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Monday, April 15, 2024

Mansfield Mayor Recalls First Year in Office


Mansfield Mayor Buddy Black presented a summary of his first year to the council at their last meeting on Thursday, January 16.

In his report, he recalled the initial obstacles facing the city such as the fraudulent check scheme that affected the entire state. Some of the items included on that list, such as talks with DHS on treating the Mansfield Juvenile Treatment Center’s waste, remain a work in progress.

Other items included:

  • Removing pine trees from the west side of city hall. The needles were stopping up the gutters and drains, and their roots were infiltrating the sewer system.
  • Purchased 10 refurbished oxygen cylinders.
  • Replaced heat exchanger in the Senior Centers HVAC unit.
  • Smoke and dye test on the sewer system revealed infiltration. Landmark Engineering recommended raising all manholes that are currently below flood elevations.
  • Bought new police unit and sold two old Crown Victorias.
  • A new slide was purchased and donated by Darlene Boyd to the Connie McConnell Memorial Park.
  • Tony Gregory and Arnold Elmore made repairs at the wastewater plant that saved approximately $25,000.
  • Public works employees supplied with uniforms.
  • Roof repairs on the police department, and a partial new roof added to the fire department.
  • Started trash pickup at the City of Hartford with added revenue of over $31,000 per year.
  • Bought a total of 20 new dumpsters to rent out at $32.40 each, this will add approximately $700 in additional revenue each month.
  • Numerous water leaks repaired.
  • Auto pay implemented at the water department.
  • Installed telemetry for the water system at a cost of approximately $33,000.
  • In talks with State Senator Terry Rice, U.S. Senators Tom Cotton and John Boozman, and representatives in obtaining grants for new bridges on Walnut Street and Caldwell Street.
  • Hired a new police chief, two officers, public works director and fire chief.
  • Georgia Poultry, a supplier for poultry and swine growers, opened for business.
  • Changed from overtime to comp-time. Overtime pay went from $22,000 in 2018 to $2,800 in 2019.
  • DHS is installing a fence two feet taller with barbed wire around 75 percent of the MJTC. They are also placing lights on all the buildings.
  • Replaced waterline hazard on Tut Hill Road.
  • Upgraded the computers at the police department and some at city hall.
  • Worked with ARDOT to dig out some ditches and culverts on Highway 96 and 378 to alleviate flooding.
  • New signage was added at Highway 96 and Huntington Avenue to detour semis away from side streets.
  • Installed guard rail on a sidewalk on Broadway Street.

Black stated that moving forward, he wants to encourage cross-training in all departments, and additional education and licensure for all public works employees. This includes water licensure, CDL’s, etc.

Lastly, Black shared that he wants to continue building on the Christmas lights display on the square, and working to get new businesses into the City of Mansfield.

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Tammy Teague
Tammy Teague
Tammy is the heart behind the brand. Her tenacity to curate authentic journalism, supported by a genuine heart is one her many wholesome qualities.
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