Lepanto council approves new regulations for Parks Commission

Sunday, November 30, 2014

The Lepanto City Council approved an ordinance during this month's regular meeting to increase the number people on the Parks Commission from five to seven. The new ordinance also changes the stipulation that members of the commission be electors of Lepanto. The new rule states commission members must either reside in EPC school district or have one or more children attending EPC.

Daniel Haynes with the Parks Commission recommended the change because there were people who were highly involved with the sports complex who were not eligible to serve on the commission despite having kids in the EPC school system.

In other business, the council heard from Kevin Wright in reference to a proposed resolution to condemn a property he owns at 107 Didemma Street. Wright said his intention is to tear down the property. He agreed it was unsightly but said he did not believe it was a safety hazard. He offered to come before the council again at next month's meeting to discuss the property. The council was okay with that and tabled the resolution.

The council also reviewed a letter from the 2nd Judicial District Criminal Detention Facilities Review Committee regarding an inspection of the jail. The letter cited several issues the committee had with the jail. Mayor Jernigan said the committee's main concern was that the staff all needs a basic jail training course along with training in first aid and CPR. Lepanto Police Chief Chad Henderson is working on setting up the class. Other issues cited in the letter included not having a cell for disabled inmates, not having a safe and proper booking area, not having an alcohol unit, not having a proper observation cell, not having proper storage for bedding and clothing, and not having a written fire plan. The jail, which was built in the 1930s, was determined to be outdated and unsafe. The committee put the jail on a six month probation and expects a written plan detailing how the Lepanto Police Department will resolve the jail's issues by the end of that period. For the time being, Lepanto prisoners are being housed at Marked Tree's jail.

Mayor Steve Jernigan gave a brief update on the project to replace the city's water lines. He said he work would start as soon as the plans were approved by Little Rock, which would hopefully be by Dec. 1.

In other business, the council:

*discussed regulations for the new section of the cemetery. The matter was tabled until they can get a copy of Harrisburg's regulations.

*approved the fire department's purchase of eight air packs and 16 bottles using funds from Act 833.

*tabled discussion on the Painted House lease until the Citizens for Progress has a chance to meet.

*approved a bonus for city employees. The bonus is the same as last year and was budgeted for.

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