Council debates Melody Theatre seating issue

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Leachville Council discussed Melody Theatre needs and upcoming fundraiser at the city council meeting held Monday, Aug. 16.

The council and Melody Theatre committee representative Moba Lee Miller discussed potential fundraisers and repair needs.

"The seats in the theatre are very small and need repair or replacement," Miller said. "New seats are estimated to cost $400 each and we need 374, counting the balcony. Can we designate money from a fundraiser to go for theatre seats?"

"We need to use our money wisely," Alderman Bruce Wilson said. "I'm all for getting seats, but we need to fix the roof also. We can't earmark it for seats first, when the roof is in bad shape. The money can go into the Theater account and be used where it is needed most."

"Is it our place to raise money for a roof?" Miller said. "The roof is never going to be fixed until you repair it like you did city hall."

"I think the roof can be fixed," Alderman Bill Hetler said.

"Can we go up and look at it from outside?" Alderman Tommy Stone said.

"We have had three people look and it and they all say it can't be fixed," Spurlock said.

"Let's get an estimate on what a new roof will cost." Wilson said.

"It still needs to be fixed," Alderman Teresa Johnson said. "We need to save it."

"We know it can be done, as we did it here at city hall," Wilson said.

"If the roof is not fixed, the theatre is doomed," Miller said. "We still want to raise money for theatre seats. We are having an all-school Leachville reunion on Labor Day weekend and want to raise money for seats. We want to keep it just for seats."

"If they want to raise money for seats, why can't we let them do it?" Stone said.

"We can't tie up money for seats, while the theatre falls down from not being repaired," Wilson said. "Everyone has sacrificed for the theatre and I am not against it. We need to get estimates for a new metal roof."

"We can do a line item in the theatre account or the seat money," City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith said.

"We can't designate money just for seats when the roof is leaking now," Wilson said.

Plans are to check on the cost for a metal roof on the theatre. No action was taken to earmark money from fundraiser for seats only.

The city will continue with the policy to do hair follicle drug testing of new employees and general random testing thereafter.

Police Chief Keith Evans presented the Police Department report for July.

Fine monies were listed at $5,145. Jail fees were $1,320. There were forty traffic citations, 14 criminal arrests, four DWIs and one DWI #3.

"We had eight charges involving a felony rape, domestic battery, possession of a controlled substance, someone who failed to register as a sex offender, a felony possession of child pornography, and three people who fired a gun in town," Evans said. "We have had a wide variety of arrests this past month."

The animal control expenses were listed at $163.74 for July.

Mark Johnson gave the Fire Department report, which listed response to five fires calls and 12 First Responder requests for assistance.

The council discussed back payments for fireman Tony Nix. Payments were not made for seven of his 14 years in the department, but two of those years he lived out of Leachville.

"We need to get the amount due and take care of it," Syrena Duffel said.

Ruth Ann Keith agreed to find out the total amount due.

Mayor Spurlock reported that sidewalks had been repaired adjacent to the new Veteran's Park.

A buyer has expressed interest in purchasing city lots on Nelson Street on Labor Day weekend for $4,000.

City Attorney Chris Jester has sent the paper work for condemnation of the Church Street property. The City Code Officer will see that the criteria standard has been met.

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