The Leachville City Council worked through a busy agenda consisting of purchase of new police vehicle, appointment of two new firemen and one First Responder at the regular council meeting held Monday, Jan. 11.
Police Chief Keith Evans reported on estimates for a new police vehicle, with a preference for a 2010 Ford pick-up truck. The truck is listed for $22,800, and with the addition of necessary equipment and identification, it will total $25,307.
"The truck is ready for delivery whenever we decide on it," Evans said. "It will be used by Patrolman Steve Lancaster. The next vehicle will go to Patrolman Chuck Brown."
The council approved the purchase of the new truck and will be accepting sealed bids for the 2000 Ford Crown Victoria. Bids will be advertised for 30 days and opened at the public council meeting, March 8. Quotes are to be dated when received.
Chief Evans has applied for a JAG Grant for the past three years and plans to do that again when applications are released.
Fire Chief Richie Pace reported medical calls and no fire calls during the month of December.
The council approved new firemen Derrick Davis and Roy Imler and new First Responder EMT Jerry Duffell.
"Jerry will be over the First Responders and will report to me," Chief Pace said. "He is well qualified and we are glad to have him."
The council discussed the status of former policeman and fireman Stu Sigman, as City Treasurer Ruth Ann Keith did not show him receiving a check for being a fireman.
"We show Stu as still being a fireman even though he is no longer a policeman," Pace said. "He has met necessary attendance requirements to continue as a fireman. We want him as a fireman if he wants to continue to be one."
Mayor Sheila Spurlock understood that when Sigman resigned from the Police Department as of Dec. 31, 2006, he resigned from being a fireman as well. Treasurer Keith agreed to check on his current status and make necessary changes as to payment. A new application for LOPFI purposes will be needed.
"If the department wants him as a fireman and he wants to be one, then we can put him back on if necessary," Councilman Bruce Wilson said.
The 1978 fire truck, estimated at $2,500, will be advertised for sale. Chief Pace will report back to the council with bids on truck for a final decision.
Calendar schedules and events were set for 2010. The council agreed to continue regular meetings on the second Monday of each month at 7 p.m. The annual Christmas Parade has been set for Nov. 27, 2010, which is the first Saturday after Thanksgiving. Citywide clean-ups are planned for April and again in the fall, with dates to be announced later.
At the close of the meeting Councilman Wilson reported on what he considered the city highlights and accomplishments during the past three years.
"We negotiated a $500,000 debt, owed to the state and federal government for non-payment of payroll taxes, down to $328,000 and paid it in full. We were forced to remodel city hall at a cost of $170,000 and it is paid in full. We paid the balance of $40,000 owed for the city's water well. We purchased a new Water Department truck, and two Police Department trucks totaling $75,000, with no indebtedness. We bought a new fire truck paying roughly 55 percent of the $225,000 as a down payment and the remaining $103,000 was financed in-house through the LIDC at an interest rate of 2 percent. We have upgraded our sewer plant and paid an existing equipment note totaling $30,000.
"We have done all this in three short years - we have made budget cuts, used wise financial management, paid several debts, and made new purchases without further outside debt, totaling $765,000. We have a balanced working budget with a current bank balance of just over $510,000.
"The Mayor and the council feel we have made tremendous progress in a very short tine," Wilson said. "We still have a long way to go. Our efforts will now be focused on city wide clean up, improving the water drainage, and repairing the badly neglected road system. We have strived to live by the common-sense approach that has worked well for decades, 'If you don't have the money, then don't spend it.'"