on carrying out several projects. One thing we need now is a logo, and we need to develop a full financial plan,” Webb said.
A committee of civic representatives will be working on the efforts, which will be linked into the Paris-Henry County Heritage Center, the local museum that focuses on the history of the area.
Webb said the committee will at some point be requesting some money, probably $2,500 each from the county and city, as seed money for the celebration.
“We want this to serve as a homecoming for people from the county as well,” Webb said.
The commission unanimously agreed to support the efforts of the bicentennial group
In other action:
• Numerous budget resolutions were adopted, including a transfer of $10,642 in the budget of Circuit Court Clerk Mike Wilson. More than $9,000 of that money, which comes from a state grant, will go toward security measures at the courthouse.
About $5,600 was transferred within the county solid waste budget. Greer told the county Budget Committee last week that the county’s recyclable sales struggled much of the last few months because the market in China for recyclables had dried up.
“Our cardboard revenues have been down significantly,” Greer said.
He said the price of cardboard had dropped to $25 a ton at one low point in the market, but it’s rebounded now to about $125 a ton.
“They’re (the Chinese) are begging for it now,” said Ronald Watkins, county solid waste manager, during the budget meeting.