Leachville Fire department accepts donation

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
Leachville Fire Department accepts donation from Leadership Buffalo Island at the November Leachville City Council meeting. Pictured are, from left: Marilyn Looney of Buffalo Island Leadership; Drake Brown, captain; and Fire Chief Tony Mix.

The Leachville Fire Department received a check presented by Marilyn Looney on behalf of Leadership Buffalo Island for the amount of $437.08 on Dec. 1 during the monthly Leachville City Council meeting. The funds will be included in the department discretionary account for use as needed.

The Leachville City Fire Department shared news of the following officers newly elected: Tony Mix-chief; Chuck Davis-assistant chief; Drake Brown-captain; Donald Smith-captain; Tommy Oliver-captain; Billy Bowen-lieutenant; Bobby Shipley-lieutenant.

The department also welcomed two new members currently on probation. The new members will be up for full time approval in January 2017.

Robert Ballard, water and sewer manager, discussed the need for a new dump truck due to safety concerns for one currently in use. Ballard informed the Council one truck was tested and found too small to meet the needs of the city.

A short recess was called in order for Council members and citizens to view a truck available to the department for trial use. The Council agreed to the sale of the old vehicle and the purchase of the new vehicle.

The Council chose to sell the old truck for $1,000 with intentions to place funds generated by the sale toward the purchase of the new truck. The Council agreed to the sale under the stipulation for complete disclosure of all known issues to parties interested in purchasing the old truck and the removal of all city decals from the vehicle.

Brandon Womack of the Leachville Police Department updated the Council on police activity in place of Chief of Police Joni Isbell, absent due to illness.

The Council heard of efforts toward department improvements. Plans involved updating police evidence storage, completing inventory of all equipment in the department as well as procedures concerning department purchases. Other improvements discussed were the organization of offices including equipment, supplies, computer programs and daily paperwork and procedures.

City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith took a moment to share importance of the efforts of organization within the department.

"They not only are on the street but also in the office keeping tabs. You don't realize how much that paperwork makes a difference. They've put a big dent in it," Keith said, "making it look like a city office."

A detailed report of arrests and citations were given as follows:

20 citations including ordinance and traffic violations;

11 felony drug arrests;

1 felony fleeing arrest;

1 felony aggravated assault arrest;

3 felony firearm arrests;

1 residential burglary arrest.

Mayor Ralph Wells took a moment following the report made by Womack to share appreciation for recent efforts, specifically concerning drug related offenses.

"They have done a fantastic job," Wells said, "They've spent a lot of hours working the streets. I'm proud of them. We appreciate what you all are doing."

Zakk Crocker is expected to join the department following graduation from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy Dec. 16. Crocker will participate in additional training with Reno the Leachville K-9. The training is expected to take no more than a couple weeks.

Womack also shared efforts to return vests bought for officers no longer in the department. Unused vests may be used as credit toward better fitting vests for officers currently in the department.

Representative Dave Wallace, present at the meeting, gave news of a $10,000 grant with East Arkansas Development for police and fire departments. Ruth Ann Keith, city clerk, shared her plans to enter the paperwork now that the funds were available.

The Council adopted Ordinance 2016-1 following the third and final reading. The policy is scheduled to go into effect Jan. 1, 2017.

The ordinance addresses concerns in collection for Leachville Water and Sewer accounts after determining previous procedures to be confusing and inconsistent. A notice containing details of the ordinance will be mailed to all citizens along with a public announcement printed in local newspapers.

The Council congratulated the Christmas Parade Committee for a successful 2016 celebration despite complications due to weather and rescheduling.

"I just want to say it's the end of the year again and how proud I am of our fire department, police department, water and street department, council including Ruth Ann and mayor," Alderman Teresa Johnson said, "It's been a good year. You all stepped up."

A budget working meeting has been scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 8, in city hall.

Regular meetings for the Leachville City Council are scheduled on the third Monday of each month.

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