Fire Chief Keith Hillman has hopes of placing additional life-saving equipment in the Vilonia area.
The Vilonia City Council gave their nod of approval Tuesday night when Hillman said he would like to pursue grants to cover the majority of the cost for two or three additional tornado sirens to be placed in the city.
“With all the storms, I think we need two and maybe three,” he said. Locations that were mentioned to place them included Dove Creek and Saddle Creek subdivisions.
He also said he is searching for a grant for a “user-friendly” automated external defibrillator (AED) that would be placed at the ballpark.
On another matter, the council also approved the purchase of a new Minolta copier at a cost of $6,995.
In the absence of Mayor James Firestone, the June meeting was officiated by Doris Scroggin, city recorder/treasurer and lasted about 20 minutes. Items on the agenda that were tabled until the July meeting included an energy savings proposal presented by Kenny Medlin of Genuine Energy Solutions of Cordova, Tenn. In May, Medlin told the council he can save the city money with a “infrastructure refit” regarding lighting in all of the municipal facilities as well as at the ballpark. He told the council, based on data provided by the city, to include electrical bills and historical records as well as his findings, the projected cost of existing lighting, as is, for the next five years will be $624,767.88. The GES Solution cost for the same time period, he said, will be $115,532 — a savings of $509,235.88. The total projected cost for equipment and installation, provided by GES, as well as the cost of maintenance insurance, he said, would be about $444,246.08.
Also tabled was a proposal for the city to participate in the Arkansas Public Employees Retirement System (APERS) program. Approving participation, the council said, would mean all employees would be required to participate. Alderman Joe Maxwell, chairman of the sewer committee, said he would like to talk with some of the employees before making his decision. Some of the city employees, he said, do not make that much money and there would a minimum contribution of five-percent.
“That would mean a five-percent cut in pay,” Maxwell added. “I know a couple of sewer guys that don’t make that much money, and that could be significant to them. I would just like a chance to discuss it with them.”
• Fire department. Hillman said calls to the department have slowed down due to recent rains. Also, he said, several classes are scheduled for October.
• Planning commission. A site plan has been approved, according to Fred Fowlkes, city engineer/code enforcement, allowing duplexes to be built at Saye and Weaver streets. Also, he said, a site plan has been approved for Covenant Life Church to be built on Highway 107.
• Code enforcement. Two building permits have been issued during June, Fowlkes said, including one single family residence and one storage building. He anticipates, however, there will be a “rash of new permits” forthcoming with the completion of the 10 or 12 houses currently under construction in the Saddle Creek Area.
• On a somber note, Scroggin spoke briefly regarding Craig and Barbara Goff, who died as a result of a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 20 near Vicksburg over the weekend. Scroggin referred to them as “wonderful people” and pillars of the community. “It is a blow to the community,” Scroggin said. She asked that the family be remembered in prayers. The couple were owners of Vilonia Metalworks and had three children.