Leachville Council addresses retirement funds

Thursday, October 22, 2009

The Leachville City Council discussed handling of firemen retirement funds and council term limits at the council meeting held Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Mayor Sheila Spurlock opened the discussion concerning LOPFI retirement for firemen and a state proposal for consolidation and transfer of funds to an actuary accounting firm with a cost for handling investment and distribution. Leachville currently has 10 retired firemen. The city's balance for the retirement fund is $130,580.90, which is currently drawing 2.5 percent interest locally.

"We are good for eight years right now, and we know what we have on hand this way," Alderman Bruce Wilson said. "If the state forces us, then we can consider doing it. We will deal with that when it happens. It appears to be a matter of convenience for them. We can just sit on it, as it won't cost us a fraction of the cost that LOPFI would charge us for handling it. We can budget so much a month and put it back into the account."

"We will no longer get any funding from the state," City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith said. "We got $20,000 last year."

The proposal was tabled until more information could be obtained.

A special election to vote on alternating city council terms of office was also discussed.

"Out of the 654 survey cards mailed out to residents, we only had 92 returned," Keith said. "Fifty-nine said yes that wanted to vote on the issue, 25 said no, and the others undeclared. We don't know how many of these are actually registered voters."

The council voted not to hold a special election but to wait until a regularly scheduled voting period in 2010, in order to save expenses.

"We have six weeks before a regular election to pass an ordinance and get it on the ballot," Keith said. "We need to give it to the election commission by March or April."

In other business:

The council voted to suspend the future reading of the council minutes if received by council members by Friday preceding the regular meeting.

The financial report showed that the new fire truck, with lights and breathing apparatus, has been paid for at a cost of $103,000. The purchase of the truck was made with a 2.5 percent loan for the Leachville Industrial Development Commission.

Police Chief Keith Evans gave the department report for August, which totaled $4,152.49 collected in fines and jail expenses at $80. He also reported that radio communications for fire calls had made improvement.

The Animal Control report listed $44.56 in expenses, with 14 dogs captured, three adopted and 11 euphonized.

"We are using our drug control money to purchase bags of Halloween candy for the elementary school for use during Red Ribbon Week," Evans said.

Evans listed upcoming expenses for four 18-inch tires for the Dodge Charger police car were estimated at $736.56. This will also include mounting and balancing.

Alderman Teresa Johnson reported the Fire Department and First Responders had responded to one fire call, 17 medical calls, plus numerous callouts.

Six streetlights were reported out between Highway 18 and Swiheart Road.

The annual Leachville Christmas Parade was set for Saturday, Dec. 12.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 9, at city hall.

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