Bauxite City Council will meet tonight, Dec. 16, for a regularly scheduled City Council meeting.
City Council members will discuss the resignation of Sheryl Johnson from her position as Treasurer on Nov. 1 as it applies to her payment. Allison Cain believes that Johnson should not have been paid for the month of Nov. since she resigned on Nov. 1. However Johnson believed that she should have been compensated and deposited the check she was provided. Johnson also wrote a note to the council that she deserved to be paid for the month of June, which she never received payment for. Johnson was appointed to the position of Treasurer on June 17 and is not aware of a City Ordinance or Resolution that states that Bauxite City employees payroll checks are pro-rated and thus expects a payroll check for the month of June. Mayor McMahan said, "I was disappointed that Sheryl resigned under the circumstances, and I was aware she didn't get paid after she was appointed, and it was never mentioned; but after I thought about it I believed the two issues evened out and consider the November check as 'combat pay'. After Sheryl resigned, she told me she wouldn't be the treasurer of Bauxite for $5,000 per month."
Council will also discuss which streets to request to be overlayed by the Arkansas Highway Department. This issue was addressed at last month's meetings but Mayor McMahan says he hasn't approached this idea because, "this group has been changing, modifying, and fine tuning the rules as they went along and in my opinion it's hard to play by the rules and hard to hit a moving target when the rules are changing as they have been. But now, I believe the rules are pretty much settled and we can proceed with a request." The general cost estimate to overlay a street is around $120,000 per mile and the most Bauxite can request is $250,000, allowing Bauxite to request a total of 2 miles to be overlayed. Mayor McMahan encouraged City Council members to be driving around town and taking notes to see which streets need to be recommended for overlay.
City Council will also discuss a Straw Poll that was sent out to each of the 240 Bauxite water customers, asking for their views on a 1/2 cent sales tax to go toward the repair of the sewer grinder pumps and to go toward the maintenance, expenses, and repair of the sewer plant. As of Dec. 13, 38 responses had been received, all anonymous, with 25 favoring the 1/2 cent sales tax. Mayor McMahan said, "In my opinion, the 1/2 cent sales tax, with the removal of the $10 per month charge, will be less money of 99% of our citizens water bills. This should be a no brainer to anyone with a calculator or that can do simple math. The 1/2 cent sales tax would cost the average citizen only around $2.50 to $3.00 per month, thus saving around $7 each month.
Bauxite City Council will also discuss a water leak that occurred on Main Street early Saturday morning, Dec. 14. The break occurred when a service line broke loose from the 6 inch main water line and erupted into a geyser. Mayor McMahan said it took three Bauxite employees working overtime to temporarily fix the leak until Monday. "Many thousands of gallons were lost in the break," said Mayor McMahan. "We have an inordinate number of water lines that break often in different parts of town and we play catch up trying to fix them. Some of these main lines are 60 years old and hearken back to the days before Bauxite incorporated as a town in 1973."
Finally, Council members will discuss a letter sent to Mayor Johnny McMahan by Progressive Business Solutions in Sherwood that provides an estimate of $650 a month for accounting services. Progressive Business Solutions offered to set up a chart of accounts and enter the yearly budget approved by the city council, prepare checks for approval, and mail the checks with check stock and signature stamps secured in a locked area with limited access of authorizes personnel only. They will also maintain a monthly account payable file, balance bank accounts monthly, balance payroll accounts, and prepare budget variance reports for council meetings. This service would provide needed assistance with Bauxite's account payable.