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Fort Lawn provides $2,000 for July 4 celebration

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By Brian Garner

The Town of Fort Lawn Council voted at their June meeting to provide $2,000 from the Municipal Tax funds to help support a July 4th event at the Fort Lawn Community Center.
Rev. Ray Robinson, pastor of Emmanuel Baptist Church, representing a coalition of eight churches and the FLCC, spoke before council asking for the town's help in funding a community-wide July 4 celebration.
“This would be a community-wide event.  The reason we're doing this is to celebrate the fourth of July, but also to build spirit and pride in the Fort Lawn community, and we feel like this is a good opportunity to do just that,” he explained.
Robinson said the Fourth is on a Friday this year. Visitors to the celebration will gather at the Fort Lawn Community Center at 6:30 p.m.
“We're going to have hot dogs, hamburgers, desserts, plenty to drink, all free to everyone that will attend. We're going to promote this all over the community, through fliers and we plan to advertise in the local news media,” he said.
The celebration will include musical entertainment, speeches and the plans are to wind up the celebration with a fireworks show,  Robinson said.
The coalition asked for funds from the Town of Fort Lawn to help fund the fireworks for the finale.
During discussion of this request, Mayor John Rumford first provided historical background on an old ordinance the Town had against setting off fireworks, adding the ordinance had been repealed and “that will not be an obstacle” for the celebration.
Following some additional discussion, members of council and Town attorney Brian Grier determined  since the event will be considered to benefit people in the Chester County community at large, not just Fort Lawn citizens, the funds requested could be used for encouraging tourism to the area, and could be provided from the Municipal Tax Fund. The Town Council voted 3-0 to provide $2000. Councilman Scott Russell was not present at the meeting and Councilman Thomas Reddick had recused himself because of his association with the Fort Lawn Community Center.
Other matters taken up by Fort Lawn Town Council:
A public hearing on the $421K fiscal year 2015 budget. Following the public hearing, the Town Council voted 4-0 on second and final reading to approve the budget, which does not include a tax increase.
Approval of the second and final reading of the Revised Business License Ordinance for the Town. The business license ordinance has not been revised since 2003.
Approval of the second and final reading of the ordinance for revision of the lease agreement between the Town of Fort Lawn and the Fort Lawn Community Center.
During his report, Mayor Rumford briefed council on the $50,000 US Department of Agriculture Rural Community grant the Town has applied to the for on behalf of the Fort Lawn Community Center. The grant is for a sprinkler and alarm system. Rumford told council review of the proposal for the federal grant funds can take up to 45 days. The grant was submitted on May 29th.
Also in his Mayor's Report, Rumford briefed council on the status of the Town's sewer system.
    “Chester Metropolitan District provided help with the Williams Street lift station of excessive     vibration in the pump.
    “A reoccurring blockage problem on Highway 9 prompted a camera inspection of the line,     which revealed a service line protruding into the main line, causing an obstruction,”  he said.     The cost of repairing this has not been determined yet.
    “Assistance with these problems was provided by Chester Metropolitan district, and we     appreciate that very much. On behalf of the Town, I extended thanks to the staff of the     Metropolitan District for their help,” Rumford said.