VILONIA — The Vilonia City Council recently recognized the loss of “a champion” for the city.
Referring to Vilonia resident James Edwards, who died Aug. 4, Mayor James Firestone said he was an ultimate supporter of the city—active in many aspects. He was instrumental in securing the Vilonia Baseball/Softball Complex, the Vilonia Senior Citizens and the Vilonia Fire Station. He also served on the Vilonia Sewer Committee for several years, Firestone said.
“We are definitely going to miss him,” Firestone added. “Our condolences go out to the family.”
Regarding the sewer committee, Firestone appointed Bobby Lee Herndon Jr. to fill the vacancy. “This is a young man with a good heart and I think his head is in the right place,” Firestone said.
In other business, the council approved spending $8,288.19 to purchase a new computer server. Police Chief Brad McNew made the request detailing computer problems occurring citywide that, he said, are ongoing. “Our server is basically out of memory,” he said. “Any time we try to update it, it will block us out.”
Currently, he said, the data is transferred to tapes. He also endorsed using iCloud computing service for data backup. He also referenced the significant amount of data required by all the city departments. The present server, he said, has been in service for several years.
“The bottom line is—we are going to have to have it,” McNew said. Alderman Sherry Clements made the motion to make the purchase and to take the funding out of the general fund rather than dividing the bill among the four city entities.
• Fire department. Chief Keith Hillman said the department has recently had a “big expense,” with the radiator going out on the ladder truck. The cost for replacing it was $5,000, he said. Also, he said, officials with XTO Energy presented the department a check for $1,000, this week.
The department will be holding a mock drill, Hillman said, Saturday morning, focused on finding a missing person. The event, he said, will be staged partially on Naylor Road.
• Planning commission. Fred Fowlkes, city engineer/code enforcement, said two issues that will be on the August meeting include a final plat of Phase I, Wyatt’s Place Subdivision, to be located at Saye and Weaver streets and 2013 Arkansas Act 1053 that modifies the limits of municipal territorial jurisdiction.
• Code enforcement. Fowlkes said he has issued 45 permits for the year including 31 single family residence, one duplex and 13 storage buildings or additions. Twenty-two permits were issued in June including 19 single family houses, Fowlkes said. Sixteen of the single family permits are in Alli’s Place, he added.
• Police department. McNew said officers have recently completed training related to racial profiling. In about two weeks, he said, officers will participate in Taser training. The department, he said, has been dealing with computer issues for about two weeks creating many problems.