Piggott City Council Welcomes New Member

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Following Monday night's regular meeting of the Piggott City Council the members gathered for a group photo. The body includes, from left: Front-City Attorney Kimberly Dale, Mayor Jim Poole and City Clerk Ramona Magee. Back-Alderman Jeff Benbrook, Alderman Jamey Parks, Alderman Lester Edwards and Alderman Mike Cook.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

The Piggott City Council welcomed a new member during their regular meeting Monday evening at city hall, as Alderman Jeff Benbrook attended his first gathering. Benbrook was elected during the January meeting to serve out the remainder of the term of former Alderman Jim Poole, who was elected mayor last year.

Mayor Poole also offered his "State of the City" review to members of the council during the gathering, as the aldermen took care of a light agenda.

With all members, and key personnel, in attendance Poole called the meeting to order. Under the heading of old business he informed the aldermen of the hiring of a maintenance man to take care of city facilities. Poole noted Billy Hardin had accepted the job, and would be starting in March after tendering his resignation to the Piggott School District. Currently Hardin works as a custodian at PHS.

The mayor indicated Hardin will be working citywide, and would be providing maintenance services to all city facilities and buildings.

Under new business the council considered an ordinance which would permit the city to do business with employee Jamie Cluck. The ordinance, which must be passed any time an employee does business with the city, passed on a vote of 4-0.

Currently Cluck serves as the city treasurer, and works part time doing cleaning and upkeep on the city's rental properties.

Council members also voted to accept the only bids submitted on purchase of aggregate materials, concrete and asphalt for the street department. The bid on the gravel came from Tri-County Sand and Gravel, while Hedger Brothers were the lone bidders for concrete and Delta Asphalt offered the only bid for asphalt.

The aggregate bids included $17.05 a ton for three-quarter inch chip, $15.95 a ton for SB 2 and $21.45 a ton for rip-rap. The bids included applicable taxes, and the cost of delivery. Meanwhile, the bid for concrete was $95.25 with 20 percent fly ash and $97.26 for regular cement. And, the bids for asphalt were by the ton at $62 for II Hot Mix and III Hot Mix, 97.32 for bidder prep, $95.32 for city prep and $62 a ton for city pickup.

All of the bids were accepted without dissent.

Based on the recommendation of the Airport Commission, a new member was named to replace Danny Seal. Acting on the recommendation the council appointed Rodney Rouse to the post, as he will serve the remainder of a three year term which expires in 2017.

During his report Utilities Manager Brian Haley updated council members on several projects. He noted the replacement of the pump, computer and interface at the fuel depot has been completed and new keys distributed. He indicated during the first month of service the software proved to be extremely accurate.

He also noted the first of the new electronic meters have arrived, and are currently in the process of being installed. Meanwhile, the new meters for the water department are on order and will be in later in the spring.

Mayor Poole also updated the council members on the announced closure of the L.A. Darling factory in Piggott (see story this issue), noting at least 45 permanent jobs are being eliminated. The company announced last week the local factory would be closing on May 15, ending some 42 years of continuous operations in the city.

Late in the meeting Poole also reminded members of Thursday's meeting of the Parks and Recreation Commission, but indicated he would be out of town and unable to attend. He noted City Clerk Magee and City Treasurer Cluck would be attending in his absence to several of the commission members who were in attendance. Poole also offered a reminder of the meeting of the Piggott Health Care Facilities Board, which will be meeting at noon on Monday, March 9, in the home health building behind PCH.

In other business the council-

* Heard an update on the pre-audit exit for Fiscal Year 2013, and learned there were no major findings.

* Were informed some ice and water damage has been sustained by the city owned buildings currently leased to Darling and Helena Chemical in the industrial park.

* Tabled the matter of appointing a new member to the Planning and Zoning Commission as no recommendation has been made as of yet.

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