Leachville Council welcomes school board members

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Leachville Mayor Ralph Wells welcomed two members of the Buffalo Island Central School Board, Nathan Sanders and John Field, to the Dec. 14 city council meeting.

BIC School Board member Nathan Sanders addresses Leachville City Council.

Mayor Wells said they are not here to tell anyone how to vote but to answer any questions you may have on the upcoming millage vote.

"We are thankful for a city to work with our school," Mayor Wells said. "We need to support our school. We appreciate the school. The East lab made posters and helped us out during the Centennial celebration."

Sanders distributed hand-outs about the proposed millage that will be voted on in January. Sanders said the district is asking for a 7 mill increase to pay for its share of the partnership funding for the $18 million plus building project to build a new school in Leachville for grades K-6 and a new building in Monette for grades 7-12.

"The board has worked hard to answer any questions and look into any objections that came up," Sanders said. "We have cut out square footage that the district would have to pay 100 percent for."

Mayor Wells said it is an important issue.

BIC has been awarded up to $11,110,439.96 in Partnership Funding for construction of new buildings.

"We would hate to see BIC lose the money," Mayor Wells said.

Council member Michael Webster asked Sanders about growth room and was told there is room for growth.

Field informed the council there will be two more public meetings in January.

Councilwoman Lisa Baldridge asked if the millage passes, could the school board go back to their first proposal to build all on one sight.

Sanders said the millage is for new construction on both campuses only.

Webster asked if there would be a facility large enough for the elementary basketball teams. He suggested if the elementary is going to be in Leachville, there needs to be a facility here.

Sanders said they would have to look into that but based on the square footage, the PE complex could be large enough.

Field said he agreed with him but they would have to wait and see.

He was then asked what would happen to the gymnasium in Leachville.

"We don't want to tear it down but it is a big expense," Sanders said.

One option he talked about was letting the city turn it into a community center if possible.

Councilwoman Teresa Johnson asked when the work would begin if the millage passes.

Sanders said the architect said everything could be ready to start in four to six months. The construction should be completed in 18 months.

Mayor Wells thanked the board members for the input.

"Everyone needs to go out and vote their conscience," Mayor Wells said.

Keith gave the financial report giving account balances as follows: General Fund, $94,344.65; Street Fund $16,698.91; Melody Theater Fund $9,782.74; Employee Savings, $548.11; Fire Protection Fund, $19,023.36; ACT 833 Fund $24,653.60; Court Automation Fund $3,731.16; CDs Street Fund $5,602.41; Cemetery Fund $5,276.56; Fire Protection Fund $10,264.50; Leachville Volunteer Fire Department Discretionary Fund, $1,829.87; and the Tornado Grant Fund, $9,265.40. The Water and Sewer Fund: Meter Deposit Account $23,30840; Water Tower Debt Reserve account $10,435.53; Water and Sewer Revenue $19,798.29; Operation and Maintenance Account $10,112.16. Total Funds Available are $29,910.45.

The council discussed with Chief of Police Chris Ellis vests for the officers.

Councilwoman Ethel Hetler asked if all of the officers had protective vests and if they wear them.

Chief Ellis informed the council all officers do have vests and they do wear them when out. He went on to say the vests are custom fitted to the officers.

The council discussed the cost of the vests and the carriers at a total cost of $800.

They then discussed the vest of former Police Officer Chuck Brown who now works for the County.

The council decided to give the vest to the county sheriff's department.

Johnson commented a lot of deputies live in Leachville and are good to respond to help city officers.

Chief Ellis said the county and the city officers do work well together.

The council discussed inventory list and asked Chief Ellis to see about locating some of the missing items.

They decided their main concern was a pistol on the 2014 inventory list that has not been located.

Hetler asked the Chief who authorized the redoing of the police vehicle turning it into a K9 vehicle.

Chief Ellis said Officer Allan Lasater said he had talked to the council.

"He talked to us after the fact," Hetler said "We had not made a decision. It was a mix up. We need to work together as a whole."

Mayor Wells went back to the inventory and asked Chief Ellis to try to locate the items on the list.

Fire Chief Richie Pace said the pump testing was complete and everything passed. He said they have the kit to test the fire hydrants and will start soon. All of the hydrants will be numbered when the test is completed.

The council tabled work on the handbook until after the first of the year.

Council passed a resolution adopting the County Hazard Mitigation plan.

The council decided to meet Dec. 28 to discuss salaries and the budget.

Council discussed the mosquito spray but no action was taken.

Mayor Wells said if they do not spray, the $1.50 on the water bill possibly could be used for something else instead of dropping it.

Webster said if they do away with the mosquito spraying the city should do away with the $1.50 charge for it.

"If we have to have more on the water then we need to bump up the rate," he said

Chief Ellis asked if there is a policy for procedures for the police department in force.

The answer was no.

The council agreed to have Chief Ellis look into it and bring it back to the council.

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