Piggott Council Meets, Honors Wellman at Meeting

Thursday, March 2, 2017
Long-time Job Stimulus Board member H.A. Wellman was presented with a commemorative plaque at Monday night's Piggott City Council meeting in recognition of more than 30 years of service. On hand for the presentation were, from left: Mayor Jim Poole, Wellman and board chair Mike Scott.(TD photo/Tim Blair)

Aldermen handled a fairly light agenda at Monday night's regular Piggott City Council meeting. Mayor Jim Poole offered an update on the community center roofing project, a long-time board member was recognized and council heard from representatives of NewWave Communications on the company's recent acquisition as they considered renewing their franchise agreement.

Poole called the meeting to order at city hall with all members in attendance, along with city clerk Ramona Magee, city attorney Kimberly Dale, police chief Don Poole and utilities director Brian Haley.

Also in attendance was Job Stimulus Board chairman Mike Scott, along with recently-retired board member H.A. Wellman.

Scott noted both he and Wellman were appointed by the late Mayor George "Cookie" Cook in 1984. "He's served along with me for some 33 years, but decided last year he wanted to retire. And I wanted to do something to thank him for his work," Scott offered in presenting Wellman with a commemorative plaque.

"H and Mike have done a great job over the years, and thanks to them they've built up a fund of over $500,000 which can be used to help create jobs," Mayor Poole explained. "And, they've been able to do that because they've kept local politics out of it, and they've made good decisions and said no when they needed to. We appreciate their work."

Afterward, Poole provided an update on the work renovating the roof at the community center.

"Work is getting along, but we've had to make some changes," he noted. "Those doors around the back of the building were all steel, and rusted badly. We're having to replace eight of those."

He also noted additional work was required on one of the louvers, but indicated all of the change orders have been approved by the USDA.

Later in the meeting the council heard from three representatives of NewWave Communications, the city's cable and broadband internet provider. On hand was regional manager Ried Morgan, chief technician Eric Russell and local technician Brian Simpson.

Morgan reported the company has been sold to a Phoenix, Ariz., based firm called Cable One. He noted the firm plans to invest in the system, pumping some $60,000,000 into their various locations.

"There will be improvements to both the programming and the transmission system," he added. "With additional channel improvements and to broadband."

Morgan and Russell fielded a few questions from the aldermen concerning recent changes in programming. They also reported the company plans to increase the broadband internet to a minimum of 100 mgb to all customers.

Poole, and several of the aldermen, applauded the work of Simpson, with the mayor noting he has been "a great asset to the community and a big help."

After hearing from the representatives the council members voted to renew the franchise on a vote of 4-0.

Late in the meeting, during his update to council Haley indicated the electric department had a good month and as a result costs have remained stable, He also noted the department has continued their usual schedule of maintenance and tree-trimming as needed.

"You may have noticed the work on the well buildings, as we're beginning to install the new fluoridation equipment," he added of the water and sewer department. "Otherwise, we've been taking care of a few leaks and such."

Poole also briefed council on a letter received by the airport commission from the FAA, which indicated the city may be forced to pay back engineering fees for a study conducted on extending the airport runway.

In other business the council--

--Approved the annual agreement with the local youth baseball and softball organization for use of Independence Park. This year the agreement stipulates the electric for the concession stand be paid by the organization, as opposed to the city. The measure passed without dissent.

--Voted to allow the lien process to continue on a property at 676 North Thornton Avenue, which was deeded to Well Fargo Bank. The total levied on the property is $1,839.55.

--Accepted the low bid on the purchase of rip-rap, SB 2 and three-quarters inch chip stone from Pitts Transport Co., LTD, but tabled consideration of bids for asphalt.

--Heard an update from Poole on the Metals Plus lease, which will lapse later in the year.

--Gave the okay for the city to sell an out-of-use wood chipper and a 2005 Chevrolet Impala former police cruiser at the upcoming Piggott FFA auction.

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