Mayors give updates at intergovernmental meeting

Friday, April 20, 2018

Several area mayors met for an Intergovernmental Council meeting in Harrisburg Tuesday to update each other about what's going on in their towns.

Due to attendance at the last few meetings, County Judge Bob Cantrell brought up the idea of changing the meetings from quarterly to twice a year. Everyone agreed to this and set the next meeting for Oct. 9.

Cantrell spoke about work being done at the county level, including working on bridges, roads, box culverts, and constructing another work building at the landfill.

Cantrell said the county has been accepted as a Purple Heart County. They just need to finish up the paperwork and see how many signs they can get. Cantrell said there are also plans to have a dedication for a Civil War memorial since a memorial sign has been at the courthouse but hasn't been put up yet. And there will be a tree planting using dirt from France in honor of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. The tree, provided by the Arkansas Forestry Commission, will be planted near the northeast corner of the courthouse annex building in Harrisburg. He hopes to have dedications in May.

The county also got new Edge Software. County Assessor John Hutchison said the software would help with remapping the county, which the state is requiring. Hutchison said the new software would result in more accurate mapping and that city officials will be able to login to use the information as well.

In city updates, Lepanto Mayor Dale Dunlap said the city is working to fix more sewer lines in their water line replacement project. He said Lepanto got some streets resurfaced with state aid money and that the city has been taking care of potholes on the bridges.

Waldenburg Mayor William Wood said the highway has not hurt their traffic flow through town and that a new steak and seafood restaurant is going to open.

For Trumann, Mayor Barbara Lewallen mentioned new businesses coming to town such as Burger King and Traxo Fitness as well as businesses moving to new locations such as the NEA Baptist Clinic and Checkers Pizza. She said there are plans for a U-Haul to go in and that the Chinese restaurant is moving to the interstate. The Baldwin building has been sold and is being cleaned up, and other industries are doing well, she said.

Mayor Lewallen also talked about participating in the Census Plan to help make sure the 2020 Census is as accurate as possible for Trumann and said the city is working on a new city plan.

She also talked about paving. Highway 69 is getting some paving work done, which was bumped up to this year instead of next year. And the widening of Highway 69 will take place in 2020. Lewallen said the Highway Department has plans to close the ditches, widen 69 to three lanes, and add sidewalks on each side. The city is also working on the new well.

For Tyronza, Mayor Charles Glover said they are preparing for their annual Stars and Stripes Festival, May 4-5. The city also needs repairs on the old water tower, which was built in 1935 and is on the National Register of Historic Places. The city plans to do the work in two phases and has applied for a grant through the State Historic Preservation office for phase one, which is the interior. Mayor Glover said the tower has lead paint, so they will need to sandblast and recoat the interior.

Tyronza will also be having their third annual community sweet corn patch. Mayor Glover said area farmers donate seed, fertilizer, and planting and that the patch has been a big hit with residents.

In Harrisburg, Mayor Randy Mills said they are still working on the new well after drilling 1,500 feet and hitting no water. He is hoping they will be able to drill again in a different spot within a month. Mayor Mills said Ruskin Packaging and Corrugated Supply combined to form RusCorr LLC and have been making improvements to the building they plan use. Mills said the building will now be totally utilized and that RusCorr will employ 50 new people. The city is also working with Centerpoint to provide gas to the facility as they will use more gas in a month than a household will in 20 years. Mills said they are working on increasing gas flow to the facility so the city's residential gas customers aren't affected. The city is also rebuilding a street, was notified they will receive state aid money for resurfacing streets, and is waiting for the weather to clear up so playground equipment can be installed. In new businesses, Mayor Mills said a fitness center in coming in the future as well as Harbor Freight Tools. Harrisburg's Festival on the Ridge is set for May 11-12.

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