Mayor Charles Snapp gave the State of the City Address at Monday night’s Walnut Ridge City Council meeting with highlights being that the city has stayed in good shape financially throughout the pandemic, commercial and residential development continues in the city and more community improvements are underway.

Snapp said having a strong reserve fund has helped keep the city financially stable, as well as the community’s support in shopping local.

He noted that the city set a record in residential dwelling permits issued for the second year in a row, and he anticipates an increase in population with the new Census data.

In addition, Snapp reported that drainage and street overlay improvements were completed again in 2020, with $168,000 already designated for more street overlay in 2021. Improvements at Stewart Park are also slated in 2021.

A full copy of Snapp’s address can be read on page 5A of this week’s TD.

Also at Monday’s meeting, council members authorized Snapp to apply for a grant through the Delta Regional Authority.

The grant would be used to install a pump system to help correct an issue where the city sewer sometimes backs up into the former Vulcan building, that is now home to Eleven-Point Candles.

“This would allow them to remodel their restrooms to allow for their number of employees,” Snapp said.

He said the Tedder family has offered to cover the cost of the utilities connected to the system, and the grant will cover the equipment, which will be owned by the city. Additional funds may be procured from Lawrence County United to help with shipping costs, and installation will be done by city employees.

In other business, the council:

heard an update from City Attorney Ethan Weeks regarding the lawsuit to collect the balance owed on the demolition and clean up of the building that was torn down on Abbey Road. Weeks said he has not spoken with the other attorney yet, but the next phase is discovery, which could take a few months.

passed a resolution setting the salary for the city prosecutor at $1,200 a month. The position is considered an independent contractor and does not qualify for city benefits.

amended the 2021 budget to reflect the money that will be spent for park improvements being funded through a 50/50 matching grant. Half of the $292,562.44 appropriated will be reimbursed when the project is complete.

authorized the sale of an old salt/sand spreader that is no longer used by the city.

passed a cleanup resolution for the 2020 budget.

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