The Horseshoe Bend City Council appointed Barbara Bell April 20 to replace retiring Ward II Position 1 Alderman George Evans. Six of the eight alderman voted for Bell; the two remaining votes were cast for Jean Stephens.
Bell, 60, moved to Horseshoe Bend with her husband in July of 1998. During her professional career she was an aide at the Defense Intelligence Agency. Bell said she looks forward to helping the citizens of Horseshoe Bend. She will be sworn in May 1.
Mayor Bob Spear told the outgoing Evans he appreciated his service to the community. "We didn't always agree on everything, George, but we always got the job done, didn't we?" said Spear.
Three recommendations by the Finance Committee were presented to the council by Alderman George Williamson and unanimously approved.
The committee recommended the council accept a bid by Kohn Batterton for remodeling the council chambers for $1,400. Williamson said it was the lowest bid submitted.
The committee also recommended the council accept a grant offered by White River Regional Solid Waste to purchase a set of loading forks for the recycling center. The only stipulation is the city would have to match the grant.
Williamson said members of the Finance Committee requested the starting time for the meetings be changed from 6:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. The change was approved.
Two ordinances were placed on the council's agenda for a first reading. Ordinance 2004-03 would increase lot assessments for the MSID. Spear said the assessments for MSID haven't been raised since its inception in 1987. "I think we should be proud of the job they've (MSID) done and we should try to help them," Spear said.
The MSID is responsible of repairing and replacing city roads. Seven alderman voted for the ordinance to be placed on first reading. Alderman Michael Turner voted against. He said he's in favor of repairing roads but thinks the council should wait until the land development commission finishes its work before assessments are raised.
The second ordinance, 2004-04, would increase lot assessments for the CSID. The CSID is a commission created in 1984 to oversee the construction and repairs of roads in the Crown Addition. Seven councilmen voted to place the ordinance on its first reading. Turner cast the lone dissenting vote.
The council approved a motion to allow work on the preliminary plat for Woodland Green no. 1 subdivision. The mayor and several alderman expressed concern that if the platt is approved, work would begin immediately, before a performance bond is issued to the city by the contractor. The council passed the plat unanimously on the condition that work couldn't begin until the city receives the performance bond.
Mayor Spear asked the council to appoint George Williamson as the liaison between the city council and the industrial commission. Evans had been the liaison to the commission. The council unanimously approved, with Williamson abstaining.
Alderman Erv Metzinger said the library is nearing completion but work will stop if more money can't be raised. He asked the community for help with the project.
Izard County sheriff candidate Tate Lawerence addressed the council before the meeting began. He said if he is elected, combating the county's drug problem would be his number one priority. "There are more meth labs in this part of Arkansas and southern Missouri than there are in any other place in this country," he said
Lawerence said if the drug problem is addressed it would help to lower the crime rate in other categories such as domestic abuse and burglary. He said a sheriff needs to be a leader, manager, organizer and visionary. "I have these qualities," he said.