October 19, 2011 Edition

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Work continues on
new WRPD building

Susan Johnson
Contributing Writer

Progress on the new police department building was the focus of the Walnut Ridge City Council meeting on Oct. 11.

Mayor Don House reported the building's interior had been completely framed and dry wall installed, and doors and flooring should be completed in the near future. The existing heating and cooling system will not need to be replaced.

House said that the only paid labor so far has been for electrical work and assistance with dry wall finishing as well as for tree and stump removal.

"We've been able to use city crews and volunteer help for 90 percent of the labor," House said. "Some finish labor will be required as we move toward completion."

House listed the projected cost of the project to be less than $50,000 for all materials, contract labor and furnishings. House said the Lawrence County Quorum Court had recently authorized Judge Dale Freeman to commit $6,000 to offset the cost of furnishing a room that will serve as a council meeting room/police training room. The room could also serve as an alternate courtroom when needed.

The county also plans to assist with rock to resurface the parking lot.

Projected date for completion of the new facility is Nov. 15.

The mayor also reported that Robert Rice, code enforcement and animal control officer, had been released from the hospital and will be undergoing rehab three days a week. House added that he looked forward to Rice's return to work and commended Elizabeth Halfacre for picking up a portion of Rice's duties.

Aldermen confirmed House's appointment of Don Cavenaugh to the Walnut Ridge Airport Commission.

House informed the council that the State Parks & Tourism representatives are planning to return later this month to advise the city about the possibility of a new sports complex, which, if approved, would be funded by a 50-50 grant.

Other projects in the city include a new fence at the water tower. This was funded by the Walnut Ridge Water Department at the request of the State Health Department.

A dugout at the ballpark, which was destroyed by storm damage, has been replaced, and FEMA is expected to reimburse the cost of the new construction. House reported the city has received $10,900 of the $191,000 that had been applied for from FEMA for storm and flood relief.

In other business:

  • the fire department's substation on Main Street has been reroofed using Act 833 funds.

  • fire and police department and city hall employees are planning to man booths at The Iron Mountain Festival on Oct. 29.

  • Halloween will be observed Monday, Oct. 31

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