County mayors meet in Manila
Manila Mayor Wayne Wagner hosted Mississippi County mayor's meeting Tuesday, July 11, at the Manila Depot Center.
Mayors, as well as city and county officials and other guests, gathered updating events and activities throughout the county.
Each mayor present spoke briefly about activities or projects in their hometowns.
Mayors present included Dickie Kennemore, Osceola; Danny Moody, Dell; Lisa Baldridge, Leachville; Charles “Bo” McCollum, Etowah; and Jasper Jackson, Luxora. Among city and county officials attending were William Barnhart, Donnie Wagner, and Wendell Poteet, Manila council members; Rodney Robertson, Leachville council member; Mississippi County Judge Randy Carney; Mississippi County Sheriff Dale Cook; Manila Police Chief James Skinner; Terri Brassfield, assistant to Judge Carney; Leslie Mason, circuit clerk; Peggy Meatte, county treasurer; Janet Curry, county clerk; and Cindy George, office manager for the county judge's office.
Mayor Wagner thanked his staff members Kathy Huddleston, city treasurer, and Susie Baker, water office supervisor, for their assistance in hosting the event.
Judge Carney introduced mayors and Sheriff Cook with each sharing the projects underway in their towns and the county.
Dell Mayor Dan Moody said they had completed the new water system was on line and the automated system is working well.
Sheriff Cook talked about the newly formed Street Crimes Unit saying it is working well throughout the county. Several arrests have been made.
“This unit will be good for our smaller communities,” Cook said.
Mayor Wagner introduced Lisa Baldridge, who had served on the Leachville city council and had stepped up to fill the mayor's position until the September election.
“We lost a friend with the passing of Mayor Ralph Wells,” Mayor Wagner said. “We should keep his family in mind.”
Mayor Baldridge expressed her appreciation to the city council of Leachville for working with her. She talked about the upcoming Harvest Festival on Sept. 2.
“This will be our 34th year for the festival and I think this will be one of the largest,” she said. “Rodney Robertson and I, along with others, are working hard on it.”
She invited everyone to come out and visit Leachville. The festival will start at 10 a.m. with a parade and end at 10 p.m. with a street dance. There will be gospel singing and a concert by Buddy Jewell.
“We have had a lot of help and Leachville businesses and the surrounding area have donated to make the event happen.”
Baldridge said the city is still looking for police officers and they appreciate the support from County Sheriff Cook and deputies.
Sheriff Cook expressed his appreciation to the city of Leachville for their donation of the K-9 to the county.
Cook said the county K-9 was almost 10 years old and passed away last weekend.
Etowah Mayor Bo McCollum said his city was finishing up with a draining project. He said the Etowah Fire Department and the Manila Fire Department have been working on the details to expand to cover the area including what was covered by the Milligan Ridge Fire Department. Both Manila and Etowah councils have agreed to expand fire districts with Etowah responding to the south of Milligan Ridge and Manila to the north.
"As always, we will work together if needed," he said.
Luxora Mayor Jackson said his community is doing well. The city has a new water tank. He expressed his appreciation to the county sheriff's department.
“We are doing fine,” he said. “We have a gym for our children and opened a daycare center in the old school. We use what we have and move forward.”
Mayor Wagner announced a ground breaking event Wednesday for the new senior citizen building. He invited everyone to attend.
He expressed his appreciation to the city council for working well.
“Our goal has been to provide for the young people and our seniors,” he said. “We have renovated the parks and have a pool for the children and are about to build a senior center.”
Rev. Dr. Scott Trotter with the Delta Bridge Project of Mississippi County spoke about work being done to help smaller towns and the county as a whole. He talked about the health and wellness program and the challenges of the county. He said
there is a need for more parks/recreation, youth activities, etc.
He asked city officials to let them know how they can help develop and execute a better quality of life plan for the communities throughout the county.
Tamika Jenkins, Mississippi County Economic Development Project coordinator, talked about economic development in the county.
She said Mississippi County is the first Work Ready County in the state.
She spoke about the work of the homeless coalition, work being done to help and the need in the county to end the homeless problem.
Shari King, executive director for the Mississippi County Union Mission, addressed the work and needs of the mission.
“The mission is 61 years old,” she said. “It was started for a shelter for wayward men. Today the need has changed and it services mostly women and children.”
She talked about the number of women and children who have been in the shelters and the over three tons of food distributed last year.
They requested for representatives from the county towns to join in the coalition.
King invited people to come by the mission and visit. The website is misscomission.org.
Mayor Wagner reminded the city and county officials of the importance of getting citizens counted for the upcoming census.
“We need every person counted in Mississippi County,” he said. “Most everything we all get is based on population,” Mayor Wagner said.
Mayor Kennemore spoke briefly about the internships being offered through Arkansas Northeastern College to help young people and local industries.