By Kelly Young

countybeat@jacksonvilleprogress.com

REKLAW – The Reklaw City Council met Tuesday evening to discuss what action should be taken regarding three vandals who were caught doing “doughnuts” in the city’s park.

The three young men are residents of Rusk County, but the offense took place in Cherokee County.

Charlie Thorton, caretaker of the park, updated the council on the situation.

“Last weekend we had a situation where we had some young men in pickups who felt like they needed to have some fun, so they did doughnuts down in the park. They were caught and identified and the sheriff’s department was called,” Thorton said. “In three years we have been fortunate – this is the only real vandalism that we have had.”

Reklaw Mayor Bill Traweek said that he has been in contact with the sheriff regarding the issue.

“I told the sheriff to hold off until we met tonight, so we can decide what we want to do about this. We need to do something,” Traweek said. “There have to be consequences for your actions, I just don’t know exactly where we want to go with this. I don’t think we want to put these guys away for five years – maybe a fine or something like that is needed.”

Thorton recommended that the young adults be made to fix what they had destroyed.

“I’d like to make it clear to them that we want them to clean up their mess. I’d like to see them given manual labor. Have them go out, clean up their mess, reseed it and get some grass growing there,” he said.

Traweek planned to call the sheriff on Wednesday to begin the process of seeking punitive action.

The council also voted to hire Brian Helm to serve as utilities operator.

“We reviewed several applicants and we only got one that is really qualified. He has worked for us before. He’s a local boy and we know a lot about him. He will be close-at-hand and easy to get a hold of if we have a line break,” Traweek said.

Helm’s wage will start at $9.50 an hour, and he will be subject to a three-month review, at which time the city can choose to either retain his services or not. Helm will begin work Friday assuming he passes the pre-employment drug test.

The council also voted to delay the purchase of a new truck until the city’s current vehicle needs repair.

In other business the council approved:

• the city’s utility report;

• to hold a meeting to determine whether the city should take responsibility for the Reklaw Community Center and the city park;

• minutes from previous meetings;

• the city’s financial statements;

Reklaw City Council regularly meets at 6:30 on the third Tuesday of each month at the Reklaw City Hall.

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