August 22, 2007 Edition

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City of Walnut Ridge
votes to establish website

Gloria Wilkerson
TD Staff

Walnut Ridge will soon have its own Internet website following the city council's unanimous vote in favor of the site at their Aug. 14 meeting.

Alderperson Paula Haskins discussed the city's need for a website and recommended Emily Hathcock of Walnut Ridge as the person she would like to see the city hire to do the job. Mayor Michelle Rogers told the council she felt the site would be a good thing and was something the city needed.

"Hathcock would set up the site for $350 and maintain it for $40 a month," Haskins said. Domain and host expenses are relatively inexpensive, and I feel this is something we need to have," Haskins added.

Haskins said she sees the site containing community and activity pages, history of the town as well as of the fire and police departments and the airport, and much more. Alderman Wendell Jones suggested the city sell ads on the site to help pay for the expense of keeping it online once it is set up.

The council voted unanimously in favor of Haskins recommendation.

To apply for trails grant

Walnut Ridge aldermen voted to apply for an Arkansas Recreational Trails Program grant through the Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department to develop and improve Stewart Park's walking trail.

The council learned that the 80/20 federal grant may only be used for walking trails. The new additions to the trail would be 10 feet wide, which is narrower than the current trail. It will be intended for walkers and bikers, not motor vehicle traffic. The project's cost to the city would be $17,442.

"Someone is going to get the grant money," Mayor Rogers said. "It might as well be us. We do not have the grant, we are just applying for it."

The council also voted to approve a resolution allowing the city to enter into a contract with Jewell Engineers, Inc. of Little Rock to perform design services if the grant is awarded. Proper drainage in the park was an issue the council wanted stressed to the engineers in the event the grant is received and new trails added.

Ron Thomas addressed the council, telling them that he is stepping aside as Lawrence County's Americans With Disabilities Act coordinator. "It has become difficult for me to travel to Little Rock," he said. "Judge Alex Latham has named Mike Shelton of Walnut Ridge as my replacement."

Mayor Rogers told Thomas that the city appreciates all the work he has done during his tenure.

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