Leachville Council works through long agenda
At the Leachville City Council meeting held Monday, July 25, Councilwoman Lisa Baldridge introduced three committee members, Tommie Jo Kendrick, Tammy Stockton and Chris Cloninger, who are working on the Sept. 3 Harvest Festival plans. Baldridge is serving as chairman for the 2016 event and expressed her appreciation to all of the volunteers.
Other committee members include Michael and Kim Webster, Shona Womack, Mark and Becky Thrasher, and Shelly Greer.
Stockton gave a tentative agenda of events which includes "dragging main" on Friday night. Participants are asked to bring school supplies to fill backpacks. The items will be donated to the school. It will begin at 7 p.m. at the Malt Shop and end at 8:30.
Saturday, Sept. 3, will be kicked off with a poker run at 7:30 a.m. The first bike will go out at 8 a.m. and the last one will be in by noon. A parade down main street will start at 10 a.m. with Rep. Dave Wallace as grand marshal. Mayor Ralph Wells will offer the welcome following by the National Anthem sung by Mark Thrasher.
Stockton went on to say a tent will be placed near the fire department and gospel singing will begin at 11 a.m. There will be a car show, pet pageant, scavenger hunt, lipsync battles, games for the kids, bingo, cake walk and Miss Mess contest. There will be two live bands starting at 6 p.m. A street dance will be held from 7:30-9 p.m. There will also be a dunking both, train rides and inflatables as well as horse shoe tournament, hot dog eating contest, cutest kid competition and much more. Several vendors have committed to offer food and craft booths.
Cloninger is working on social media getting the information out about the festival. He has created a Facebook page and has had many views so far. Posters are being printed.
"I can't thank the volunteers enough," Baldridge said. "To have a festival, it does take money. We need donations from our businesses or anyone who wants to contribute. We are hoping to put back some of the money raised this year to help with next year's festival."
City Treasurer Ruth Ann Keith gave the financial report as of July 19 with total funds available $51,745.97.
Keith will attend a grant workshop and will be writing a grant application in the amount of $10,000.
"They will help me build this grant at the seminar," Keith said. "I need to know what you want it to go for. If anyone from the council would like to attend with me, just let me know."
The mayor and council were in agreement to use the grant, if awarded, for the park. Some of the projects included asphalt for the basketball courts and benches. The council and guests had discussed a splash pad if possible.
Keith informed the council the city had received a $10,000 grant for bullet proof vests and air packs. The fire department has also received a $15,000 matching grant for the fire substation.
Chief of Police Marc Taylor informed the council two bullet proof vests had been ordered. He said the city's drug dog is still in training and one officer will be going to the academy in the near future.
Water superintendent Robert Ballard said he had bids for seven tree stumps and debris to be removed from the cemetery. The council voted unanimously to accept quote provided by Rogers Tree Service in Beach Grove.
Ballard and the council discussed the lease/purchase of a backhoe.
"I just wanted you to be aware of what we can do," Ballard said. "We can sell the oldest city's oldest backhoe."
He presented the cost of a three year and five year lease payment plan for the council to review.
It was also decided to place a computer in Ballard's office.
Baldridge asked what the city is doing about unpaid water bills.
Keith said they will work with people who get behind if they come to city hall and make arrangements to pay. The city attorney is preparing a new ordinance changing from a refundable to a non-refundable deposit, allowing two months to pay late water bills, and then the water will be shut off and the customer will have to pay a reconnect fee.
Webster said the city is not receiving any revenue for the residents in the newly annexed city limits.
"I think we need to see what it will cost to take a census before the 2020 census," Webster said. Councilman Tommy Stone asked if they would have to do the whole town or just the newly annexed area.
"It could be beneficial to the city to do the whole town," Keith said. "We have had more people moving into town."
The regular city council meetings are held at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month.