The city has taken pictures and documented the damage, so they can move forward and begin cleanup of debris from the storm, according to Danny Grant of the Ash Flat Street Department.
Grant told the council, at the meeting held Feb. 17, that he thought the help of one extra person could be used during the cleanup. FEMA will cover the salary of any temporary help used during this process.
While the cleanup is the biggest project right now, Grant said one extra person would help free a person up to do regular work. The council voted and gave Grant permission to hire one part-time employee at minimum wage.
The council mentioned that it would be nice to hire someone local. The city will be accepting applications for this position.
During the January meeting, Alderman Jerrell Lesley requested that the council consider changing the hiring and firing portion of the city handbook. Lesley wanted the new policy replaced with the old one giving the mayor and department heads equal say in who is hired.
Mayor Danny Traw said that the council will have to begin working on a new handbook. "We have to do a new handbook every two years when we get a new council," Traw told the council.
Traw suggested instead of amending the current handbook the council make the changes to the new handbook. Lesley said that would be fine.
"I just think it is important that the department head have a say in who is hired," Lesley said. "They are going to be working for that person -- in the case of a fireman, you want to know who is backing you."
A new ordinance was presented to the council by Senior Police Officer, Anthony Wiles.
The ordinance is for careless and inattentive driving. City Attorney Larry Kissee told the council that this is a great ordinance. "For example, when an 18-wheeler (driver) gets a ticket, the state is really hard on them," Kissee said. "This does not go on the driving record, it's a little less harsh than careless and prohibited driving."
The council passed the ordinance which will allow for a lesser charge in the case of careless and inattentive driving. The penalty will be a fine, if such a ticket is issued.
Rodney Smith of IESI approached the council with a rate increase for trash service in the city. Smith said although the contract calls for an increase every year this is the first since 2004.
"The contract states we can make an increase of up to 5 percent," Smith told the council. "We are asking for 3.8 percent." Smith said it ends up being 50 cents more per year. The total increase approved by the council was $13.13.