Mayor: State of Green Forest good

Sunday, February 26, 2012
Mayor Charles Reece (center) gives his annual State of the City address at Monday's city council meeting. Aldermen at the meeting were Willa Kerby, )from left), Mike Miller, Summer Fultz, Pam Norton and Bill Niven.

GREEN FOREST -- Mayor Charles Reece gave his annual State of the City address on Monday night.

Efforts to clean up the city have resulted in significant improvements, he said.

"I am pleased to report the state of the city is good, from an operational and financial standpoint," he said. "The city is in a sound financial standing and the past election provided the city with a city council that has the leadership ability, stability and vision to continue to make the city a better place to live and do business."

Buddy Fry, public works director for the city, was also on hand to address council members on numerous ongoing and future projects, including the need for a new backhoe for the water department.

The current model is a 2001 Case 590 and already has had the radiator replaced as well as a rebuilt turbo.

"It's losing some power and we could go ahead and spend the $3,000-4,000 to replace the pump and injectors," he said. "This is the case where you have an older machine and you're going to have things happen."

The state highway department just purchased seven models for approximately $68,500 each, however, Reece said that a lot can still be done to the existing model.

"You can make a lot of repairs for $80,000," he said.

Fry decided to table the topic for the time being while he works towards having Potter Equipment, northwest Arkansas' leading Case dealer, look once again at the current model before any action will be taken.

In other business:

* A water pump at the Broadway lift station blew. The pump will now be replaced, costing the city $13,600 for a rebuilt model and, according to Fry, will be delivered by the end of next week.

* Also, the sludge press and housing at the water treatment plant is nearing completion. The new press will allow the city to control costs at the wastewater plant. The project is slated to be completed by May.

"The building is up and the press is here," Fry said. "We're currently putting the finishing touches on it."

* Reece told council about the ongoing cat issue at the practice football field.

"We've currently gotten about 20 off the street," he said. "We still have a long way to go."

* Council also has opted to rebuild a 1972 International instead of purchasing a used model.

The cost for the reconditioned model is approximately $4,850.

"This has turned out to be a good deal," Reece said.

* The city is applying for a parks grant in order to install a privacy fence at the recently-acquired property at 304 Cherry St.

According to Fry, the project would cost approximately $20,000.

The property now has been cleaned up and the boundaries have been marked. The city plans to have a park-like atmosphere in the location.

* There are no new developments on the U.S. Hwy. 62 project. The project is still being reviewed by the state's Environmental Impact Committee, and Reece said the next course of action will be to have another town meeting, but the date has yet to be determined.

* Council also approved $8,800 for a virtual justice system for the Green Forest District Court.

"It's a comprehensive case management program which will automate everything that we do as far as warrant tracking, docket tracking, accounting and so on," said Jennifer Jacobs, district court clerk. "The new system will eliminate about 40 percent of the paperwork and is currently used by approximately 200 courts throughout the state. It's fairly simple to use."

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