Bill Ed Cannon

Clinton residents will have the chance to leave work Tuesday, Jan. 22, and give their input on how the city should develop its first-ever recreation complex.

The city has purchased land on Hwy 56 North, and intends to spend some of the money that has accumulated from years of levying hospitality and accommodation taxes to provide recreation for citizens and visitors on this site. The money can be used only for a project likely to attract tourists and visitors to the city.

Audited figures show the City of Clinton has $9.4 million in reserves. All but $2.2 million of that is restricted for tourism promotion. The $2.2 million gives the city about 4-1/2 months of operating money in case a natural or man-made disaster shuts off revenues. Auditors recommend six months of operating capital in reserves.

Announcement of the recreation planning meeting and the audit figures was made Monday night during the regular monthly meeting of the Clinton City Council. The meeting came four days after filing closed for the Mayor and two Council seats in a March 5 election.

Four people are challenging council member Shirley Jenkins for her seat on council; Jenkins and Danny Cook were the only two of seven council members in favor of delaying action on dissolving the Clinton Department of Public Safety, the most controversial move by the city government in 2018. Cook’s seat is not up for election this year.

Clinton City Manager Bill Ed Cannon announced that at 3 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 22, the public could come to the recreation site and view conceptual plans, drawn by a design firm he hired out of Kentucky, and give input about what should be done with the land.

Cook asked Cannon to schedule another public meeting, at night or on a weekend, since some people would be unable to get off work to attend the Jan. 22 meeting. The Clinton Family YMCA has agreed to work with the city in designing the recreation complex (155-160 acres), Cannon said.

Design people will attend this public meeting, and Cannon said, “We have to tell them what we want.”

Sometime between March and May, dirt will start being moved at the site, Cannon said. Once it is built, the city will have to hire recreation personnel to run it.

He said the recreation complex is a fulfillment of a task the city council gave him when Cannon took the city manager’s job a year ago. Cannon has managerial and engineering experience from Florida and Kentucky.