Editor’s Note: We apologize for this article to be several weeks behind.
Ali Bryant, Resident Press
The Mansfield City Council held their regularly scheduled meeting, at Mansfield City Hall. In attendance were City Council members – Dave Johnson, Nathan Sterling, Beverly Lyons, Rick McDaniel, Sheri Hopkins, Mansfield Recorder/Treasurer – Becky Walker, Mansfield Mayor– Larry Austin, Mansfield Fire Chief – Stephen Haysmer, as well as a many citizens and business owners of our area. Mansfield Police Chief – Boyd Farmer was not present. Georganna Mabry was absent.
Meeting called to order at 7:00 p.m.
Reading of the Minutes, and Financial Statements
Mayor Larry Austin, “We’re still spending money, and still moving along.”
Sheri Hopkins made the motion to accept the minutes, Beverly Lyons 2nd the motion. Motion was unanimous.
Mansfield Public Works Department
Mayor Austin reported that Western Arkansas Planning is looking into establishing a map of all fire hydrants, and valves. Current map shows “proposed” equipment.
Director, Wes Thomas reported that the department has started brush hogging around the city. Ryan Huschka received his Distribution 2 Operator’s License.
Discussion was made to raise the tap-in fee for water. Current fees have been in place since 2000. McDaniel stated, “We could be losing money.”
Mansfield Police Department
Mayor Austin reported that Sergeant, Stephen Westbrook “is doing a good job taking on Farmer’s responsibilities.”
Mansfield Fire Department
Chief, Steven Haysmer reported that May has been a quiet month. Discussion was opened in regards of looking at options for a system that would engage the tornado siren remotely, rather than having to do it in person at the Water Dept. This is a time saving element which also adds to faster public awareness.
Asst. Fire Chief, Albert Haysmer stated that AED (auto external defibrillator) utilized by MFD is outdated, and does not function well, which makes a big difference in the outcome of medical situations. Mayor Austin asked the MFD to work with the Mansfield Police Dept. on looking into finding one at a reasonable price.
City Attorney – no report
Mansfield Recorder/Treasurer – Becky Walker asked Sheri Hopkins to read a thank you note regarding the Fry, and Walker families appreciation in the recent loss of Patsy Fry, Becky Walker’s mother.
- Wireless Proposal – WOW wants exclusive rights, with a 5-yr contract. Councilman, Nathan Sterling submitted the idea for a 2-yr contract. No vote was put into motion. Voting is proposed to take place in June after further discussion.
- Waterline, Henley Road – Need easement agreement signed by 3 land owners on edge of power lines easement. Hoping to get easement signed to take bids in June.
- Personnel – Council called for EXECUTIVE SESSION at 7:35PM.
- Meeting was back in order at 8:05PM
- Officer Engelke announced his resignation, effective May 15th. Mansfield Police Department will be taking applications to fill the position.
- McDaniel made the motion to accept the resignation. 2nd by Dave Johnson. Motion was unanimous.
- Recommended Pay Increase
- Mayor Austin recommended a 2% for non-elected city employees
- Electrical Inspector, Ken Swilling increases pay from $9.33/her to $10.00/hr
- Public Works employees Bradley Himes, and James Himes increases pay from $8.50/hr to $8.67/hr. if Bradley Himes receives his Commercial Drivers License.
- Sterling made the motion to accept the recommendation. Lyons 2nd. Motion was unanimous.
- Mayor Austin recommended MPD Patrolman, Tom Garrison a bonus of $300.00 for his recent completion of full certification.
- Lyons made the motion to accept the recommendation. Hopkins 2nd. Motion was unanimous.
- Mayor Austin recommended Ryan Hushka be given a $500 salary increase for completing his D-2 water certification, plus the added 2% pay increase.
- Sterling made the motion to accept the recommendation. Lyons 2md. Motion was unanimous.
- Mayor Austin stated, “we are currently advertising to fill a public works position.”
Announcements / Public Comments
- Theater Work Progress – panic bars should be arriving soon, and handicap ramp needs to be built.
- Water Audit – current state of water has been accepted, and approved by the Legislative Joint Auditing Division.
- Park Playground Equipment Grant – applied for a grant 1yr ago, which has been approved. A check for $14,750 will be accepted by Mayor Austin, which will be half of the projected cost.
- Walking Trail – Mayor Austin commented that the project is close to being finished.
Austin added that the trailer park located to the West of the City Park is looking to be rezoned for the possibility of the addition of duplexes.
Councilman, Rick McDaniel made the motion that City employees could choose to wear shorts of a respectable manner while working. Johnson 2nd. Motion was unanimous.
Adjourned at 8:20PM