OVILLA – Congressman Joe Barton has officially accepted the title of grand marshal for Ovilla’s upcoming Heritage Day to be held Saturday, Sept. 26.

Council member Jo Ann Graham hinted earlier in the month that Barton had been invited to take on the position. During Monday night’s meeting, Graham made the announcement.

Graham also said an unidentified council member had donated money toward the children’s bounce house and obstacle course for the Heritage Day event. Other council members are putting together prizes and additional parade needs, as well, she said.

Attendees can expect a petting zoo and, during the parade, both the Red Oak and Midlothian High School marching bands will play.

Several church choirs and bands will be on hand to perform later in the day and the local Boy Scouts will be in attendance to march in the parade and accept flags that people would like to dispose of properly. The scouts will dispose of them during one of their upcoming meetings.

The theme for this year’s Heritage Day is “Youth,” Mayor Bill Vansyckle said. “That’s why we are trying to get as many youth involved as possible like the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts.”

At the end of the council meeting, Vansyckle said $5 raffle tickets to win either an industrial power saw or a riding lawnmower would be on sale by council members through Heritage Day. The raffle money will go toward the renovation of the city council chambers, which are still under work. The cost so far is about $3,000, with Vansyckle saying he had more ideas for the chambers with about $9,000 needed if the contractors do all of the work on the wish list.

An interlocal agreement for the lease of voting machines from the county was approved unanimously.

Budget numbers were discussed as of July 2009 with the General Fund short by $43,501 and the Water and Sewer Fund positive with $31,448. For the 2009-2010 fiscal year, it was noted that the city would be $1,071 over if the council goes with the presented budget.

A council workshop will be held at 3 p.m. Sept. 9 to further discuss the budget as well as council meeting procedures and other items.

City Administrator Randy Whiteman told the council he had submitted a requested question and answer report for this year’s Fitch Rating. The city was awarded a AA- rating last year. Whiteman said he didn’t see any changes in the rating being made based on the answers he submitted.