Green Forest council approves purchase of vehicles

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

The Green Forest City Council approved the purchase of two new vehicles for the city’s emergency services during its monthly meeting last week.

The new purchases will include a 2021 Ford Interceptor SUV intended to replace an older model Chevrolet Trailblazer the police department obtained as a used vehicle several years ago.

“Before we had the sales tax, the department was in kind of a crunch,” said

Green Forest Police Chief John Bailey, “and we bought two used vehicles, which was cheaper at the time than one new vehicle. This will be the last one to be replaced with newer versions.”

Bailey said the new vehicle — which will cost the city $48,130 — should be added to the department’s seven-vehicle fleet in approximately 12 weeks.

“It’ll have exactly what we tell them that we want on it and it’ll all be ready to go,” Bailey said. “All we’ll have to do is drop the radio in, plug it in and it’s ready to go.”

The council also voted to approve the purchase of a new tanker truck for the fire department at a cost of approximately $93,000.

“That tanker truck, we’ve had trouble with it well, basically since I got here,” mayor Jerry Carlton said. “It’s given us fits and we spent a small fortune on it trying to get it up and going. I’m just going to throw in the towel and order us a new tanker truck and then we’ll we will auction off that truck.”

Carlton said that price represents a significant savings for the city, which plans to reuse the tank from the existing truck.

“We’re just going to take the tank off the old truck and put it on a new chassis,” Carlton said. “All that does is, when we have rural fires, it runs back and forth to town to bring water because there’s not a water source.”

In other business, the council accepted a bid from Kirk’s Excavation for patchwork on the Tyson Foods parking lot related to water line maintenance and discussed moving wastewater department money totaling more than $1 million from a certificate of deposit account to the city’s savings account until, as Carlton put it, “CD rates can come back.”

The council also discussed the planned upgrades at the city’s baseball/softball complex. Work on the project is expected to begin soon after the Green Forest School District — which uses the facilities for its athletic teams — recently voted to split the cost of the $64,800 project with the city. The council also heard an update on the planned donation of the old Mercy Hospital clinic building the city.

“As far as I know, the Mercy building donation to the city has been finalized,” Carlton said. “They said as soon as the paperwork got to the courthouse, it would be filed under the city’s name. So I guess that’s a done deal and Mercy will contact me whenever they find out for sure.”

In addition, the council discussed traffic issues on Sparky Court near the fire station.

“We’re trying to work through those,” Carlton said. “Probably won’t get it done before school’s out this year, but it’s during the time that school gets in and lets out. So we’re working on those issues.”

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for June 14 at Green Forest City Hall.

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