Vilonia City Council for December includes raises and openings

The Vilonia City Council, Tuesday night, approved a 2017 budget resolution that includes a two-percent raise for city employees and adding the position of an assistant parks and recreation director.

While no salary was discussed during the council meeting, a job description for the assistant director of parks and recreation states the position will be full-time with a salary of $25,000 annually.

Announcements:

-- Applications are being taken to fill a position on the planning commission and  a second position on the sewer committee. Mayor James Firestone encouraged anyone interested to apply for the voluntary positions.   Don Smith, who resigned from the sewer commission last month, was presented a plaque for his 12-years of voluntary service in the position.

--Firestone announced a chili cook-off is set for Jan. 21, at What’s For Dinner restaurant, with the proceeds going to the Museum of Veterans. Cooking begins at 8 a.m. with judging and eating at noon. Applications to enter are at the restaurant.

--Firestone recognized Boy Scout Troop 444 who sat in the audience.

Committee reports:

Emergency management: Director Keith Hillman, who also serves as city inspector said “housing is slow but there are some businesses going in right now.”  

He also said that he is in the process of reviewing ordinances and anticipates some changes to be proposed soon.  While he did not go into detail, he referred to clean up in the city.  He said he has been meeting with members of the Arkansas Municipal League to help with the process.  Hillman announced there will be no planning commission meeting in December.

Fire department: A record was broken, for fire department runs, on Dec. 21, officials said, with 707 runs.  The most runs the department has had in one year, Hillman said, was 700. Currently. There are now 21 EMT’s on the fire department, said Chief K.C. Williams. He praised the firefighters for taking the initiative to become certified as EMT’s saying they did it on their own.  On another matter, it was said the fire department raised $5,774 to help needy families as a result of the Fill-A-Boot campaign.

Police department. Chief Brad McNew said he anticipates introducing another reserve officer next month. He commended the two reserve officers who, he said, have given 366 volunteer hours in the positions.

Parks and Recreation. Director Allin Crawford said his main priority is completing the baseball complex for 2017. The finishing touches, he said, are being completed on the concession stand at the ballpark. The 2017 season sign up, he said, will begin Jan. 1 and close the first week of March. Play, he said, is anticipated to begin in March and end be by the end of the school year. League games, he said, should be completed within two months after the season begins.

Crawford is currently accepting bids on the management of two concession stands—one at the softball/soccer complex 41 N. Mt. Olive and the other at the baseball complex at 26 Cemetery Rd. According to the bid sheet, the person or company bidding must be able to “proficiently serve food and manage a building for concession stand products.” Also, responsibilities will include manning the concession stand when there are scheduled events. A bid information sheet is available at the city hall. A business plan, potential menu list and contract is necessary for the application. Those interested may submit their bid in a sealed envelope to Crawford at the Vilonia City Hall or email to allin.crawford@cityofvilonia.org.

--While this is not a school related story, it is one that may be of interest to students, parents and staff.