Reports, annexation top agenda for Leachville Council
In its regular meeting Nov. 18 the Leachville City Council voted to increase its number of fireman from 23 to 25.
In January the Leachville Fire Department will be voting whether or not to add three trainees onto its force full time bringing the fire department count up to 23 people. Councilwoman Teresa Johnson asked the council to consider raising the 23 person department limit to 25.
She said there are two junior firemen that would like to be added to the department, which would help cover incidents that occur during the day. Johnson pointed out the younger firemen are not as busy during the day and would help alleviate the problem of not having enough staff to cover things that happen during the work day. She added that as older fire department employees get ready to retire in the future having a younger group already trained would be beneficial to the city.
Councilman Bill Hetler said having more firemen would be a benefit. He made a motion to increase the limit to 25, which was passed unanimously by the council. Johnson also reported the new heaters have been installed in the fire department and the new turn out gear has come in.
Leachville Police Chief Keith Evans reported work has been done on the city's tornado sirens and those would be tested every Friday when possible. He also said the department's grant funds should be coming in soon, there have been some repairs done to a police vehicle and reported officer Steve Lancaster would be having surgery soon that will require him to be off work for about a month.
The Leachville water treatment plant has had two new controls installed and those are working as they should. Also the tank at the water treatment plant will be cleaned out this month and an inspector from Little Rock will come in to make sure the plant is operating properly. The inspection is by the city's request and is just precautionary to make sure all the equipment in the treatment plant is up to par.
Leachville Mayor Shelia Spurlock told the council during the October working meeting concerning annexation the council members in attendance discussed what area should be brought into the city.
"We talked about going from the bridge west to the county line following the section line," Councilman Johnny Hawkins said. "We also want to go north and south on Highway 18, which will be right at a mile. Across from the Leachville turnoff on Highway 18 on Highway 119 will bring in four houses and two trailers. Then on Highway 18 toward Vineyard would bring in those businesses and about 20 houses."
Mayor Spurlock said the council will need to decide whether or not to annex and if they annex what area would be included by the council's January meeting to get the issue put on the November 2014 general election ballot. She said there will need to be surveys done and public meetings held before the issue is put on the ballot.
"I believe we need to annex on Highway 18 desperately," Spurlock said. "Our new businesses are going to be on the highway."
In other business the council was presented with the proposed 2014 budget, which includes a new tractor, side mower, police vehicle and a small pay increase for employees. The council members will review the budget and vote on it at next month's meeting. The Council also approved giving the city employees a $600 bonus with taxes paid and the 20 fire department members $100 bonus with taxes paid.
Spurlock told the council the Leachville Christmas Parade will be 6:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 30, with line up at the school starting at 5:30 p.m. She said Santa Claus will again be at Melody Theater for pictures after the parade.
The Leachville City Council discussed annexation at its regular meeting Nov. 18. (Town Crier photo/Christie Zolman)