Leachville Council talks police, park matters

Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Councilwoman Ethel Hetler (right) presided at the Leachville City Council meeting in the absence of Mayor Ralph Wells. Also pictured is City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith presenting the minutes and financial review.

Councilwoman Ethel Hetler presided over the April Leachville City Council meeting Monday night since Mayor Ralph Wells was unable to attend.

All council members were present, along Ruth Ann Keith, city clerk.

Keith gave the financial report with total funds available at $39,994.49.

She informed the council Ryan Markus, representing the insurance underwriter for the Municipal League, had made a second visit to Leachville to view the fire and smoke damage at the Melody Theater. She has not yet heard from the insurance company on the final amount.

Lt. Brandon Womack with the Leachville Police Department informed the council he had ordered the body cameras approved at the last meeting. The total cost is $3,401 plus tax.

Lt. Womack congratulated Officer Zakk Crocker who will reach his first year with Leachville Police Department on Tuesday.

The council discussed the high amount of money spent for part-time officers in the police department.

Councilman Richie Pace said the council needs to talk about the part-time hours.

“The mayor and the chief of police need to work it out and get a better handle on the hours,” Councilman Keith Evans said.

Hetler said she would discuss it with the mayor.

Robert Ballard, water superintendent, reported fencing at the ballpark had been fixed at a cost of $250. He said the new trash truck is in service and doing very well.

He also said the power outlets requested are in the works. The total cost was estimated at $1,000. It will be ready before the Festival.

Ballard announced the city crew will be flushing hydrants every other month. This process can cause some water discoloration.

“If you don't flush the hydrants, we will end up with more problems,” Councilman Evans said.

It was decided Ballard will try to schedule the hydrant flushing the first Monday of every other month starting in June.

Councilman Teresa Johnson said the Cave Dwellers car wash was a great success.

“We appreciate everyone who helped and everyone who contributed,” she said.

The money raised will go to help purchase fireworks for the Fourth of July event. The annual event will be held in the park at 9:11 p.m. There will be activities for the children before the fireworks display. The event raised $3,124.52.

Councilwoman Johnson mentioned the dangers of having basketball goals in the streets. If a fire truck hits the goal it can do damage to the truck.

Lt. Womack said if they see the goals too close to the streets, they will ask residents to move it back.

Kasey Shepard presented a report from the Park Committee with officers, by-laws, expenses, income and the progress made at the park.

“We appreciate the city for helping with the energy bill, the work done by the city and volunteers, and the donations,” Shepard said. “It is looking better."

She reported the first night, with two games, $682 was raised. The second night with one game brought in $185.

Robertson Brothers donated a window unit for the concession stand.

Councilman Rodney Robertson said Adams also gave $2,500 for one park and will give that much for the second park when work is started.

LIDC also made a donation to help the committee get the park ready for the season.

Shepard said they are working on signs for sponsorship.

“I am proud of the city and proud of the park association for the work on the ballpark,” Robertson said.

Councilman Lisa Baldridge announced a color run set for April 22. It will benefit the Harvest Festival.

The Make Leachville Cemetery Beautiful will be held May 13 starting at 8 a.m. and Woof Stock will be held on May 20 at 10:30 p.m.

“We have lots of businesses that have pledged to sponsor our Buddy Jewell Concert at this year's Harvest Festival set for Sept. 2," Councilman Lisa Baldridge said. "The parade will begin at 10 a.m. and the fesitval will go until 10 p.m."

Johnson asked if the city has received sales tax from the Vineyard, one of the new businesses annexed into the city.

Keith said she had checked and was told sometimes if the city does not have a city tax, the tax will go to the county and be distributed back to the city.

“We have not received any sales tax from the county,” Keith said.

Keith said she would continue to look into it.

Rep. Johnny Rye who was visiting the council meeting said Leachville is not the only town with that problem.

The council voted unanimously to increase the donation to the Cave Dwellers to purchase the fireworks to $500 this year.

“The Cave Dwellers do an amazing show and it brings a lot of people to town,” Baldridge said.

Paul Wildy asked if the council has done any work toward drawing up revised ward boundaries since the annexation.

“We discussed it last year,” Keith said. “We found out about a person who draws up wards and divides them by population."

She said the cost is about $1,100 to $1,200.

The council will address it at the next meeting.

“The third ward has become larger,” Wildy said.

Marilyn Looney asked if they could just move the lines a couple blocks and not pay $1,200.

All agreed it is something that needs to be done by population.

Keith said she would try to get more information to present to the council at the next meeting.

The Leachville Council meets at 7 p.m. the third Monday of each month.

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