Mayors meet for quarterly meeting

Friday, April 21, 2017

Poinsett County mayors met for their quarterly Intergovernmental Council Meeting Tuesday to give updates on their cities.

County Judge Bob Cantrell said at the county level they have been doing infrastructure work, especially at the courthouse and the detention center. He said they have been working on replacing wooden bridges around the county and have done four already with a few more to go. "These old wooden bridges are very dangerous for farmers. We're trying to replace as many as we can," Cantrell said. He also said the highway department is supposed to start work on resurfacing the I-555 bridges over the floodway this year.

For Tyronza, Mayor Charles Glover said they recently lost their police chief, Tony Turner, who retired after 16 years in law enforcement. They are looking for another police officer. He also said two different families have bought housing in the past few weeks in Tyronza and that they came to the area thanks to jobs at Big River Steel in Osceola. "That economic development is helping us. It's going to be a real plus for this part of the world," Glover said. Glover also asked those gathered for advice on policies for limb pickup, which Tyronza is looking into.

For Harrisburg, Mayor Randy Mills said their citywide cleanup will be from Thursday, April 20, to Thursday, April 27. He said most of Harrisburg's businesses are restaurants, and though there is a lot of business Harrisburg people go to Jonesboro for, he's tried to identify some things Harrisburg has a big need of. One of the things Harrisburg needs is a hardware store, he said. He has also had many inquiries about housing from people wanting to move to Harrisburg, but they do not currently have new housing development in the works.

For Trumann, Mayor Barbara Lewallen said the city is still working on some bond projects. The new city shop should be complete by the end of the month, she has met with engineers on the new well, and a new fire truck has been purchased. In new businesses, the city gained a laundromat, is getting a new fitness center with NEA Physical Therapy going in next door, and a Chinese food truck just opened. St. Bernards Rehab--now St. Bernards First Care--has expanded and now has a physician on staff, Dr. Timothy Dow. Lewallen said she is hoping to see more housing development in the future and that there is a lot potential for development and growth. She also mentioned the newly created Civil Enforcement Division, which is working to meet and combat the opioid problem. Additionally, she said she had talked to people who are interested in tearing down two buildings in the old downtown for their antique brick. The city has also been working to get derelict property taken care of.

Sheriff Kevin Molder also attended to talk about changes going on at his office. Molder said the sheriff's department has been moving fast with implementing changes since the new year, especially concerning technology. All deputies now have computers in their vehicles and are equipped with body cameras. Molder said their biggest problem right now is infrastructure. The detention center is 22 years old, and they will eventually need to look at updating several areas of the facility. The most recent update was replacing the chiller at around $120,000.

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