Mansfield City Council Meets

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The Mansfield City Council met in regular session on Thursday, March 21 at 7 p.m. The council welcomed back Alderman Jan Carlton, who has been absent due to health.

After approving the February meeting minutes and the financials, Recorder/Treasurer Becky Walker gave her report. Walker stated that the personnel policy handbook had been updated and that they had published the annual financial report. Walker added that the Dixie Theatre committee would be meeting soon, and that there are two scheduled fundraisers. One for May 11 and the other May 18, which will feature Southern Rain.

Next, Charlie Little, the city’s Public Works Director gave his report. Little shared photos with the council on several issues throughout the city that had been addressed. Little added that the city workers have been busy cleaning ditches and stopped up culverts and hopes to get each of them done over the course of the year.

Fire Chief Stephen Haysmer reported to the council that they have seen a decline in medical calls and only had one fire call. Lastly, Haysmer shared that 10 new SCBA oxygen tanks had been purchased for the department.

Police Chief Boyd Farmer gave a brief report. This was his final meeting with the council before his retirement at the end of the month. The city honored him with a gold retirement shield. –See related story. Mayor Buddy Black shared that the city is actively seeking to fill that position.

Farmer commented on the continued rise in the number of students at the school who are vaping. Farmer said “they are being charged an adult citation and appearing in court on drug paraphernalia.”

City Attorney Matt Ketcham spoke with the council regarding the new dog ordinance, which will repeal and replace the old and outdated one. He suggested a study session on finalizing the wording and details of that new ordinance. Ketcham also suggested a study session for the council to outline plans to require water shut off valves for homeowners. “You cannot force everyone to do it, but if for some reason they get their water shut off you could require them to install a shut off valve before you will turn the water back on,” explained Ketcham. Mayor Black said it would be of benefit to the homeowner, and would like to see an ordinance requiring all new constructions and all home sells include the requirement.

Black recommended a change in the “Jake” Breaking ordinance. Ketcham instructed the council that the term “Jake” breaking is now trade marked, and that it should be replaced with engine breaking. Black said he would like to see the notation “engine breaking prohibited, except in emergencies.”

Mayor Black discussed the option of getting a “green” grant to beautify city hall, and help with the cost of replanting trees. Additionally, he asked the council for permission to seek bids on adding a drive-thru at city hall for the water department.

One of the last items of business was Black’s recommendation to change overtime pay to comp pay. The council approved the change unanimously.

Before adjournment, Mayor Black called former Alderman, Ward 1 Position 1, Georganna Mabry to the front and presented her with a plaque of appreciation of her 13 years of service to the city. -See related story.

With no other items of business, the meeting of the Mansfield City Council adjourned.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Mansfield native, with roots in Scott County. Daughter, sister, wife and Christian. Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; 20+ years experience in the news.

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