June 08, 2011 Edition

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WR Council buys truck
for police department

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

At a special meeting on Friday, the Walnut Ridge City Council voted to purchase a 2005 Dodge Durango 4-wheel drive truck for the city's police department. They also received a report on damage to city property caused by recent storms and flooding.

The truck is fully equipped with a police package and has 52,000 miles on it.

Police Chief Richy Thatcher said the truck will be purchased from a company in Oklahoma and will cost $12,500. Six-thousand dollars set aside from the sale of the city's helicopter will be paid down on the truck, and the rest will be financed through Regions Bank for one year at a very low interest.

A van formerly used by the police department will now be put up for bid.

Mayor Don House told the council that the city has applied to FEMA for assistance in repairing damage at the airport, the industrial park and the country club, where approximately $90,000 worth of damage was caused by a recent windstorm, and some needed roadwork on Midway Road, which was damaged by flooding.

A dugout at the city park was destroyed in the storm and will be replaced by a chain link dugout with a metal roof and the existing concrete floor. The cost to the city will be approximately $2,500.

A bridge near Frit Industries was also damaged by the flooding and has a large hole in it. The mayor said the city may have to restrict travel on the bridge to pickup and car traffic only until the work is completed.

Grahuntley Properties, LLC has filed a $76,877 lawsuit against the city over a house on Northeast Second Street that the city condemned in July of 2010 and then demolished. The house had been put up for auction for nonpayment of taxes, and the person who purchased it at a tax sale didn't know the property had been condemned and the house torn down. RBS Exc., LLC in Hoxie, who tore the house down at the city's request, is also named in the suit.

City Attorney Brent Crews assured the council that the city had taken every legal step before demolishing the structure and should not be held liable.

"I will file a motion to dismiss," Crews said. "We have a lien on the property and may want to file a countersuit."

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