Long-vacant Beaver Council seat is filled

Monday, July 17, 2006
Cathy Shusta

BEAVER -- Beaver Mayor Chad Hipps may breathe a sigh of relief now that he has found a new council member -- Cathy Shusta -- to replace Tim Adams, who resigned earlier this year.

Beaver has had difficulty filling its five-member council over the last few years and recently with having a quorum at meetings to vote on important issues. Council members were stymied at both their May and June meetings for lack of a quorum, and the town lost the opportunity to reinvest a certificate-of-deposit at a higher interest rate.

"It's definitely weighing heavily on me," Hipps told Carroll County News last month. "It's going to be a bad deal if we lose our incorporation and have to be turned back over to the county."

A town or city that unincorporates loses its state turnback funds.

But Hipps received good news at the July 10 meeting when recent new resident Shusta said she has agreed to serve on council.

"I've been approached by two or three people," she said. "I've given it a lot of thought. I'm new, so I'm not quite up to speed, but I'm willing."

Council approved her appointment, and Shusta will take her council seat at the August meeting.

Hipps said he was told by councilman Chris Lester, who has missed numerous meetings, that he will be resigning. Hipps said he approached former mayor John Ratliff to serve again. Ratliff said he is thinking about it.

Hipps is willing to run for mayor again in the fall, he said, and informed current council members Wayne Hennis, Duane Kriesel and Bill Padgett that county clerk Shirley Doss told him that if they wish to keep serving, they only need to file with 10 signatures and there need be no ballot if they have no opponents.

Town clerk Mary Hill has announced she will not rerun for the position next year. She said handling bookkeeping for the town and the RV Park, is "a lot of work." She suggested the town either hire a bookkeeper or sublease the park to an independent contractor, an idea Hipps was not in favor of.

"I'd rather look at hiring a bookkeeper than leasing the park," Hipps said. "We have top-of-the-line park attendants, and we have a good thing going."

Hennis agreed.

"I've stayed in leased parks, and they're poor quality," he said.

Hill will write a job description of her financial duties. Although the position of clerk must be filled, the town can legally contract with a bookkeeper to assist.

In other business, the council:

* Approved the second of three readings to amend the Beaver Code to give the mayor purchase power to make single purchases of up to $1,000 but no more than $5,000 total between council meetings.

* Approved the sale of a used golf cart and a used lawn mower together for $200 to the new relief attendants.

* Approved reinvesting a certificate-of-deposit coming due next month at the highest interest rate Hill can find.

* Heard the new relief attendants are Jim and Carolyn Stuhan.

* Heard plans for the kayak rally July 28-30 are well underway

* Discussed a letter written by Ratliff to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD) requesting restricting bars be erected over the Beaver Bridge to prevent 18-wheel tractor trailers from crossing. Shusta also suggested AHTD post a fine amount for violating bridge weight limits.

* Heard Hipps request members of the Zoning and Planning Commission to pay a visit to kennel owner Sue Simler, who is planning to build a house.

* Heard the financial report for June. The town showed a net income of $880.71, and the park a net income of $4,492.18. A six-month financial statement ending June 30 of the general and street funds required by the state shows a general fund balance of $16,924.73 and a street fund balance of $25,475.52, with no bond debts.

The Beaver Council holds its regularly scheduled meetings the first Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m. at the community center.

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