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Williams City Council honors volunteer organization
Citizens for a Better Williams holds its meetings at 6 p.m. on the fourth Monday of every month at Louis Cairo’s restaurant in Williams.
Citizens for a Better Williams was recognized by the Williams City Council on Wednesday night for its efforts to improve the look and feel of the town.
About a dozen members of the group attended, and group President Andi Armstrong accepted the certificate of appreciation from Mayor Pat Ash, who is her mother and one of the founders of the group.
The organization began in 2006.
"The town was starting to look really run down," said Armstrong.
Armstrong said that at the time a city official was not cooperative in allowing them to pull weeds and pick up garbage on city property.
"We were told 'no.' The rebels that we are, we did it anyway," she said.
Other group activities began piling on quickly.
"The committee putting on Pioneer Days was somewhat disbanding, we took that over. When our soldiers came home we wanted to honor them ... and we starting adding to the list (of activities)."
Now the group has about 15 active volunteers and gains support from local businesses and organizations. Their list of projects includes organizing and participating in the Festival of Lights and Pioneer Day, introduction of the music in the park series, general clean-up and maintenance events for town beautification, and installing the veterans memorial and flagpole in the Williams town square.
"We started with the idea that the streets could be a little cleaner and the town could look a little nicer," said Ash.
"We've come a long way," said Armstrong. "Its an honor to receive recognition from the city."
The group's next big project is orchestrating the installation of a mural on the side of the Masonic Hall on 7th Street behind the town square. The building was recently purchased by Ash and her husband.
The Williams Hotel was once at the location and the group is raising funds to paint a mural "to represent the old days of the hotel," said Armstrong.
In other council news:
• The council agreed to sign a letter of support for the Walker Ridge Wind Park proposed by AltaGas Renewable Energy Pacific.
The wind park would place 29 wind turbine generators on about 80 acres of Bureau of Land Management public land straddling Colusa and Lake Counties.
Jesus Arredondo, a consultant for AltaGas, said the project would benefit the city because Williams will be the staging ground for the project, bringing about 150 temporary construction jobs, and will provide tax revenue to the county.
• Youth soccer players were joined by their coaches and parents requesting help from the city to improve the soccer field and fix the lighting at the tennis courts at Valley Vista Park.
"We twist our ankles and the ball doesn't go that good," said Uriel Velazquel, who is 12 years old.
Visiting teams have complained about the quality of the field and said that it is a danger to the players, according to parents.
A committee of Hispanic leaders that have been organizing to become more involved in the community since February had identified the soccer fields as a priority issue they would like to see addressed.
• The council voted to forgive a water bill charge that had been transferred to the new owner of a home on Ninth Street. They also directed staff to readdress the water code that caused the problem.
In Williams, the property owner is responsible for the water and sewer bill. A home on Ninth Street was sold in 2012 with an outstanding water bill of more than $700 and the new owner purchased the home without knowledge of the debt.
Sarvan Singh purchased the home and began paying utilities in 2012.
"Since I purchased it, I paid it from day one, so I shouldn't be nailed for it," said Singh.