Multiple rumors started flying in the city of Horseshoe Bend about the police department a couple of weeks ago when Mayor Bob Barnes refused to accept three possible 2009 budgets that the Horseshoe Bend Police Department submitted. Mayor Barnes settled these rumors during the finance committee meeting Nov. 13.
Alderman Darryl Demm was the first to raise questions about the rumors at the meeting. He asked the mayor if there was any truth to them. Mayor Barnes put these rumors to rest when he said the rumors started when none of the proposed budgets the police department sent in would work. One of the rumors started after the rejected budgets was that Izard County would be doing Horseshoe Bend's dispatch work. Another rumor was that the city was getting rid of the police department altogether, and that it was going to sign a contract with the county to patrol the area. Mayor Barnes said none of the rumors are true. However, the mayor did criticize the police department. "I'm very disappointed with our police department," Mayor Barnes said. He said his disappointment stems from the department's lack of organization.
Though disappointed, "If we're going to keep a police department, we're going to keep it here," the mayor said. "I do firmly believe we need 24-7 protection."
In other business Mayor Barnes said sales tax to the city is doing well now that gas prices are going down. For October the city received $25,376.72 in sales tax. "(Revenue from sales tax) has been steadily growing all year long," the mayor said.
The city has had some problems with the Horseshoe Bend Animal Control, according to Mayor Barnes. The mayor said that all animal control centers have to euthanize animals if the owner brings an animal to be euthanized for a fee. The mayor said the Horseshoe Bend Animal Control had been turning away people who have animals that need to be euthanized. Mayor Barnes told the committee that he plans to call animal control to put a stop to it.
Alderman Demm asked if it would be possible to make Industrial Park easier to get to. He suggested putting signs up to direct people to the park. Sally Pohl, recorder/treasurer, said that the city has already purchased signs, but they have yet to put them up.
Mayor Barnes said the proposed city budget for 2009 is $40,000 over budget. He said the city needs to cut back somewhere but he didn't know where. "We might have to start cutting services, but I don't want to do that," the mayor said.
Pohl suggested the committee look at some possible changes in the budget, including the fireworks account, before the next meeting. She said the committee might not want to fund the Horseshoe Bend Chamber of Commerce's fireworks display this year because of the city's budget.
The Finance Committee will continue to discuss the city's budget Nov. 20 at 4:30 p.m.