Weiner hosts intergovernmental meeting

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

County and city officials met in Weiner Tuesday for their quarterly Intergovernmental Cooperative Council. The meeting was hosted by the Cardinal Community Service Group in the new Cardinal Community Center, which opened in April.

During the mayors' updates, Weiner Mayor Arthur Booth said he appreciated the Cardinal Center and all they have done for the city. Senior use the center every day for coffee, dinners, birthdays, bean bag baseball and other games. The center also recently held a tournament involving five other senior centers. Everything in the center was donated from the community and over 1,500 volunteer hours went into making the center a reality. "We appreciate the Cardinal Center and all they've done for the city," Mayor Booth said. "We appreciate all the hard work that's gone into it."

Mayor Booth said he was sad Weiner High School closed down, but it would not change Weiner. However, he was pleased to announce Weiner Elementary School has been named an Arkansas School of Innovation. Schools of Innovation create and implement plans to increase academic performance by transforming and improving both teaching and learning. Mayor Booth said Weiner has also had some new businesses start up, including Cardinal One Stop, a flower shop, and a store called Beads, Books, and Bottles.

Lepanto Mayor Steve Jernigan told the group about Lepanto's project to replace the water lines. After some setbacks, including having to hold a second special election because of the wording on the bond issue, Mayor Jernigan said he hopes to see the project put out for bid within the next month. He also mentioned John T. Wayne will be doing a book signing from 12-3 p.m. at the museum on Friday, July 18.

Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters said new businesses in Trumann included Blue Line Auto Sales and a mobile veterinarian service offered by Norette Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic.

Mayor Walters said the city is still in cleanup mode from the storm in early June. She mentioned the city received $30,000 in General Improvement Funds from Rep. Wes Wagner to tear down dilapidated structures and said the city now has a roll-off truck, which will allow the city to save money by hauling away the houses itself. Mayor Walters currently has seven dilapidated houses marked to be torn down, with three completed so far, and said she hopes to stretch the funds to cover ten houses. She also said a new dog pound is under construction which will be more accessible and dog-friendly than the old one.

Harrisburg Mayor Randy Mills said a public hearing to update the Planning and Zoning Regulations will be held on July 28. The regulations were last updated 24 years ago. "We're trying to develop a plan for orderly growth in the city of Harrisburg," Mayor Mills said. He mentioned there are very few three-bedroom rental homes in Harrisburg, and the city is trying to find people to build more rental properties. "We want Harrisburg to grow, and we want Poinsett County to grow," he said.

Marked Tree Mayor Mary Ann Arnold said there have been several meetings putting together rules and regulations over use of the armory, which will be presented at the next city council meeting. In May, the council approved a resolution to apply for a GIF funded Community Enhancement Grant to remodel the armory so it can be used as a community facility available for lease.

Mayor Arnold also said she had gotten the railroad company's attention regarding upkeep of their land throughout the city and plans to meet with one of their representatives soon. She said the city has been mowing quite a bit of the railroad's property but that it was time for the railroad to start working on the upkeep. She also said Soozi Williams is the city's new Code Enforcer and is pursuing the owners of several nuisance structures, with two landlords already going to court.

County Judge Charles Nix said the county may be getting a recycling trailer by the end of the year. The trailer would have bins for different recycleables and could be set up at different places throughout the county. He said the county has applied for a Community Engagement Grant to help promote beautification and recycling projects and that the county is in the process of revising its mitigation plan. This year will mark Judge Nix's last year in office as is retiring, and he said one thing he wants to work on this year is to make sure the county is able to follow through on the strategic plan for economic development put together by reNEW East Arkansas. Judge Nix currently serves as plan director.

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