Thursday, October 29, 2009

4:00 PM

The solid waste board spent about two hours and forty five minutes this morning discussing garbage issues. A lot of information was exchanged among the board members and members of the general public.

The bottom line is that no decision was made. We will meet again in December and try to reach a decision on solid waste. I think that I now have a handle on the way the board will proceed. I feel much better about actions that the board will take at the next meeting.

After the meeting I visited with the new person in charge at Delta Environmental. We had a very good meeting and I feel conformable that we can work together well.
5:45 AM

Today is a big day in the way garbage is handled in the City of Wynne and in Cross
County. Earlier this month the East Arkansas Regional Solid Waste Management Board voted that all garbage (every type of garbage) must be taken to the landfill in West Memphis. The city has been taking our household garbage to West Memphis and the other trash that we collect to the Delta Environmental landfill located between Wynne and Parkin.

The actions of the board mean that all of our trash must go to West Memphis. It also means that all of the trash collected in the county and the trash that individual citizens and contractors must now go to West Memphis. This will probable mean that cost will increase.

The board meets this morning to have a public hearing on proposed regulations that will allow the board to enforce these regulations. After the public hearing, the board will vote on the new regulations. If these regulations are adopted it will force the local landfill to not accept any trash from Cross County. It will probably mean that the landfill cannot operate because of the loss of business.

I have mixed feelings about these regulations. In the past I thought that only household garbage had to be taken to West Memphis. I did not support the regulation that all trash had to go to West Memphis. I have supported this by making sure that our class one trash was taken to West Memphis. In fact we had to haul our class one trash to West Memphis for over a year to make sure that our class one trash was taken to West Memphis. This cost the city more money, but I supported the district in providing the city with an approved landfill to handle our garbage.

I do not support the regulation that all garbage go to the district landfill. I think that the local landfill should be allowed to accept the trash other than class one. But for the past eleven years, I have supported the district and if the new regulations are adopted, I will suport the action of the majority.

I look forward to the meetings this morning.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

4:10 PM

I went to the Mississippi State vs. Florida football game yesterday at Mississippi State. Mississippi State lost the game. The game was very competitive through the first three quarters, but Florida pulled away and won 29 to 19. Yesterday's game was the largest crowd ever in Starkville. The attendance was 57, 178.

I spent the night in Tupelo. That was the first time this year that I spent the night. I am glad that I did spend the night. Because of the large crowd it took a very long time to get off campus and then it was bumper to bumper from Starkville to highway 45. The traffic moved very slow until I reached highway 45. I did not get to Tupelo and the motel until almost 1:00 AM.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

7:45 PM

I made a trip to Iuka today to visit my mother on her 91st birthday. I did not tell her that I planned to visit. She was glad to see me. I stayed about three hours. We had a very good visit.

A few weeks ago mother asked me if I would like to have daddy's tool box and tools. I told her that I would like to have them. I got them today and brought them home. They are hand woodworking tools that daddy used when I was in junior and senior high school. During that time daddy worked some as a construction carpenter when he had to have a job. He never liked the job because he had to leave home to work in that trade. But, there were times he had to have a job and he would get his tools and make a construction job.

I do not know what is in the tool box. I do know that the tools are old and have not been used in about 50 years. I will go through the box in the next few days and find out what tools are in the box. I am sure that it will bring back some old memories.
6:27 AM

Today is my birthday. It is also my mother's birthday. I plan to not work today and make a surprise visit to see mother. Today I am 63 and mother is 91. It will be a long day, but it will be worth it to spend a little time with mother on our birthday.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1:45 PM

Last year Congressman Berry got an some money put in the budget for Town Creek in the City of Wynne. He got $50,000.00. His office notified me of the award. (Town Creek is a major ditch that runs through the city and ends at the Languille river) The city has been working to get some federal funds for this project for about 15 years.

Some time after I had the call from the congressman's office I received a call from a State of Arkansas official. The official told me of the award. I ask him what I could do with the money. I explained to him that this project was about a five million dollar project and that the fifty thousand would not allow us to get started. He agreed and I told him that I would have to turn down the money. He agreed that I should turn down the money.

On Monday of this week I received a call from the same individual from the state that had called last year. He asked me if I remembered our conversation of last year. I told him that I did remember the conversation. He informed me that the money was still there if I could use the money. We discussed some options for using the money. After our discussion I asked him if I could use the money to help pay for a bridge over this creek. He told me that he did not think that I could use the money to help pay for a bridge, but I might could use it to help pay for a box culvert rather than a bridge. (a box culvert would serve the same purpose as a bridge)

He told me that he would submit my proposal to the federal government. Today his office called and informed me that I could use the money to help pay for the box culvert, but if I took the money the City of Wynne would have to have a mitigation plan approved within a year of receiving the money. His office staff told me that a mitigation plan would cost at least $40,000.00. His office also told me that it usually takes five or more years for a mitigation plan to be accepted. I thanked his office for their help and told them that I was turning down the money.


Monday, October 19, 2009

1:45 PM

I spent most of the time on Saturday and Sunday afternoon watching football games on TV. I got to watch Mississippi State defeat Middle Tennessee. This is the first MSU game I have watched on TV. I have been watching them in person.

Jerry and his crew, with the help of our contractor, got the signal light at Hamilton and Falls repaired on Saturday. Jerry told me that both of the garbage trucks have been working well. I think that all of the small bugs of a new truck have been worked out. I hope so.

It did not rain any this weekend, but the temperature has dropped. The farmers got a lot of work completed this past weekend. They had been late with the harvest, because of the rain.

Thursday will be my birthday. It is also my mothers birthday. I plan to take off on Thursday and visit mother. She will be 91 on Thursday. She is able to still live alone. I am so thankful. It is important to her to be independent and live at her house. I do not plan to tell her that I am coming for a visit. If I told her she would try to prepare some food for me and I do not want to have her spend her time preparing food for me.

Friday, October 16, 2009

3:10 PM

I will probably be a little lost this weekend. I will not be going to a MSU football game. The team plays on the road this Saturday. I am kinda looking forward to a free Saturday. I will probably watch some games on TV.

I will attend three more games in Starkville and one in Little Rock. State has three more home games. They play Florida, Alabama and Ole Miss at home and play Arkansas in Little Rock. The team does not have a very good record, but I have really enjoyed my trips and the games this year. I have seen some really good teams play.

Theda and I have finished the budgets for next year. I have scheduled a meeting with the budget committee for November the 2nd. They will have a week to review the budgets and make a recommendation to the city council meeting in November. I will present the budgets to the full council at the November meeting and they will have one month to review and ask questions. They will then adopt the budgets (2010) at the December meeting.

It has not rained today. Seems odd not to have rain. We have had rain all but about three days so far this month. The temperature has dropped a lot since yesterday.

The city has developed a problem in one section of the city about the placement of a stop sign. As far back as I am aware decisions about traffic signs was made by the public works director and that system has worked well. Because of the fuss about the latest placement of a stop sign I have appointed a committee to develop a sign placement regulations. I anticipate taking their recommendation to the full council at the November meeting and have them adopt a written policy for the placement of stop signs.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

8:15 AM

I have been Mayor of Wynne for eleven years. Eleven years ago I took the office of Mayor. I was appointed to fill out a term of the previous mayor. I have enjoyed my time of service to the citizens of Wynne serving as their mayor.

The city council met last night for their monthly meeting. Following is a summary of the actions taken:

1. Had a year end report from VDCI. They are basically through with their program for this year.

2. Passed a resolution setting the millage for real property tax at 5 mills for the city. This is the same rate that has been in place for a number of years.

3. Passed a resolution setting the millage for personal property tax at 5 mills for the city. This is the same rate that has been in place for a number of years.

4. Passed a resolution in support of an application by the city for a grant to purchase picnic table and benches for our city parks.

5. Passed a resolution in support of Crossridge Hospital to apply for a walking trail grant. The walking trail, if funded, will be on hospital property and connect with John Hayden Smith Park with a bridge.

6. Passed an Ordinance increasing fines for hosting under age drinking functions. There is a state law that covers this problem, but the ordinance the city council passed will increased the fines over the state law. I hope that this will aid in the problem of underage drinking by young people in the city.

7. I reported to the council the new rules for garbage that will change the location of the disposal of class three trash from the city and county. When the new rules are adopted all trash fromCross County must go to the West Memphis landfill. In the past we have not been taking class three trash to West Memphis. We have been taking this type of garbage to a landfill located between Wynne and Parkin.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

8:10 AM

A big truck made a turn too short last Friday morning and took out one of the city's traffic lights. The lights and the pole were completely destroyed. The street department has the three lights flashing red and have installed stop signs. The intersection is now a four way stop. That seems to be working well at the present time.

It takes at least six months to get a replacement pole for the lights. We were making plans to install a temporary pole and order a new pole. It turns out that the city already has a pole that can be used to make the repairs at the intersection. It is an old pole that was used at our old fire station. The city crews started taking down the pole yesterday afternoon, but decided to stop and do the work this morning because of the traffic on Falls.

I hope everything goes well and we can have the repairs made by this week end.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

7:00 AM

I went to the Mississippi State Football game yesterday. I had a good time, but we lost the game. We played the University of Houston. The final score was 31 to 24. If you like to see scoring yesterday was a good game to watch. Both teams had about 500 yards of offense.

The game was an 11:30 AM kickoff so I was not totally exhausted from making the trip. I left yesterday morning about 6:00 AM and got home about 8:00 PM last night. It was cool yesterday, but there was no rain during the game. I drove through several miles of slight rain from Mississippi State to Memphis. It was never very heavy but I had to run the wipers.

Friday, October 9, 2009

5:53 AM

The city street crews have been working on a drainage project the week. Last week the city hired a contractor to clean out a large ditch in south Wynne. The contractor completed their part of the work last week and this week the city crews have been finishing the project. This work will greatly improve the flow of water in the south part of the city.

Also the city crews have been working on some smaller projects around the city. Anytime the city works on drainage it aids in the flow of water in the city. The city crews spend quite a bit of time working on drainage around the city.

The garbage trucks have been operating fine this week. I hope that the mechanics finally have the bugs worked out of the new trucks. They have at least worked without any problems this past week. It is much easier to keep up with the removal of garbage when the equipment works at it should.

The city council meets for the regular monthly meeting next Tuesday. I expect the major item of discussion to be an ordinance dealing with teenage drinking. A council member has asked the other members to consider an ordinance dealing with this problem. There is a state law that was passed during the last session of the Arkansas legislature. The ordnance that the council member has proposed adds some more penalties to the law. I have not taken a position on this ordinance, but the police chief thinks that this will add more work for our officers and that their is a slim chance that the penalties will not be increased very much by the judge once it gets to court.

I will make a full report about the city council meeting in a blog next week.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday OCTOBER 8, 2009
5:30 AM

Yesterday I was able to help two old friends get together.

I received a letter at the city hall on Monday of this week. The letter was a request to help locate a woman who lived in Wynne. I did not read the letter a close as I should. I missed an important piece of information. I contacted several people I though might know the individual that was mentioned in the letter. I could not find anyone who knew the individual. The individuals in the letter had not had contact for more than forty years.

I emailed the couple making the request for information about an individual they thought lived in Wynne. I explained that I had not had any luck locating the individual they were looking for. I told them that I would continue to search and if I made any progress I would contact them.

After I sent the email I reread the letter, but this time I looked at the location of the couple requesting the information. I immediately recognized the situation and I knew the individual they were looking for. I made contact with the woman they were looking for and she made arrangements to come by the city hall and pick up the letter.

I emailed the couple and told them that I had contacted the lady they were looking for and that she was going to pick up the letter and make contact with them. When I got home yesterday afternoon I checked my email and I had received an email from the couple. They thanked me for my work on their request and told me that they had been contacted by the lady they were looking for. They had been catching up on more that forty years of not having contact.

By the way---The letter making the request was from England. If I had noticed that in the beginning I could have aided the couple sooner. The couple had last had contact with the woman in Wynne in 1961.

I am glad that I was able to bring them back together.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

10:50 AM

I am fixing to leave to go to Mississippi State for the football game with Georgia Tech.

It has been a busy week in the mayor's office. I have had several items that needed my attention. The residential garbage has had some problems, but the mechanic thinks that they finally have it properly repaired. The mechanic rode with the driver for the complete route on Thursday. The truck has not had any problems on Thursday or Friday.

The street department has been busy this week. They did several patching with asphalt this week. The plant has been running this week. We have to make repairs when the plant is operating. The plant has not operated very many days this paving season. I think that the street department was able to complete all of the patching that they needed to take care of this week.

The solid waste board met on Thursday of this week. The big news coming out of the board meeting was a major change in where we must take our class three trash. The board voted this week to require all trash in Cross County to be disposed of in the Crittenden County landfill in West Memphis. At the present time the city is taking our class three trash to the Delta Environmental landfill between Wynne and Parkin. This change in regulation will require the city to now take that trash to West Memphis. That means instead of about a 15 mile round trip to dump we will now have to make about a 100 mile round trip. This change will increase our cost of providing this service. I have been working on the details to come up with a cost to the city to make this change. I plan to discuss this at the next city council meeting to get their input before a final decision is made.

I made a quick trip to Drasco Arkansas yesterday. I went to look at a 1954 Ford pickup. I would like to have a truck of this type. I have been looking for several months trying to locate one that I would buy. I liked this truck, but the battery was dead and I could not drive the truck. Because of the price of the truck I told the owner that I was interested in his truck, but that I would not spend the price he wanted for this truck without a test drive. He told me that he understood. He said that he would purchase a battery and give me a call and I could return to test drive the truck and make a decision about purchasing the truck. The truck has been in Drasco since it was purchased new from Ford. The present owner received it from his father who had owned the truck until his death.