At the February meeting of the Greenwood City Council meeting the aldermen called for an executive session where they deliberated for approximately 20 minutes. When they emerged the council voted unanimously to add Ralph Meeker to the council to replace Dr. Lee Johnson.
In December Johnson, expressed his intention to serve out his term until the end of the year and then move on to his seat on the District 75 Arkansas House of Representatives.
Dr. Johnson has served on the Greenwood council since 2008.
According to state law whenever a vacancy occurs in the office of a council member in a city with a population of less than 20,000 at the first regular meeting after the occurrence of the vacancy, the city council shall proceed to elect by a majority vote of the remaining members elected to the council a council member to serve for the unexpired term. Johnson vacated the seat with two years left on his term.
Meeker is a 1995 graduate of Greenwood High School. After leaving GHS Ralph attended Southwestern Oklahoma State where he earned his bachelor’s degree before attending the University of Central Arkansas, where he earned his master’s degree in biology.
“I think that it is important to serve our community whether it be in this capacity or through community groups,” said Meeker. “That is how we all get better and we move forward.”
Meeker works for the Arkansas Game and Fish Commision as the state’s Deer Program Coordinator as a Deer Biologist. He works in Fort Smith where he serves the entire state.
Ralph lives in Greenwood with his wife Jennifer and their three kids Ralph, Lilly and Abbey.
“I am a very task driven and motivated person,” said Meeker. “I help manage a budget with the Game and Fish Commission and so I am very financially responsible and I think that as a city that we should be responsible with the taxpayers money and make sure that what little we do have goes as far as it possibly can.”
In other news:
The Arkansas Department of Transportation has announced that the bid for the Denver Street project has been approved. The purpose of the project is to resurface 1.5 miles of the road from highway 71 to Center Street. Forsgren Inc. of Fort Smith was awarded the contract with a bid of $375,713. Construction is scheduled to begin sometime this month, weather permitting. Completion of the job is expected to be mid June of this year.
Recently the city received word that the project is going to cost $46,000 beyond the $80,000 that had been budgeted by the city. Greenwood received $250,000 in state aid to overlay Denver.
Kinslow stated that the city will be able to cover the additional cost thanks to savings on the Ware Road project.
The city had budgeted $80,000 for the overlay of Ware Road however, thanks to a partnership with Sebastian County the project will only cost the city $15,000 freeing up funds to cover the Denver Street project.
According to Kinslow the project will be chip and seal with a black sealer that will make the road look like new asphalt. This overlay will be a temporary measure until the large amount of construction happening along that road is completed. After construction is completed a new overlay will be put in place.
The reason given for repairing Ware Road is due to the amount of manufacturing and large trucks that travel that road.
“We are going to be able to complete three projects (10 Spur sidewalks, Denver Street overlay and Ware Road overlay) without raising taxes.”