When Mayor Jackie McPherson introduced an ordinance in October to allow the City of Heber Springs to purchase a grappling truck for $50,000, the potential benefits were discussed. Now Public Works Director Fred Glascock reported to the council he could not be more pleased with the truck. It has increased worker safety on the roadways and increased productivity and reduced response time to residents who have yard waste to be picked up. With two vacuums and a dump truck in full operation for leaf pickup Glascock feels the City has finally turned the corner on leaf pickup. Glascock wants to inform Heber Springs residents to call his office at 362-5554 for any yard waste pick up concerns or questions. City Council members approved the purchase of a new sanitation truck. The cost is $152,367.
Alderman Maureen Harrod thanked the Mayor and Parks Director Jimmy Clark for the bathroom completion project at the soccer field and said, "The bathrooms at the park look good". Mayor McPherson commented that the project was under budget.
Police Chief Bobby Walker spoke to the council in light of the Sandy Hook tragedy and said the police department is working very closely with school officials to ensure safety at the facility. Police patrols have increased and parking and traffic flow has been changed. Chief Walker mentioned two mock training sessions at the school last year that brought in all emergency agencies available for any possible scenario. Chief Walker mentioned plans are in place to replace school Resource Officer Ron Wildmon who plans on retiring soon.
Airport Director Charlie Evans was visibly excited when he was told the City will pursue owning its own airplane hangar. The hangar will be leased bringing additional revenue to the city with additional fuel sales. Funds for building the hangar will come from gas drilling revenue earmarked for airport use only and any available grant money.
An Ordinance mandated by the State to develop an Energy Code was approved. If the ordinance was not passed building permits could not be issued by the city said Mayor McPherson.
A request to bid for the upgrade and replacement of windows at city hall resulted in no bids. The Mayor will review the possibility of the city purchasing the windows and paying somebody to install them. This matter will be discussed at a later meeting.
The Pratt estate will be settled soon. Funds from the sale of the Pratt home and a one-time gift from the estate will be used at Spring Park and the baseball field. The Pratt Estate declared William Pratt's home would be sold and proceeds given to the city for maintenance of playground equipment within Spring Park. The estate also included a sum of $25,000 willed solely for the use at the City's baseball complex.
Council members approved increasing funds to Cleburne County Aging Program from $15,000 to $25,000.
Page 2 of 2 - Council members approved the Cleburne County Master Gardner's agreement for 2013. The agreement allows them to use their green house on city property.
Mayor McPherson thanked council members who will be leaving the council for their service and welcomed the new council members in attendance.
Mayor McPherson said the next city council meeting has been changed to January 24. The meeting starts at 6 p.m. at city hall. The public is invited to attend.