The Mansfield City Council met in a regularly scheduled meeting on Thursday evening, October 15 at 6 p.m.
Council members present were Jan Carlton, Dave Johnson, Julie Thomas, Beverly Lyons, Sheri Hopkins and Rick McDaniel. Also present, Mayor Buddy Black and Recorder/Treasurer Becky Walker.
After approving the minutes of the September meeting and the financial reports, the council heard the city services reports. Public Works Director Joe Manes was not present. Mayor Black reported on the work done throughout the month, the hiring of a new employee, Lyndon Bryan, and on those who attended a chemical spill response training class.
Next, the council heard the fire report. Chief Michael Smith reported a total of 16 calls, two fire and 14 EMS. Also, that work has been ongoing to inside of the station in preparation for election day. Scott County voters will use the station to vote, as it will accommodate the need for social distancing. Smith also reported that he, too, attended the hazmat class, that all trucks are up and running, and that he has worked a total of 198 hours this month. Smith concluded by thanking Jim Sher for his donation of $500 to the fire department.
Police Chief Wayne Robb was present to give the departmental report. For the month of September, the department wrote six citations in Scott County, and 18 in Sebastian. There were two misdemeanor warrants executed in Sebastian County. In total, there were 47 calls, 23 agency assists, two school calls, four accident reports, 14 incident arrest reports, 96 traffic stops, 73 warnings, one DWI arrest and thirteen animal calls. Lastly, the department had 14 total training hours.
In matters of unfinished business, the council heard an update from Mayor Black on the planned installation of the waste water security gates, roof and air conditioning repairs to the police department.
The council approved the motion to adopt an ordinance to close the alley on Gipson lane. In a vote of 5-1, with Carlton abstaining, the council approved the planning commission’s recommendation to close the alley.
In matters of new business, the council voted unanimously to purchase new water meters and voted to close Cole Street from Bowman Street East. Additionally, the council approved of the mayor seeking donations to go towards the purchase of a new city sign. Black proposed getting businesses to help fund the purchase, and in return, advertise that business on an affixed plaque below sign. The proposed LED sign will serve as an information point for the citizens of Mansfield.
Mayor Black spoke regarding the need for electrical work at the fire department. That work is now underway and includes the installation of new LED lighting at the station. The council also voted unanimously to add Mike Winters back onto the fire department.
The last item of new business, a change in the retirement funds deposit. The council spoke at length on the matter. Mayor Black informed the council that he had spoken with the auditor and “was told we cannot take money from the water and street fund, and that it must be paid back pretty quickly.” Currently, according to Black, “we (the city) take money from the general, water, street and waste management funds at $1,000 each to put into the retirement fund. We can’t do that.” The city has, for the past seven years, been taking the funds from those accounts and depositing the money into the retirement plan. Th council voted unanimously to refund the amount totaling $121,000. Funds will be repaid by taking half the amount owed from the retirement fund and half from the waste management fund. –see related story
With no other items on the agenda, the meeting of the Mansfield City Council was adjourned.