Council hears reports
The Leachville City Council reviewed finances, department reports, and employee bonuses at the council meeting held Monday, Nov. 8.
Following Treasurer Ruth Ann Keith's financial report the council discussed outstanding payments and the feasibility of shopping around for better interest rates.
Police Chief Keith Evans gave a department report, which consisted of $5,330 in fines and monies turned over to the General Fund for the month of October. Three batteries and one belt clip were listed at $226.80 from Radio Communications. G and K Uniforms were $122.84. One misdemeanor warrant was served, eight traffic citations, and 11 criminal arrests were made during October.
Auto and office expenses were $546.60.
Animal Control expenses for the month were listed at $521.26.
Evans reported that $1,074.87 was reimbursed by the Municipal League for the watch-guard system that had been destroyed in the Durango vehicle.
The council went into executive session to discuss employee promotion.
After reconveening the council promoted John Sneed to full time police officer, effective Nov. 12. There will be a six-month probation period, with a requirement to live inside city limits. Base salary was set at $29,561.48.
Street Department Supervisor Dickie Coburn said he had trouble with the backhoe but it was now back together. Street repair was discussed.
Robert Ballard reported he was changing out water meters that are hard to read. About 50 are still left to replace.
Mark Johnson reported the Fire Department had responded to six fires, with 21 responses from First Responders. Repair is still needed on the east door of the station, with one door functioning. Clutch parts for the 1988 fire truck are obsolete and unable to obtain.
Mayor Sheila Spurlock reported the back retirement for fireman Tony Nix has been paid up to date in amount totaling $2,500. One half came from the Fire Protection Fund and half from the General Fund.
Alderman Teresa Johnson reported First Responder Ralph Barton had resigned. Currently serving are 16 firemen and three First Responders.
Alderman Bruce Wilson and Terry Chambers reviewed the roof at the Melody Theatre and took photos of problem areas. Wilson reported problems with air conditioner sweating in the summer and a big gap where the new addition had been built on. Rain blows in the space between the buildings. The solid metal roof is under tar, and screws do not make proper contact with the foundation.
"In order to get a fork lift inside, the seats will have to be removed," Wilson said. "The use of scaffolding would be labor intensive. The problem could be fixed outside with the use of a tar membrane covering and about two buckets of tar. We need to fix the roof first then the inside."
"It won't take but about half a day to do this," Alderman Tommy Stone said.
Mayor Spurlock agreed to purchase the tar, and Stone agreed to help on the project, as he had working knowledge of the use of the tar membrane product.
The council agreed to sell the two lots at Sixth and Nelson Streets to Mark Crabtree for $3,000.
Resolution 2010-C was passed for use of hearing devises for effective communication, provided by Auxiliary Services and Aides.
Resolution 2010-D was passed to renew the county taxes and real estate and personal property, at a rate of 5 mills. Revenue from the taxes is divided between the General Fund, Street Department and Fireman's Pension.
Currently three widows and six retired firemen receive pensions. The council voted to raise their monthly rate to $300, effective Jan. 1, 2011.
Leachville Housing Authority announced the retirement of Stan Whitlow from the board of directors and recommended Donna Barnes we appointed to fill that position. Her term would be for five years, 2010-2015. The council voted unanimously to appoint Barnes to the LHA board.
Full time employee bonuses were approved at $650, with the city paying taxes on the gift. The three part time employees will divide $700. Volunteer firemen and First Responders will receive $50 each.
"My concern is that employees who are to go to work at 7 a.m. should do so and not sit at the shop until 8:30 before they go out," Wilson said. "The only ones on time consistently are those in the Water Department. Their hours are 8 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. I was at the shop at 8:30 a.m. and they were in there eating breakfast."
"What about Ruth Ann (Keith)?" Robert Ballard said. "I don't mind coming in if she has to work her hours also. We are to work from 7 to 3:30 with 30 minutes off for lunch. All should be enforced."
"This should apply to everyone," Wilson said. "Am I the only one who feels this way?"
"I agree with Bruce," Alderman Bill Hetler said.
"I will take care of the hours worked," Mayor Spurlock said.
"Don't any of you other four councilmen have an opinion on this?" Marilyn Looney said.
"I have never seen them at the shop when they were supposed to be at work," Alderman Johnny Hawkins said.
"It is not fair to make the police work if they don't," Alderman Syrena Duffel said.
"I have to be at work on time," Alderman Teresa Johnson said.
"I don't have an opinion on this," Stone said.
Mayor Spurlock set 6 p.m. Nov. 29 for a working meeting for the proposed budget due for approval by Jan. 1, 2011.
She also requested submission of names for the Christmas Parade Grand Marshall. Two names have been turned in so far - Wilburn Lovelady and Tom Puckett.
"We are still under a burn ban," Spurlock said. "Offenders will be warned the first time then fined."
Tornado sirens will be tested regularly on Friday at noon of each week, weather permitting.
The next regularly scheduled council meeting will be on 7 p.m. Monday, Dec, 13, at city hall.