Remember when I was talking about how easy it is to be entertained by the local folks? That was when I was watching old Mayor Barney filling in the ravine over at his Mudslide Estates so he could sell an extra lot or two. I knew that something funny was bound to come of it, and it has.
See, Junior filled me in on the source of that dirt he was dumping in that ravine. A dozen years or so ago, the town had to build a new sewage treatment plant. Things were, as they say, starting to back up a little, and the smell was a bit on the powerful side. So, up went a new plant right next to the water tower (which never seemed quite right to me - the water tower should not be that close to the sewage plant). Of course, they had to excavate a bunch of dirt for the lagoons, and that dirt wound up in a big pile next to the water tower. We call it Mount Junebug. The local gang finds it to be quite suitable for sledding in winter and lawn mower racing in summer (watching Dickie Jensen chasing his mower as it tumbles end over end down the side of the hill is rather amusing - but that's a story for another time).
Anyway, Junior saw old Mayor Barney filling up his truck with dirt from Mount Junebug and hauling it on over to Mudslide Estates. I know Barney well enough to know that he just figures that he's the mayor so the dirt must be his. The rest of the townsfolk aren't so sure about that. First, that dang dirt hill is the only recreational area we've got in town. Second, if we wanted to get rid of it, it seems like we should be able to sell it.
Clean fill isn't cheap. Jimmy wanted to build a cabin down by the river, and the state told him that he'd have to raise the land up a couple of feet to get it out of the floodplain. He went and priced some dirt to find it was going to cost him about 25 grand. Needless to say, Jimmy still has no fishing cabin.
I'm sure that Mayor Barney's "reallocation" of town resources will be the talk of the town for a while. We'll just have to see how it pans out. I'm going to have to get me a front row seat!
Reporting from Junebug Holler, this is
Stevie Joe Parker