Tommy Stone fills Leachville alderman vacancy

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Leachville City Council appointed a new city councilman, hired a full time police officer and set police salaries at the regular council meeting Nov. 10.

The council appointed Tommy Stone to fill the vacancy in Ward 1, left by outgoing alderman Mark Wheeler. Stone will take his oath of office on Nov.18.

Chuck Brown was hired as the third full time policeman, with a salary set at $29,000 per year plus holidays and vacations. Other salaries were set at $32,500 for Chief Keith Evans, $30,000 for Lieutenant Steve Lancaster, plus holidays and vacations, and $10 per hour for part time officers, with insurance benefits.

Leachville Mayor Sheila Spurlock announced a Grant Application workshop to be held at Lonoke on Tuesday, Dec. 2, at 10 a.m.

Leon Swihart was reappointed to serve on the Leachville Housing Authority Board.

"There will be no increase for employees this year," Spurlock said. "That is always good news."

Early voting in Leachville will begin on Nov.18, with vote for council position run-off slated for Nov. 25.

One-way traffic on a street (actual alleyway) between Ada and Lange Streets was discussed.

Tonya McCain requested something be done to slow traffic down on the one-way street.

"Since this was never designated a one-way street, perhaps we could look at speed bumps," said Alderman John Stone. "The traffic does need to be slowed down, as people race down that alley."

"Perhaps we could close it in the middle," said Alderman Bruce Wilson. "We need to have something in writing to see what the people near the alley want."

A decision was tabled in order to allow McCain time to come back to the council with signatures from residents living near the alley.

The council voted to use a $750 gift from CenturyTel for the purchase of city Christmas street decorations. An additional $300 has also been donated by Leachville businessmen for decorations.

Alderman Teresa Johnson presented the Leachville Fire Department and First Responders report for October. Thirteen First Responder calls were noted for the month plus seven fire calls. Total department funds were listed at $49, 593.50.

No official Police Department report was presented for October.

Mark Johnson gave a report on estimated move, update and placing the antenna on the old water tower railing.

"It should cost under $5,000," said Johnson. "We need to do it before the weather gets bad."

Radio Communications, in Jonesboro, quoted a total of $5,981 to fix the radio and provide lightening protection.

Chief Evans discussed two different trade-in possibilities for the 2007 Impala police car. Negotiations are still going on. No council decision was made.

"Evans reported three grants totaling $9,000 had been received by the Police Department during 2008.

"You'll are dong a great job with the grants," said alderman Bruce Wilson.

Mayor Spurlock thanked Holiday Inn in Blytheville for their generous gift of furniture for the newly renovated city hall.

At the close of the meeting outgoing alderman John Stone congratulated Johnny Hawkins on his election to the council.

"I'm thankful for the vote, and I'll do the best job I can," Hawkins said.

Marilyn Looney asked councilmen to encourage Leachville citizens to sign up on Wednesdays of each month for commodities and weathering of their homes.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be at 7 p.m. Dec. 8 at city hall.

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