Area mayors look forward to new year

Monday, January 7, 2013

For the 2013 year, several mayors in Poinsett County are focusing on budget and business in the area. 2012 was a year of tightening up on budgets, which will be the case in 2013, as well.

Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters said she has two major projects for the city that she is looking forward to putting into action. The first one involves a $789,430 grant to build a 16 acre detention pond behind Mulberry Drive to ease flooding. Starting in January, Mayor Walters said she will start taking bids on the project and hopes to see it done by the end of 2013.

The second project the mayor looks forward to completing is the Adult Education center/training building. The city recently received over $500,000 in grants and donations, including $250,000 of that from Jerry Sims and Patty Swinford. The land for the building, located on Melton Street, was donated by the Patterson Family.

The Adult Education and Worker Training Center will offer basic adult education classes, industry workforce training, and will serve as a training center for local industries.

The mayor also said within the new year, she plans to replace a truck and tractor belonging to the city that was totaled in a wreck in late 2012.

"We really have some good things going on for the new year," Mayor Walters said. "We will be monitoring the budget closely to spend tax dollars wisely." Walters said over one million dollars in grants will be utilized in the 2013 year to the advantage of Trumann.

Marked Tree Mayor Wayne Nichols is very conscious of the budget for 2013, as well. "The tax revenue is down, so we have to be very careful this year," he said. He looks forward to providing affordable services in Marked Tree.

Mayor Nichols also looks forward to many properties, like the streets, being cleaned in the new year. "We should take pride in clean properties," said the mayor.

Lepanto Mayor Steve Jernigan said that with Lepanto's big problem of garbage and stray dogs being resolved in 2012, he looks forward to reducing drugs on the streets and working on all aging water lines in the new year.

"Drugs are the leading crime problem in the area," said Mayor Jernigan. He hopes to come up with solutions to reduce the issue in order to make Lepanto a cleaner place.

His short-term goals for the year involve receiving grants for the streets and water, while his long term goal is to replace all of the aging water lines in Lepanto. The mayor said this will take over a year to complete, but he hopes to get the process going steady in 2013.

Harrisburg Mayor Randy Mills said a big project in 2013 will be getting a Harrisburg city park in place. The mayor also looks forward to bringing new business into Harrisburg for economic growth and development, while cleaning up the downtown area. Harrisburg hopes to get a new garbage collection in the new year, as well. "There are other things we want to happen, but we have yet to sit down and discuss it," said Mayor Mills.

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