Leachville ball park grant application OK'd

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The Leachville City Council passed a resolution for application of a grant to make city ball park improvements at the Monday, June 8, council meeting.

Nathan Sanders presented the council with a request for a resolution allowing the Leachville Ballpark Association to apply for a matching grant from Arkansas Rural Development Commission for $21,615.36.

"We need ball park lights and sod on the field," Sanders said. "Over 400 children play on the fields each year. The Leachville community has already raised $4,515.36 through donations and in-kind labor to be applied to the project as a local match. The city of Leachville would only need to appropriate the sum of $6,292.32 to complete their part of the matching $10,807.68 requirement for the project."

The council passed Resolution 2009-2 allowing grant application totaling $21,615.36. The city will request assistance from the LIDC for the betterment of the community project.

"We have received $25,000 so far from FEMA," Mayor Sheila Spurlock said. "We have $71,000 still outstanding, if approved. All of this is still being reviewed."

"Our new truck is due to arrive in about three weeks."

The council discussed cell phone use and stipends for Water Department employees. Police officers are currently issued a monthly $25 stipend for cell phone usage.

"We currently have a phone in the water office and one at the treatment plant," Spurlock said.

"Do we need one in the treatment plant?" Alderman Bruce Wilson said.

"They use the one at the plant to order supplies," City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith said.

"We may discontinue the second phone," Spurlock said.

"People won't call the Water Department like they call the police," Wilson said.

"When a call comes in to the Water Department after hours it will be forwarded to the person on duty," Spurlock said. "We will be charged $4.80 a month for call forwarding."

"I think the stipend is the way to go," Alderman Tom Stone said.

The council voted to pay Water Department employees a $25 stipend and do away with the water plant phone.

Mayor Spurlock reported Street Department Supervisor Dickie Coburn was still working on securing quotes for the equipment grapple.

Street repair was discussed but no decisions were made.

"Our priorities are to complete the clean-up project and then do the other projects afterwards," Spurlock said.

"Your priorities have worked," Stone said.

"The dump has been closed until it has been inspected and cleaned up," Spurlock said.

Police Chief Keith Evans reported $3,994 in fines and forfeitures for the month of May.

"Our JAG Grant application has been reviewed," Evans said. "We also took part in the Click-It or Ticket Campaign and are waiting to see if we win some funding on it."

"I talked with David Lendennie (Office of Emergency Services) about the delays in our fire calls," Fire Chief Richie Pace said. "He explained how calls are routed. Cell phone calls go into the Sheriff's office and hard line calls go to the Blytheville office. They are working on upgrading the system.

"We need to move the antenna on the water tower ladder again, as it is in the way. The antenna has to be above the line of the water tower. There is a lot of safety issues involved. We can no longer put it on the handrail. We talked about this six months before we put it there and now we have to move it again.

"We also have two fire trucks that need to be replaced. Our newest one is a 1996 model. We can get all the quotes you want. Hope we can start out with a new one, and then catch up. Good trucks and equipment makes a difference when it comes to our ISO rating. We do checks on trucks but have decided to hire someone else to do extensive checks for us this time."

The city will advertise for bids on the fire truck and will reserve the right to refuse any or all bids.

"We hope to apply for an Arkansas Rural Community grant," Pace said. "They are pretty intensive."

"We need some help with the grants as we work all day and many go to school after hours," Alderman Teresa Johnson said.

Ruth Ann Keith reported on the new Centerpoint computer program from Computer Systems of Arkansas.

"We need an upgrade on our system," Keith said. "The Centerpoint program can be networked with Rebecca (Clowers) and my computers, so we can access any records we need. The company will also come in and do an update and train us, as well as provide program support. The total cost for the entire package is $3,795. Rebecca's computer needs additional memory, which will run less than $100. They can retrieve, transfer and install it all in one business day."

"We are in the computer age and have to stay updated," Stone said.

The council voted to purchase the Centerpoint program package.

Keith reviewed the process for applying for a Community Development Block Grant, due Aug. 1. The seven 'R's' of successful grant writing included: 1. resources; 2. read; 3. readiness; 4. reasonableness; 5. wRiting; 6. aRithmetic; and reporting.

The council tabled the decision to repair the Melody Theatre roof, as they had questions about the two bids received from Robertson Roofing and Jennings Roofing.

A Health-Fair Tour will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 25, from 9 a.m. until noon at the Methodist Church in Leachville. Free screenings for blood sugar, cholesterol, and pulse oxygen will be given along with blood pressure checks and lung function checks. PSA testing will cost $15.00.

Teresa Johnson said there will be a car wash fundraiser Saturday, June 13, from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. to support the Cave Dweller Fourth of July Celebration in Leachville.

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

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