Council approves last year of Weed & Seed grant

The Weed & Seed Executive Committee stood before the Henderson City Council on Monday evening and asked members to pass a resolution to accept the program’s fifth and final year of funding.

The members of the Weed & Seed Executive Committee are Hattie Alexander, Henderson-Vance Recreation Department Director Alan Gill, and former mayoral candidate Juanita Sommerville.

Sommerville serves as the president of the Weed & Seed Committee.

Before members considered a motion to accept the grant, member Garry Daeke asked about the amount of overtime in the Weed & Seed budget. City Finance Director Sandra Wilkerson responded that that money was the “weeding” part of the budget and paid for Henderson Police Department officers to work overtime. She also said that the amount of overtime is the same as the amount that has been spent in the past.

Daeke also asked if Weed & Seed staff members were given raises. Sommerville said that it had been requested, but that raises were not permitted by the city.

City workers have not received raises for the last two budget years.

Member Mike Rainey asked about $37,000 in the budget for “contracted services”. Sommerville explained that the funds were for organizations providing “safe havens”, including Gateway, LEVI, and Progressive Faith.

“Such an effective program,” Henderson Mayor Pete O’Geary commented before the vote was taken.

The motion to accept the federal Department of Justice money passed unanimously.