Marked Tree Council receives update on parks
Betty Shaw addressed the Marked Tree City Council recently about the parks committee's first meeting, which she said was wonderful and resulted in a lot of suggestions for the parks.
Shaw informed the council of the donation of a pavilion by the Arnold family for the Sports Complex. The pavilion will be built in honor of Mayor Mary Ann Arnold across from the playground. Shaw said there will be six picnic tables instead of four, two grills instead of one, and a fire pit. "It will be very accessible to the ball field," Shaw said. She also recommended moving the old pavilion to an area beside the splash pad in the hope it will be used more. The council gave permission for the new pavilion to be built and agreed to take it over and maintain it once it was complete.
Shaw said she has met with the state regarding the $25,984 matching parks grant the city was approved for and is proceeding forward with that. The grant will be used for burying the overhead utility lines at Carver Park--which must be done before the park can qualify for other grant-funded work--and to add items to the Sports Complex such as foul ball safety netting, a shade structure and equipment for the playground, and more benches. Mayor Steve Craig said the safety netting is coming in soon.
In other business, since the council appointed Steve Craig to serve the rest of Mary Ann Arnold's term as mayor, Craig's position as alderman is open. The council will hear from anyone interested in serving in the open city council position at the next meeting at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 9. Anyone interested should call city hall at 870-358-3216 to be placed on the agenda.
The council also heard from the family of the owner of a house at 302 Chicago Street. The daughter of the owner, who has power of attorney, said they would tear down the property themselves but needed time to do so. The council agreed to give them eight months.
The council also approved a resolution recognizing the opioid epidemic and agreeing to engage in litigation as a member of the Municipal League Legal Defense Program against pharmaceutical companies responsible. City Clerk Pam Wright said the Municipal League is asking all member cities to go in with them on the litigation and that it will not cost the city.
A resolution was approved amending the 2017 Budget, the mayor was authorized to get rid of old vehicles and equipment that are no longer needed, and the council approved paying Code Enforcer Jim Huff for mailouts and the Poinsett County Democrat Tribune for legal notices.
The fire department announced the Red Cross will be giving them smoke detectors to install. They will be installing up to two per house on Saturday, April 21, for anyone who is interested.