Leachville Council discusses retrieving overpaid sales tax

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Leachville Mayor Rodney Robertson and City Clerk Ruth Ann Keith discussed with the city council the possibility of reimbursements for sales tax at the Monday, June 18, meeting. The city is exempt from certain sales tax on certain items.

Mayor Robertson explained he had talked to a couple of mayors who have used the service of Arkansas Tax Associates (ATA). ATA representatives will come into the Leachville office and go over purchases for the last three years to determine if the city has paid sales tax on exempt items. If the city does not qualify for reimbursements, it will not cost the city. The company works on 35 percent of what is returned.

Keith said large items purchased such as equipment and chemicals may qualify for exemptions.

Council members voted unanimously to allow ATA to work with the city.

All council members, Ethel Hetler, Paul Wildy, Lisa Baldridge, Richie Pace, Keith Evans and Teresa Johnson, were present.

Mayor Robertson informed the council the city had received a bill from Mississippi County for jail fees. He said jail fees were discontinued in 2016 when one of the towns won a lawsuit over the fees. Recently the case was overturned by the Supreme Court and cities are now responsible for fees to house their prisoners in the county facility. The mayor said he is working with the county on a payment schedule for the back fees and the city would start receiving monthly bills.

Mayor Robertson was pleased to announce Nucor is going to match the grant for new radios purchased for the fire department.

“We appreciate what they do for us,” Mayor Robertson said.

The new radios were purchased with a 50/50 matching grant from Arkansas Economic Development through Rural Services.

Fire Chief Drake Brown informed the council the radios are in use and the department appreciates the city and Nucor for the upgrade which will help the fire department.

Maintenance supervisor Robert Ballard announced trash pick up would be on Tuesday and Thursday the week of the Fourth of July.

Mayor Robertson announced the city will need to have two public meetings to discuss the proposed sewer project. The first one has been set for 6 p.m. Monday, July 16, before the regular meeting at 7 p.m. The second meeting date will be announced later.

An update on the Melody Theater was presented by Mayor Robertson. The theater is bringing in events. There is still a problem with water at the southwest corner and Mayor Robertson said the roofers will be back to look at the problem. He said overall, the theater is doing well.

In other business:

*Mayor Robertson announced workers would be in town to start sidewalk repair on Wednesday.

*Keith said she had talked to a woman about comparing city maps to county maps. Wildy said he had attended a meeting on the subject and the city needs to make sure the maps are matched and completed.

*Mayor Robertson said the state will be working on paving the highway starting June 25. They will start with State 119 to Highway 18 and Highway 77 to Manila and Buckeye. He said he is looking for funding to help with city street paving and should know something by January.

*Maryln Looney commended Mayor Robertson for the progress in Leachville and being a good leader during the citizen comments.

*Councilwoman Baldridge thanked everyone for their help in the recent cemetery clean-up day. She said not too many towns could boast of having their mayor, their senator and their state representative there to help. She also announced the grand marshals for the 2018 Harvest Festival are Tom and Dortha Puckett. The Harvest Festival will be Sept. 1. Activities are being scheduled.

*Councilwoman Johnson said she had been asked about mosquito spraying for the city. The cost was discussed. It was estimated three trips across town a week could cost up to $3,000 per week. It was also pointed out if property is not maintained it will not help. Keith said they could check to see what it would cost to start from scratch.

*It was also announced the annual fireworks will be held this year at Adams Gin and will begin at 9:11 p.m.

*A councilman asked if the handbook had been printed. Keith said the council needs to look at some of the changes made before it is printed. The council agreed to look over it at the next working census meeting.

*Members of the park commission were present and are working on soccer sign-ups. There seems to be a lot of interest. So far there had been about 40 youth sign-up from ages 5 to 12.

*A parade will be held July 4 starting at 10 a.m. to benefit the gymnasium. Also a silent auction will be held throughout the day at the Malt Shop.

*Representative Johnny Rye said he had attended a fundraiser, Serving Up Solutions, sponsored by the Arkansas Hunger Relief Alliance and the Arkansas Legislative Hunger Caucus on June 14 at the Albert Pike Masonic Center in Little Rock. “We will receive funds to distribute between food banks in our area,” he said.

*Keith, city clerk, gave the financial report with the General Fund at $138,482.01; the Street Fund $86,439.46; Melody Theater Fund, $9,194.70; Melody Theater Refurbish Balance, $21,142.44; Employee Savings, $9,548.09; Fire Protection Fund, $16,916.70; ACT 833 Fund, $13,0086.71; Court Automation Fund, $6,566.42; Certificates of Deposit, Street Fund, $5,674.23, Cemetery Fund, 5,344.20, Fire Protection Fund, $10,377.85; Fire Department Discretionary Fund, $1,859.28; Leachville Festival Fund, $15,810.58; Cemetery donations/ for streets, $600; Meter Deposit Account, $12,900.95; Water Tower Debt Reserve Account, $31,690.69; Water and Sewer $68,387.55.

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