Leachville's new tornado siren in place
Leachville City Council passed a resolution accepting a tornado grant from the USDA during the Feb. 22 meeting in City Hall.
The Council heard an update from Drake Brown, fire chief assistant, about the new tornado siren as well as the future fire substation located at 2023 South Main Street. The siren is complete and in working order. Ground preparations for the substation to be built on the same property is underway. Full construction will begin as soon as GIF and USDA grants are ready.
Alderman Tommy Stone thanked Brown for all of his preparation and work on both the new tornado siren and the sub station.
Bobby Crites inquired further about the tornado siren during citizen comments and was informed that testing will be held every third Friday of the month no matter the weather. In the past, testing was not held on cloudy or rainy days to avoid confusion.
Police Chief Chris Ellis gave a report for the Police Department. Ellis shared the department is short employees and he had received an application earlier in the day. Teresa Johnson asked that a representative for the Council be present for interviews and informed of new prospects.
Ellis requested the Department make a trade of four revolvers for a rifle. The trade would ensure that all department vehicles will be equipped with a rifle. The Council decided to have the revolvers appraised before a trade be made.
The Council discussed options concerning the police canine still in possession of the police department following the leaving of officer Alan Lasater who was serving as canine handler. The canine is currently housed at the Blue Streak Canine Facilities in Jonesboro.
Alderman Michael Webster suggested the city be reimbursed money spent for the canine outside of donations if the canine goes to another city or the county. It was also suggested there be a plan in place for assistance to be made available should Leachville need a canine officer.
Leachville Police Officer Mike Shivel requested the Council increase his pay to coincide with his recent promotion from part time to full time. Following an executive session, the Council agreed to a salary of $25,000 per year plus holiday pay for full time status.
During a department update Robert Ballard, Water and Sewer superintendent, shared that ditches on the north side of town are being cleared to avoid flooding of businesses during heavy rainfall. Karen Wallace asked about information concerning sand bags.
Ballard requested a date be set for limb pickup as well as an enclosure and signage at the dump site in order to ensure items and materials are disposed of properly. Two days were scheduled for pick up on the first and third Monday of every month. Anyone wishing to be included on the list for pick up will need to contact city hall to have names and addresses added to the list.
There have been three major water main breaks recently due to the extreme changes in the weather. The damages are being repaired and all else seems to be in good order for the moment.
A working committee meeting is scheduled for Thursday, March 17, to finish work on the employee handbook.