Monday, March 13, 2017

City Council Told HOME Program on Hold by State

The Warren City Council met Monday, March 13, 2017 in the Municipal Courtroom for the March regular monthly meeting.  After approving the minutes, the council approved the financial statement.  It was noted that city sales and use tax is up 5%, and the county sales and use tax has seen a 1% gain to date.

Mayor Bryan Martin told the council that the BCEDC is still seeking applicants for the Director's position.

Police Chief Shaun Hildreth said the Civil Service Commission recently hired Brian Gorman and Shaquill Ellis as policemen.  Gorman is already certified, and Ellis will attend training in the future.
Chief Hildreth noted that these hires bring the Warren Police Force to full staff.

Mike Ashcraft presented the report for the Fire Department. It was made known that one fireman was leaving on the 27th to move to Jacksonville, and the Civil Service Commission hired Daniel Robinson who is already certified and will need no training. Alderman Marty Reep, Chairman of the Fire Committee, recommended to the council to allow five people to attend the Arkansas Fire Convention, 2017.  The council approved the request which includes registration, room, mileage, and meals for the duration of the convention.

Mike May presented the Sanitation Report and indicated that presently for 2017, the income exceeds expenses to date.  He told the council that the recycling of cardboard was going well.  May told the council that the city sells cardboard for between $4,000 and $5,000 per load approximately four to five times a year.

As Building Official, Mike May also answered questions from the aldermen concerning progress on the cleanup of a property in Bellaire.  He indicated that the owner has informed him that he has hired a company to repair the roof.  May told the council that he also had discussed mold cleanup of the inside of the property.  The owner plans to deal with this issue, also.  The owner was given 30 days.
Aldermen were informed that the new garbage truck is several months away from delivery and that in the meantime, the old truck is requiring some necessary but expensive repairs to keep it running.

Alderman Moseley, Chairman of the Street Committee reported that a street hearing was held February 23rd.  Street paving will begin as soon next Wednesday if the Asphalt Plant in Monticello is back up and running.  Alderman Moseley told the council that the committee recommended adding two streets  to the street-paving list:  Hobbs from Main to Leggett and Shop from George to York. These will be added to the bottom of the current paving list.  All streets already on the list will be paved first.

In Community and Economic Development, Chairman Alderman Tolefree announced that work has begun on the depot.

After receiving reports from standing committees, the council heard from Parks and Recreation Director Renious Harton.  He spoke to them about checking out the Softball dugouts for improvements and the desire of the new softball coach to help raise funds for this.  He also told the council that with the gates being left open at the Baseball/Softball Complex that vandalism is taking place.  The nature of the vandalism is in the form of persons driving on the grassy areas and the soccer field.

Mayor Martin made the council aware of a letter received by the Warren Housing Authority from the State that the HOME Program has been put on hold due to State and federal cuts to the program.  Currently 15 homes are on the list in Warren for assistance from this program.  Mayor Martin wanted everyone to understand that the current halt to the program is not caused by anyone at the local level.

It was announced that the Bradley County Job Fair will be held April 11, 2017 beginning at 10:00 a.m. at Immanuel Baptist Church, and the Chamber Gala will be held March 30, also at Immanuel, at 6:00 p.m.

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