Area Mayors look to 2017:
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner is optimistic about Manila for 2017. He mentioned the new four-lane on Highway 18, growth along the Mississippi River, and the expansion of Southworth will bring oportunities for the new year.
Also, Manila will build a new Senior Center. Linda Donovan will help as a volunteer to chair the building committee. In addition, several new homes are being built in the town and there are signs of some new businesses to locate in Manila during the year.
Mayor Wagner cautioned that with growth brings problems. He said the largest problem facing Manila at this time is the outdated, old sewer system. However, steps are being taken to improve the system over the next year.
Mayor Wagner said, "Happy New Year, and God bless Manila and its citizens."
Manila has one newly elected council member, William Barnhart. He will join incumbents Wendell Poteet, Dale Murphy, Jason Baltimore, Steven Milligan and Donnie Wagner. Susie Parker serves as the city clerk and Cathy Huddleston is the city treasurer.
The council meets the third Monday night of the month.
Monette Mayor Jerry "Chub" Qualls is looking forward to good year in 2017. Final papers were signed Wednesday, Dec. 28, on the new sewer treatment plant. Mayor Qualls said work will begin as soon as weather permits. Hopefully, the project will be completed in the fall.
Another project underway in Monette is the Veterans Park/Monument. Mayor Qualls said it is coming along well.
Also, highway work on the by-pass is continuing. Concrete was being poured last week east of town. Dirt work has slowed down west of town to allow the dirt in place to settle.
City Council meetings are held at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday of each month in the City Hall board room. Newly elected aldermen Kristian Nuckles and Aaron Utoff will join incumbents Brandon Decker, Bob Oliver Hurst, Sr., Mark Rolland and Tom Carroll on the City Council.
Vickki Carroll serves as recorder/treasurer for the city of Monette.
Mayor Ralph Wells said the city will continue to look for funds to help with extending sewer to Highway 18 to the latest annexed area of Leachville. Other projects will include finishing the new fire substation near Highway 18.
Leachville has had several small businesses open, which is always a welcome event. Wells said they will continue to work on getting industry and more businesses to locate in Leachville.
The new school building project should begin soon. The city and the school will have to discuss what can be done with the old gymnasium. The school has talked about offering it to the city and city officials will have to look into the pros and cons of maintenance, according to Wells.
Presently the regular council meetings are held at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month in the city hall board room.
New aldermen include Richie Pace, Keith Evans and Rodney Robertson. They will be joining incumbents Ethel Hetler, Lisa Baldridge and Teresa Johnson.
Ruth Ann Keith serves as recorder/treasurer for Leachville.
Black Oak Mayor Eddie Dunigan is looking forward to a good year in 2017. He said they are excited about the museum project underway. They have a building to house the future museum and hope to get it going this year.
Another project is the community garden. He said they hope to improve on the garden so the people of the area can benefit from the harvest.
All of the incumbent council members will be returning. They are Tim Jones, Troy Douglas, Kenny Vaughn, Brett Hickman and Randy Hutchison. Tina Davis serves as recorder/treasurer for the city of Black Oak.
Lake City Mayor Jon Milligan is looking forward to 2017 and working with the city council, citizens, businesses and school in an effort to keep Lake City moving in a positive way.
"I appreciate the work our city employees do," he said. "I commend our police department and members of our fire department. Also, I appreciate the citizens of Lake City. I want
to thank the good Lord for blessing our city the way He does."
Several projects are underway including the new park on Stone Street and renovations to the park on Nash Street. The playground equipment will be redone, a walking track will be added as well as tennis courts. All of the parks will be handicapped accessible. Also the site for the new Veterans Monument has been selected near the museum and efforts will begin to see that project completed. A new AT&T tower will be installed giving better phone service to customers. There is a new subdivision in the planning for over 200 houses.
"We will continue to work with the school on acquiring property," Mayor Milligan said. "We have good things happening in our city."
Work will begin on a couple of drainage issues. Milligan said he hopes the city can get on this year's list for state money for paving streets.
Two new city council members, Toby Rand and Mike George, will be joining incumbents Danny Dunigan, Harold Barker, Brenda Hutchinson and Tommy Eakins. Linda Simpson serves as recorder/treasurer for the city. The City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. the third Monday night of the month at City Hall complex.
Caraway Mayor Barry Riley said he is looking forward to a good year in 2017.
"We plan to continue to beef up the clean-up regulations," he said. "The Municipal League is about to complete the organization of our codes and ordinances on the books."
Mayor Riley said city officials are always looking to attract new businesses. A new website for the city is scheduled to be launched the first week in January.
"We have one new business, Helena Seed Co., which will be leasing the Basler building," he said.
Mayor Riley said work on the sewer project will continue. City workers started last year replacing sewer lines and will continue where needed.
One new council member, Jerry Martin, will be joing incumbents Bo James, Mitchell Tipton, Marvin Browning, Roger Williams and John Boatman. Rick Stevens serves as the recorder/treasurer for the city. The regular meetings will be held at 6 p.m. the second Thursday of each month. The January meeting has been moved up to Tuesday, Jan. 10.