Leachville City Council considers early debt payoff

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The Leachville City Council discussed plans for early retirement of debt, ice storm clean up and department reports at the regular council meeting Monday, March 9.

Alderman Bruce Wilson was chosen to preside over the council meeting during to the absence of Mayor Sheila Spurlock.

The council discussed paying off the GMAC debt for the old water well in order to keep from paying additional interest on the loan. The maturity date for the loan is 2021, and the city has enough cash on hand to pay the $53,877.65 now by using the debt reserve account and maturing CDs.

The decision for early pay-off was delayed until the April meeting in order to secure the exact closing amount to complete the transaction.

The council discussed the recent clean up after the ice storm and FEMA reimbursement.

"We are looking for reimbursement from FEMA for a seven day period, from lights off until lights on," said City Treasurer Ruth Ann Keith. "We are keeping records of employee overtime and volunteers hours."

"Our people have done an incredible job at helping out," said Alderman Teresa Johnson.

"Residents are asked to put their storm debris out by March 23, to be picked up and taken to the land fill," Keith said. "That will give the city time before March 29 to get it picked up. Later on we will be given an emergency burn permit to dispose of it. We have all our permits ready to go when FEMA says we can burn.

Police Chief Keith Evans gave the February police report, which included seven traffic citations, 22 criminal arrests, and one felony domestic battery. Animal control officers have been busy with ice storm cleanup during the past month.

A community wide meeting was scheduled by the Mississippi County Arkansas EOC for March 12 in Leachville to meet the needs for services involving childcare, housing, home energy assistance, and weatherization.

Water Supervisor Jake Ballard reported several items for future council consideration. These included a need for another Water Department vehicle, demolition of the concrete building at the old water plant, cell phone for transferring calls after hours, and uniforms for Water Department personnel.

Mark and Teresa Johnson gave the monthly Fire Department report. Ten #207 regulation breakaway protective vests are needed at an estimated cost of $710.41. The council voted to purchase the vests.

Quotes are still being reviewed for construction of the northern extension to the fire department building. Mark Johnson has received two bids on construction of the basic part of the structure.

Building specifications will be assembled should further advertising be needed.

The council discussed the need to get 32 street lights south of town back in operation. They were unoperational due to replacement of power poles. Pole numbers will be secured in order to request replacement of lights.

Alderman Syrena Duffel said she had been asked by Mayor Spurlock to work on a disaster plan for the city.

"We have a disaster plan already, and I'll turn that in to the city," Teresa Johnson said.

The Buffalo Island Central FBLA is working on a web site program with funding from the Leachville LIDC.

"I think this would be a good time for the city to get a web site up and running," Wilson said. "Perhaps the FBLA could design one for the city as well. The LIDC is to be commended for their work. They have done a lot for the city. If they hadn't been handling their money good, they would have been broke by now, and they aren't."

Karen Wallace gave an update and provided sketches of the Buffalo Island Veterans Memorial Garden to be constructed north of city hall.

"We would love to have it in place by Veteran's Day (Nov. 11)," Wallace said.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, April 13, at city hall.

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