Leachville to receive assistance from county
Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook addressed the Leachville City Council on Monday, May 22, assuring the council his department is available to assist the police department during the transition period.
Leachville's chief of police recently resigned and one officer is on suspension.
Sheriff Cook said he has five or six deputies who live in or near Leachville. He will assign deputies to work west of Big Lake.
“In the event your guys are off shift and you need us I suggest you call 870-658-7027 for a quicker response,” Sheriff Cook said. “I have instructed my guys to take care of Leachville and Manila if calls come in. If you have an emergency, we will send more deputies to help.”
Sheriff Cook said he cares about all of Mississippi County and will work with all of the towns if needed.
In the absence of Mayor Ralph Wells, who was in the hospital, Councilwoman Ethel Hetler presided over the meting.
City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith gave the treasurer's report with the General Fund account at $93,684.83. She pointed out the Melody Theater Fund of $248,864.29 has made a payment of $74,283.23 (a 25 percent draw) to All Clean who started clean-up for renovations following a fire. She also pointed out the festival fund has $5,060 as of May. She said some checks from vendors have been added.
Robert Ballard, street/water/sewer supervisor, informed the council the basketball courts at the park have been resurfaced, Southworth has made basketball goals and Entergy will be installing the goals.
Councilman Rodney Robertson said he had received a complaint the park has ticks.
Hetler said it is a problem that needs to be corrected.
Ballard said he would check on it and spray what is necessary.
Councilman Keith Evans said, depending on what he has to spray, they might need to shut the park down for a day or two.
Ballard also informed the council one of the city trucks is in the shop and it will cost approximately $1,000 for repairs.
“It is too good of a truck not to fix,” he said.
Council expressed no objections to the repairs.
The council discussed restructuring of the city wards, dividing the wards by population. Paul Wildy addressed the need of restructuring wards since the city has annexed more area at the last city council meeting.
Clerk Keith said she had talked to a man who has helped other towns with redistricting. She said it would cost approximately $1,000.
The council voted to give the clerk the authority to go ahead and get the work done so the new boundaries for the wards can be established in time for the next election.
Keith said Leachville has annexed 80 households.
The council set a meeting day for June 5 to work on the handbook. Keith said she would get copies of what has been done to the three new council members.
Deanna Clifton, one of the newly annexed property owners, addressed the council.
“First, I want to say I did not vote for annexation but I want you to know I now appreciate it. I appreciate the police presence, the fire sub station, the first responders and other benefits,” she said. “I am willing to say I was wrong.”
She asked about city water.
Ballard commented Buffalo Island Water will not sell the lines to the city.
She also asked about fire protection dues going down. Clerk Keith said she would check into it. Residents in the city have lower fire protection dues than the out of city charge.
Lisa Baldridge, councilwoman and chair for the Leachville Harvest Festival said a second fundraiser has been set for June 12. There will be a spaghetti supper at the community center. The meal will be $7 a plate.
Representative Johnny Rye addressed the city council informing them he had talked to Finance and Administration to get a list of all of the businesses in the city limits of Leachville. At the last council meeting Councilwoman Teresa Johnson asked if the city is receiving tax revenue from the businesses in the annexed area.