Lake City Council appoints Ellen Stewart to HA board

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Lake City Mayor Jon Milligan requested the appointment of Ellen Stewart to serve on the board of the Lake City Housing Authority at the March 28 city council meeting. Mrs. Stewart's term began March 1, 2016, and ends May 31, 2021.

The council unanimously approved Ms. Stewart's appointment.

Aldermen present included Jeffery Wisham, Tommy Eakins, Harold Barker, Brenda Hutcheson, Donald Davis and Danny Dunigan.

Mayor Milligan reviewed the Recycling Services Agreement between Abilities Unlimited and the City of Lake City. The City will have an annual payment of $2,504.59 with the option of choosing a monthly payment of $208.71. The agreement will be for the processing of residential recycling. The agreement will be for a one year term and require an annual review. The council voted unanimously to approve the agreement.

Council approved a state bid for a new police vehicle. The Ford Explorer all-wheel drive will be purchased from Cavenaugh Ford. The cost of the Explorer is $25,589. The City will pay $5,000 as a down payment with financing being through Unico Bank at a rate of 3.0 percent.

The council also approved a bid from Paragould Communications for the add-on equipment for the new police vehicle in the amount of $5,503.42.

The council agreed to allow Mayor Milligan to seek bids for the paving of Carter Street.

Mayor Milligan reviewed the results of the Salary Review Committee. The overall opinion of the Committee was to set a top out salary for all positions, but a starting salary would not be feasible as some positions require training and licenses.

Evaluations should be made on an annual basis for each employee and the result of a raise would depend on the evaluation and the City's funds at that time.

After a lengthy discussion it was decided to allow Mayor Milligan and City Clerk /Treasurer Linda Simpson to work on the evaluations and job descriptions and have the new pay scale/evaluation process available for the 2017 year.

The council voted unanimously on raises for 2016 with all employees with more than two years employment with the City to receive an across the board pay raise of 40 cents per hour, with said raise being retroactive to Jan. 1, 2016.

The following employees will not be eligible for the 40 cents per raise in 2016 for the following reason: Bryan Wells, received a salary increase Jan. 1, 2016, because his one year anniversary date was Dec. 1, 2015. Seth Nichols was hired as a police officer in February and is not eligible for a raise until 2017. Daniel Haynes' one year anniversary date is March 18, 2016, and he will receive 50 cents per hour raise at that time.

Mayor Milligan said with the new evaluations in 2017, there would not be any across the board raises. The employee's raise would depend on job performance, requirements, and the City's ability to fund said raises.

Jim Ladd has decided to quit farming and will not be farming the City farm property in 2016. Gary and Brannon Qualls, Fred Qualls, and Casey Hook had expressed an interest in farming the property.

Council voted for Gary Qualls and Brannon Qualls to farm the City's farm property with a yearly contract review at 75/25 rent.

The City will move existing bank accounts to other banks since IberiaBank has closed and funds with other financial institutions needed to be regulated per FDIC insurance limits. Funds would be transferred to Unico Bank now located in Lake City.

Mayor Milligan gave the State of the City Address and said it was a good year financially for the city with all accounts in good shape. The projects for the new year, 2016, include updating existing parks and adding a new park, the sale of the property owned by the city located at 1007 Estelle, with the proceeds of the sale going to the funding of the City's future Veteran's Memorial. The Lake City Fire Department has added on to its existing building to provide an area for offices and training. Plans are to bring the total auto read meters installed to 80 percent, and to pave more streets in Lake City.

Next council meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. April 18 at City Hall.

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