The Leachville City Council reviewed department reports, set Christmas bonuses and discussed the upcoming Christmas parade at the regular council meeting Monday evening, Dec. 8.
City Treasurer Ruth Ann Keith gave the treasurer's report, as she answered inquiries made by city aldermen.
Councilman Bruce Wilson requested the treasurer consider doing a bank draft to the Department of Finance and Administration to avoid any late fees incurred by delay of payment.
Jake Ballard gave the Water Department report and updated the council about ongoing problems with the electrical harness on the city's diesel truck. He agreed to secure an estimate for repair.
Discussion also ensued about the use of leftover money from Arkansas Natural Resources to purchase a truck for the Water Department. Funds consisting of $19,927.56 were listed with an estimated cost of $16,000 for a four-wheel drive half ton truck. Reimbursement for the purchase of the truck was estimated at $10,000. No decision on the purchase was finalized.
Ballard reported the city has 13 pumping stations, with six to eight stations still containing original pumps. Whole assembly pumps were listed at $3,200 each. No decision was made for replacement.
"I want to thank you for flushing the water meters," Alderman Tommy Stone said. "The water is looking so much better."
"They need to be flushed on a regular basis," said Alderman Johnny Stone. "Doing it the first Monday, every two months, would get us on schedule."
"We will plan to do it again in February 2009," Mayor Sheila Spurlock said.
Dickie Coburn gave the Street Department report. Discussion involved limb pick up, backhoe usage, overhead door for city shop, and work on Christmas lights. Asphalt overlay was considered for Lang Street. A decision was tabled until the January meeting, so estimates can be obtained.
Police Chief Keith Evans reported new officer Joni Isebell is becoming a great asset to the Police Department.
"She is getting to know the town and the people right now," Evans said.
Evans gave the November Police Report, which listed fine monies collected for October at $2,971. Eight traffic citations were written, one DWI citation, and five criminal arrests in October. In September fine monies were listed at $3,599, with 17 traffic citations, one DWI, and 13 criminal arrests.
Evans listed Animal Control expenses for September and October at $91.57. Six dogs were captured, making a total of seven in captivity. One dog was released to owner, two were adopted and three were euthanized.
Mark Johnson gave the Fire Department Report.
"The door will be installed soon on the little building under the water tower," Johnson said. "This is the old chlorine building with a roof. We still have to get electricity to it before we use it."
"Phillip Posey of Memphis is to give us an estimate on the fire truck, but we have not received it yet," Johnson said.
The antique fire truck will be in six parades this year. It won third place in the Monette Christmas Parade on Dec. 1.
Paula Bowen gave a report on the Leachville Christmas Parade, scheduled for 6:30 on Saturday night, Dec. 13.
"We have 39 entries so far with categories for ATVs, floats, emergency vehicles, antique vehicles, walkers, and a Santa float," Bowen said. "Kids can come to the theatre afterwards and have their photo taken. If anyone wants more information on the parade they can call me at 638-9359 or the water department at 539-6604."
"I want to thank Paula for working on our Christmas parade," Councilman Wilson said.
The council voted to give a $500 Christmas bonus to the 14 full-time employees, with the city paying the taxes. Part-time employees, firemen, and First Responders, and part-time police workers will receive $100 each.
A Christmas luncheon will be held on Wednesday, Dec. 10, from 11:00 a.m. until 1 p.m. All employees and their families are invited to attend.
Copies of the 2009 City Budget were passed out to councilmen. A special council meeting will be held on Dec. 15 at 6 p.m. to review the budget.
"We need to have printouts of the income and expenses before we can do the budget," Alderman Wilson said.
Mayor Spurlock expressed her thanks to John Stone for serving on the city council. Aldermen Johnny Hawkins and Syrena Duffel will be taking their oath of office and serving on the council for the upcoming year.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 12.