Rector Council Meets, Receives Purple Heart City Honor
Headlining the monthly Rector City Council meeting Monday night, Commander Everett Evans of the Northeast Arkansas Chapter #708 Military Order of the Purple Heart, presented Mayor Teresa Roofe with a plaque naming the City of Rector as a Purple Heart City. Those who were combat wounded while in service to the United States of America are honored with the Purple Heart. When people drive into Rector, they will notice signs that designate the city as one which is dedicated to the support of Americaís veterans, especially those who are combat wounded veterans.
Similar designations have also been bestowed on Clay County and the city of Piggott.
In the next order of business, council heard from Johnny Williams, Director of the Rector Community Museum, who presented two proposals for consideration. He first explained the progress being made daily on the Underwood building which will become the new home for the museum, scheduled to open Labor Day weekend. Williams asked council to consider furnishing the water and sewer services to the building at no cost to the museum. The restroom, which will meet ADA requirements, will be under protection of a key locking system when the museum opens. Further, he requested that the mayor and city finance officer examine the yearly average for utility costs that have been furnished to the museum in its current location in a rear section of the Rector Public Library. He stated that lighting would be LED and on automatic switches to conserve electricity. He also asked that the city continue to contribute to the museumís utility payments as currently practice.
Mayor Roofe stated she would meet with Kim Romine on the utility payment history and present the findings to the council. She further noted the appreciation of the city to the museum board for their hard work. Council member Lark Sigsby noted that the community needs such a wonderful asset. She mentioned how important the museum would be for Main Street businesses. Williams informed the council that the portion of the building that would be used when the museum opens would be four times the square footage the museum currently uses. He commended Marvin Gatewood for the construction of the interior walls and the construction of, and research for, the ADA-specific restroom facility He also noted the museum board needs volunteers who are sheetrock hangers and plumbers to assist in the next phase of construction.
In other business, council members noted they have been pleased with the reports from the public on the new ordinance which allows golf carts and side-by-sides to operate under strict provisions on city streets. To date, 38 permits have been issued and council has heard that people are buying side-by-sides in order to take advantage of the new ordinance.
Police Chief Glenn Leach stated he had received some complaints regarding youth riding four-wheelers on state highways (Main Street/Hwy 90 and 9th Street/Hwy 49). He indicated all persons with a side-by-side permit have copies of the regulations and should follow all requirements. David Romine and Iva Fahr mentioned that the State of Arkansas had amended its law regarding ATVís, but they emphasized that ATVís are only allowed on streets outside the city limits. Leach and council members reminded citizens that Main Street and 9th Street may be crossed on a side-by-side, but these highways may not be used as main routes to a destination. ATVís are not allowed on city streets.
Ryan Lawrence asked for a ruling from city attorney Kimberly Dale regarding filling his position when his family moves from the city within the next few months. The mayor suggested the council table the conversation until a determination has been made as to whether the seat must be filled immediately or if the vacancy can exist until the November election. As long as there is a quorum, mentioned council member Iva Fahr, business can be conducted until the November election.
In department reports, the water department experienced a much better month in May than in previous months. Seven new services were connected, five water meters were replaced. In code enforcement, two building permits were issued and three dogs were picked up. The street department report showed three Purple Heart designation signs were ordered, eight repairs were made. Mayor Roofe and Superintendent Todd Watson, who was absent from the meeting due to illness, discussed making street repairs- especially by Savannah Park. Chief Leach stated there were 16 court appearances with $767 collected in fines. The department issued three car letters and four dog citations. Fire Chief Hutie Bowden was absent due to a fire call. The fire department collected $1,000 in fire call fees, likely from insurance payments. The internal construction project at the fire house is continuing to make progress.
The Community Center had eight events, five of which were paying events. David Romine mentioned that the water leak at Donaldson and Ballard had been marked with the city calling in utility locaters.
Due to the Independence Day holiday, the next Rector City Council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 9.