Leachville to get food pantry

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Members of the non-profit 501c3 Leachville Foundation were at the Leachville City Council meeting Monday, Oct. 20, to introduce themselves and talk about project they have in the works.

Leachville Foundation President Matthew Sills along with member Michael Webster explained to the council all members are volunteers that do not get paid. Sills said the sole purpose of the Leachville Foundation is to work with the city to meet the needs of the community including hunger and disaster relief.

"This is for Leachville only," Webster said. "Any grants we get, donations and work stays in Leachville. This is an organization for this city only."

Sills explained one of the projects the foundation would like to do is establish a food pantry at the old Girl Scout Hut on main street Leachville. Later in the meeting the council voted unanimously to allow the Leachville Foundation to use the Girl Scout Hut for a food pantry and voted unanimously to pay the utilities for that building on a temporary basis until the foundation can get more funding. Mayor Shelia Spurlock informed the council Buffalo Island School District superintendent Gaylon Taylor has siding for that facility which has been donated. The Leachville Foundation will be working hard to get the food pantry up and going by Thanksgiving.

Sills also told the council Oct. 27-31 is community service week at BIC and the Leachville Foundation will be working with the students of BIC East to do projects around town. Some projects include repainting the city's approximately 80 fire hydrants. The council approved spending $250 on paint for the students and Leachville Foundation to use for that project.

The handicap parking signs at businesses will get a fresh coat of paint, there will be some individual yards that students will help clean up and many more projects. Sills said lower elementary students will be cleaning up the BIC East playground and will be collecting food for the newly established Leachville Food Pantry.

The council members wanted to thank the Leachville Foundation and its members for the work they are wanting to do in the city. In other business interim police chief Chuck Brown reported to the council that in court for October the city had seven drug related cases, two DWIs, one DWI with drugs, two domestic battery and three disorderly conduct cases. He also said there were 123 citations in court in October with 97 of those being issued by Leachville officers. Brown said the police department closed a residential burglary/assault due to lack of evidence. He said one officer will attend a Meth Investigation class in Jonesboro in December, a Radar/Lidar certification class will be taught at the Leachville Police Department in November and a Racial Profiling/Cultural Diversity class will be taught at the Leachville PD on Oct. 30.

Brown said the Police Department took part in the National Drug Take Back program and took in about 40 pounds of prescription drugs that will be turned over to the DEA. He also wanted to remind citizens there is a prescription drug drop box at city hall for citizens to dispose of their old prescriptions safely.

Brown said dogs have become a big problem in the city saying people are waiting until the dog catcher is off work to release their dogs. To help officers deal with this issue and hopefully prevent someone from getting injured the council voted unanimously to have dog catchers take home their vehicle on a rotating bases and have their radios on to respond to after hour calls.

Before moving on from the police department report the council voted unanimously to start paying out the officers vacation days. Each officer has three weeks of vacation which will be paid out over the next three months.

In other business the water tower's annual inspection is coming up, the council will look into a city employee handbook, and the council voted unanimously to use the Carbonite system with additional gigabits to serve as the off site back up for the city. The additional gigabits will allow the water department and justice department to back up their systems as well.

Mayor Spurlock said the city's annual Christmas Parade will be Nov. 29, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Anyone who wants to participate by having a float, vehicle or walking group in the parade should contact the city for more information.

"The day my granddaughter was bitten by a dog our first responders, fire and police departments were awesome as always," Council member Teresa Johnson said during council comments. "I want to thank them for that."

Council member David Wallace wanted to caution citizens to read thoroughly the issues on the November election ballot. He said early voting has begun and citizens need to be aware that in the middle of Issue 3 about ethics is a paragraph that will allow term limits to be increased for state representatives and senators. Wallace feels this does not belong in middle of a ballot issue where most won't notice it. He said for full information on this year's ballot issues citizens can do a Google search for Arkansas Issues 2014.

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