CenturyTel gives back to communities

Wednesday, February 9, 2005
Area mayors receive donations from CenturyTel. Pictured are, from left: Billy Watson, CenturyTel area plant supervisor; Norman Williams, Black Oak mayor; Jerry Bowman, Lake City mayor; Clifford Veach, Manila mayor; Skip Layne, CenturyTel area operations manager. Front -- Joe South, Caraway mayor; David Fletcher, Monette mayor; and Ralph Wells, Leachville mayor. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Representatives of CenturyTel welcomed area mayors and presented each town with a check on Tuesday.

Skip Layne, area operations manager, and Billy Watson, area plant supervisor, made the presentation to Mayor Joe South, Caraway; Mayor Norman Williams, Black Oak; Mayor Ralph Wells, Leachville; Mayor Jerry Bowman, Lake City; Mayor Clifford Veach, Manila; and Mayor David Fletcher, Monette.

Layne praised the mayors for beings promoters of the communities they serve.

"We appreciate you and the communities you represent," Layne said. "Northeast Arkansas is a fast developing area of the state and we are happy to be a part of it. We know that you will put these dollars to good use for the communities."

Layne informed the mayors that plans are being made to put together an advisory group to meet with CenturyTel leaders.

"You can bring ideas to us and maybe we can help," Layne said. "We want to be involved in the communities we serve. Hopefully, we can do a good job for you."

Watson also expressed his appreciation to the mayors.

"I want to thank you for your support of CenturyTel and being such good customers," Watson said.

Mayor Fletcher thanked Layne and Watson.

"We appreciate the $1,000 contribution," Fletcher said. "If others would match you, it would go a long way on the new ballpark. This check and the ones from previous years will go to the community youth. I would like to challenge other companies in the community to stand up. The general fund cannot support everything. If we can get community support for matching grants and keep turning that money over, we could have a fantastic facility."

Mayor Ralph Wells said Leachville's check will also go to the park and recreation.

"It is a sad thing that we don't have more CenturyTels in the area," Mayor Wells said.

Wells said the city has a grant and will need to have $18,500 in funds and in-kind labor for the city's match of the $75,000 grant.

Mayor Veach said he had used CenturyTel as an example to other companies doing business in the area. Veach also expressed his appreciation for the gift. The Manila money will be used for parks/recreation and the youth association.

Mayor South thanked CenturyTel for the $1,000 that will go into the general fund and be earmarked for a new tornado siren.

Lake City Mayor Bowman said the money will be used for the new senior citizens center. Lake City purchased the old post office building and is renovating it for a senior citizen site.

Mayor Williams thanked CenturyTel on behalf of Black Oak. Williams said the money will be used on park and community projects.

Following the presentation, the mayors were invited to lunch at Lil Vera's in Monette.

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