Leachville mayor credits work release program

Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Leachville Mayor Ralph Wells praised inmates from the Mississippi County work release facility for the work they did in the city this past week when the Leachville City Council met in regular session Oct. 6.

"They do such an excellent job for our city when they come here to work," Wells said. "We had 21 inmates here today and two guards. They are helping us with cleaning alleys, unwanted trees, and drainage ditches. They will be here again tomorrow, then plan to return on Oct. 20-21 to work again.

"We will also be getting help with people from the Arkansas Department of Community Corrections. They will be here on Thursday to clean culverts. Having the workers from these two groups is of great manpower value to the city."

The council reported on the outstanding entertainment taking place at the Melody Theater. Plans are for shows on Fridays and Sunday afternoons.

"We have had the Platters, The Box Tops and many other great acts, but last week's Miss Mess was standing room only," Wells said. "The Nifty Fifties really put on a show. They were great, and the audience loved them. There will be a bluegrass band here on Friday night, as Dr. Marty Harderson is planning a welcome home night of music to welcome his son Gabriel Harderson home from Iraq. Proceeds from Friday night's program will go to benefit Mickey Jo Davis. Sunday's performers are Tom and Beverly Grant of Nashville."

Brandon Harrell with the Palace Theater and Regal Theater has expressed intentions of helping get a projector and theater screen, without cost.

"This would enable us to show movies in the Melody Theater as well," Wells said. "It would be good to have a local place to go watch a movie."

"We are still working at getting a dollar store here. We need somewhere close by to purchase supplies, without having to drive to Blytheville or Jonesboro. We are not going to give up on this."

Wells announced that a petition is being circulated to ask that the Arkansas Revenue office located at City Hall not be closed.

"We pay for the facilities, as well as heat and electricity, for the Revenue office," Wells said. "This makes having an office here very cost efficient for them."

The city is still working with Ford Motor Company about replacing the police car motor, which was damaged by displacement and lodging of a notification label.

Wells encouraged council members assigned to overseeing department expenses to continue cutting back on spending.

Alderman Sheila Spurlock announced the the Leachville Christmas parade has been set for Nov. 29, beginning at 6:30, with a rain date set for Dec. 2. There is to be a Relay for Life float this year, along with the traditional Santa Clause float. Anyone wishing to know more about taking part in the parade is asked to call Spurlock at 870-539-2441. Prize money will be awarded in several categories.

Spurlock also announced that the Relay for Life support donations has reached $46,000. A special appreciation reception will be held for all workers and supporters at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 14, at the Leachville Church of Christ.

The council voted 5-0 (with alderman Rick Hamilton abstaining) to follow through with condemnation and removal of the house on 6th and Elm Street, belonging to William McFall of Manila. Resolution 2003-2 was passed to enforce city ordinance 2002-2.

Jerry Collier of Tyronza spoke to the council about the Community Emergency Response Team program, started by FEMA, with special training through the Arkansas Department of Education Emergency Ammendment (ADEA), with a spend/respond type of agreement, and potential start-up grants beginning at $5,100. No decision was made by the council to participate.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov.3.

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