Rector City Council Hires Consultants

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Rector's tax dollars at work with City employee Brad Green operating the city's newly purchased backhoe to change fire hydrants on West Fourth Street Tuesday. The council approved buying the backhoe for $82,000 at their June meeting after having trouble with the old backhoe, which was 1996 model. The backhoe was delivered to Rector the week of Labor Day and has since been a valuable piece of equipment for the city, city superintendent Todd Watson said.(TD photo/Jessica Rainwater)

Rector City Council chose financial consultants and approved grant monies for equipment needed by the fire department at Monday's monthly meeting.

Representative Bob Wright of Crews & Associates, the city's financial consultant which in 2011 helped issue bonds to the city, told the council it is possible to save the citizens of Rector approximately $118,000 over the next 13 years by refinancing the city's current bond while interest rates have dropped. If refinanced while the rates are low, the city will go from a 4.6 percent interest rate to a 3.96 percent rate. The board chose to go with Crews & Associates instead of Stephens Inc., which spoke to the council last month.

The board approved Crews & Associates to begin paperwork for refinancing with the understanding the rates stay low. If the firm returns in 30 days with paperwork and can no longer offer the city savings, which is possible because interest rates tend to fluctuate, the city does not have to follow through with refinancing.

Fire chief Huston Bowden was approved by the council to accept grant money from the Arkansas Rural Community Grant Program in the amount of $7,529. The money will be used to purchase two, "possibly three," new FLIR thermal imagers and three refurbished self-contained breathing apparatus. The last time the fire department purchased these items was in 2005, and the equipment is essential for the department. Thermal imagers are important because they allow the fireman to see hot spots in fires and people inside fires without the fireman rushing in unprepared.

The council approved Bowden to apply for the grant. Costs to the city would be $7, 530, making the new equipment $15,059.

Cheri Boyd was appointed to the Woodland Heights Cemetery Commission as treasurer and secretary.

The Arkansas National Guard has signed the armory over to the City of Rector, and the next step is to hire a commercial appraiser to see what the building is worth before the city can decide how to use the vacant facility.

City attorney Kimberly Dale is revising an ordinance from 1996 concerning farm animals within city limits. The council asked Dale to restructure the parameters of the ordinance to allow those with adequate land to house certain kinds of barnyard animals such as chickens and small goats.

The water department reported losses in operational funds last month, but city superintendent Todd Watson explained this was due to paying two months of taxes, $820 in EPA fees and $6,500 for the auditor David Smith.

Code enforcement reported 11 dogs picked up and two building permits.

The street department reported six signs repaired or replaced and eight potholes filled.

The community center reported a profit of $3,180.46 after expenses for the Ultimate Oldies show, which took place Labor Day weekend.

The fire department reported three calls in September, and grant monies earlier discussed.

The police department reported one accident, three yard citations, 37 items on the court docket and $3,654 in court related collections.

The NEA Innovative Center reported continuing GED classes with four people having earned a GED since the program's beginning during the summer.

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