Rector Council Updated on Street Funding

Thursday, March 10, 2016

The Rector City Council discussed street overlays, contract mowing, buying a brush truck for the fire department and a new police truck at Monday's monthly meeting.

The city was approved for $250,000 in street overlays by the Arkansas Highway Department last year. Mayor Teresa Roofe told the alderman Rector is on the department's list for this year and city superintendent Todd Watson presented the council with the list of streets under consideration. The list includes East Donaldson, Donna, West Third, East Third, East Fourth, East Sixth, East Eighth, Thirteenth, Woodland Heights and Cagle as high priority. Moderate priority streets listed are Karen, East Seventh, Idlewild, Dodd, South Stewart, LaSalle, Rose and Park. Watson asked the council to review the list and look at the streets.

"There is more than $250,000 worth of work listed here, so if you think we need to change some of the priorities or add money to it, then we need to decide," Watson said. Exactly when the highway department funds will reach Rector is still unknown.

The council approved spending $26,000 out of the city's general fund to purchase a newer model Ford F150 through state bidding to replace one of the two 2009 Ford F150's currently being used. The truck being replaced has over 130,000 miles.

Changes to the current way of mowing and spraying the city have been put in place. Scott Bucy will still handle the city's contract mowing, however now he will itemize each job and turn in his progress bi-weekly. Alderman David Romine said the new process, "will give us a better idea of what's being done and how much it costs."

Fire chief Huston Bowden approached the council for approval to buy a used Hummer for $2,500 if he finds one available for the amount during his search this month. The Hummer will replace a 1983 GMC military truck obtained from the Forestry Commission in 2003.

"We've reached a point where we are either going to have to spend money on a truck we don't own or we need to buy one," Bowden said.

He added the new Hummer would be retrofitted as a brush truck. After seeing one in use in Salem, Bowden was impressed with the vehicles. The council approved his request.

Alderman Iva Fahr brought the issue of no street lights on Cagle, Plain, Pine, Greenville and Valley Streets to the attention of the council after several concerned citizens have contacted her. Watson had looked at those streets at Fahr's request and reported all of those streets are without lights.

"This will be something we will have to discuss with Entergy as we pay a monthly fee for each light," Watson said. The council asked him to do so.

Property Issues

The property located at 513 South Ballard Street has been placed into the condemnation process cited as "a safety concern as it has been burned out and is open to the public without doors."

Water Department

The water department shows in the negative $4,000 for February. Watson said this was "due to $4,454 in Arkansas sales tax being paid." There were 20 new connections, seven disconnects, two water meters replaced, five repairs, 16 dogs picked up and $539 in truck repairs.

Code Enforcement

Watson reported three street cuts with zero repaired, one sign replaced and six street repairs or patches.

Fire Department

Bowden reported several calls in the county for the month of February, "mostly brush fires." He also told the council the fire department remained at a four on the ISO rating after the recent survey of the department, which he said, "I am very happy about, but would like to make improvements in the future to help the rating."

Police Department

Chief of police Glenn Leach reported two city accidents, $329 in repair cost, five car letters, one yard citation, 19 items on the court docket and $3,770 in court related collections.

Community Center

The Ryan Rogers Chili Cook-off collected 1,313. 90.

NEAITC Center

Center employee Christina Boyd reported a two-week CNA course recently ended with 10 people graduating. The next classes are set for May 2. Career Pathways will be joining the NEAITC Center giving more people the help they need to further their education by allowing help to pay for the classes and helping single parents with transportation needs.

She also informed the council of a parks and recreation meeting resulting in the agreement of building the new skate park next to the saddle club and baseball diamonds. She said now the group will be moving forward with fundraising and designs. "We hope to make a somewhat larger concrete park that may have a draw from outside skateboarders," Boyd said.

The meeting ended with alderman Romine reminding the council daylight savings time is here and meetings will now be held at 7 p.m. every first Monday of the month.

Alderman Ryan Lawrence, David Romine, Lark Sigsby and Iva Fahr were present for the meeting.

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