City council updated on Moody's condition

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Members of the Piggott City Council got an update on injured city worker David Moody at the regular meeting Monday night. The aldermen also discussed the bid specifications on the solid waste pickup issue, approved a renovation project for the police department and discussed the problem of bicycles and scooters on the downtown sidewalks.

With all members in attendance, along with the mayor, city attorney and city clerk, the regular meeting was called to order. After taking care of the usual business matters, the council answered questions from the owners of Shelton Sanitation concerning the bid request on solid waste pickup within the city. The company, which was represented by Dewey, Alan and Valerie Shelton, will be bidding on the contract, which is currently held by Delta Environmental.

The Sheltons had asked to attend the meeting to clarify some issues of the bid specifications, and noted that they would provide several options. Specifically, the Sheltons had issues with the requirement of a $200,000 performance bond, and the request for a 24-month commitment. Mayor Gerald Morris noted that any changes in the bid specifications would have to be shared with other prospective bidders, but added that the city would look at the various options offered when the bids are opened this Thursday afternoon.

Next, the council heard from electric distribution supervisor Bruce Swan concerning the injuries to David Moody, who sustained a severe shock Sunday, Sept. 14, while assisting with the clean-up of storm debris from Hurricane Ike.

"It was a very unfortunate accident, but not a fatality -- and that's good," Swan noted. "I have gone through it a million times and I don't know if I would change anything about what we did," he added.

Moody, a certified journeyman lineman for the electric department, was assisting other personnel with a downed line on Lewis Street when the accident occurred. He had reportedly picked up the disabled power line and was holding it across his shoulder when a small wire arced several hundred feet back up the line. What resulted was a short, but intense burst of power that left Moody with severe burns on several fingers, his shoulder, back and the back of his right leg.

Swan, who was just a few feet away at the time, noted that during the ordeal Moody never lost consciousness, "after he fell to the ground I ran over to him expecting the worse, but he looked up and said "Bruce, I believe I'm going to have to take a sick day tomorrow." Later, as the crew waited for the ambulance to transport Moody from the scene, he told Swan, "you know, I think I could get up and walk out of here."

Moody was transported to Piggott Community Hospital, where he was stabilized, and later transferred by helicopter to Memphis. According to city officials, he is in good spirits and continues to recover, and according to Swan, "should be back to work at the power plant" sometime in the future.

Mayor Morris added that he had spoken to Moody by phone prior to Monday night's meeting, and that he was doing well all things considered, "we're very very lucky that David Moody is still alive," he concurred. He also noted that Moody told him it was lonely in the hospital, and that he would love to hear from the folks in Piggott.

Swan added that the accident did have a positive aspect. "I think this has caused everyone in our department to re-emphasize safety."

City leaders also took time to applaud the quick action of the other electric department employees, the emergency personnel who transported Moody to the hospital and the staff at PCH.

Morris added that Moody would remain hospitalized for a time, and that he was proud of the way the city employees had pulled together to show their support.

In other action the council:

* Approved a stop sign at the intersection of Kay Street and South Front Streets, though the placement of the sign will be determined by the police department.

* Authorized a renovation project for the police department headquarters in city hall.

* Discussed the problem of bicycles, roller blades and scooters on downtown sidewalks and instructed the city attorney to work on a draft ordinance. The council seeks to prohibit such modes of transportation on the sidewalks around the court square and the immediate downtown area.

* Heard an update on the city's participation in the N.E.A. Economic Coalition, and learned that Jonesboro has recently joined the group. Morris also updated the council on efforts to develop a bus route between Piggott and Paragould that would help transport local residents to work. That project, a joint effort between the cities of Piggott and Rector, is expected to be discussed at a meeting later this week.

* Tabled a resolution of support requested by the city of Corning on the Highway 67 improvement project.

* Were told that storm clean-up is continuing, and that city workers are now going street-by-street picking up limbs at the curbside.

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