Greers Ferry City Councilmen voted unanimously to appoint Councilman Mickey Stewart as its new Mayor during their regular monthly meeting Tuesday. Stewart thanked the council for their unanimous support. The city had a choice to appoint or hold a special election after the death of its two-time Mayor Don Ware. Councilman Stewart will become Mayor Stewart after he is sworn in at the Courthouse. He finished the meeting acting as a councilman.
The City will now solicit someone to fill the vacant council seat and discuss that appointment next council meeting.
Mayor Stewart will work with a General Fund balance of $19,265, and a General Fund CD of $77,582. Street Fund balance of $1,184, FEMA $9,026, Emergency Fund $53,679, A & P Commission $10,756, GF Volunteer Pension Fund $4,379, 833 Insurance Fund $5,838, GF Recreation Fund $451 and GF Volunteer Fire Department Building Fund of $39,629.
During the Supervisors reports to the council Parks Commissioner Jay England will step down after the first of the year. England stated to the council his desire for more family time and would not serve another year. Councilmen thanked England for doing a good job in getting the City Ball Park a step closer to sustaining itself.
Police Chief Teagus Majors informed the council Patrolman Christopher Garrett had tendered his resignation. Garrett had requested time off for family matters which Chief Majors had denied. When asked about the situation Chief Majors said his concern was the protection for the city during the 30 up to 60 days requested. Councilman approved Chief Major's request to hire a certified patrolman part time at an hourly rate until the first of the year giving the Chief time to search for a new police officer.
During the Street Report, Superintendent Jackie Finch informed a relieved council that all FEMA work would be completed in two weeks. The council had expressed their concern over the FEMA work not being completed on time and having to pay back funding given to the city.
In other street department business, the council gave Lake Tire Center the winning bid to purchase tractor tires in the amount of $1,614.
City Attorney James Hensley advised the council during announcements to settle out of court on a lawsuit hat has made its way to the Federal level of the judicial system. The settlement cost to the city $2,200. By settling Hensley told the council it is no admission of guilt or any wrong doing by the city and it spares the city the publicity. The three year old Federal Case #N1:11CV30JMM lawsuit involves Steven Hamilton and the City of Greers Ferry. Councilmen voted to approve the settlement with Fife abstaining citing a lack of knowledge of the case.
Attorney Hensley informed the council he will have information on the redistricting of wards at the next council meeting. The deadline to complete the task was early spring and Hensley said he will contact the Arkansas Secretary of State Department and obtain maps and population data from the 2010 census to determine if redistricting is needed.