Lemons resigns as Parks director; Mayor gives ‘State of the City’ address

By Jamie Miller

Jeremy Lemons, Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Bryant, approached[more] the City Council last night with his resignation, saying it was time for him to move on in the best interest of his family and take another job that he has recently been offered. Lemons has served in the position since May of 1999.

Mayor Jill Dabbs had called the meeting to order by addressing the council and guests with the “State of the City” report that is given in February of every year. Dabbs touched on her experience in office so far saying she “hit the ground running” and shook some areas of the city up by changing leadership. She has high goals for the city of Bryant saying, “Bryant must be a city with its eyes on tomorrow.”

According to Dabbs, even though Bryant has been recently named the ninth fastest growing cities in Arkansas, “there are still more things to be done.” Goals for the future of Bryant include, making the city council more transparent to the community and more approachable, updating the city website so that it is more user friendly, developing a better budget for the 2012 year, and to start utilizing more volunteers for city positions so that it saves taxpayers money and keeps the city from having to hire part-time help. Dabbs concluded her speech by saying that Bryant is in the business of “setting standards, not following them.”

Bryant Fire Department Chief Randy Cox addressed the council and guests with information concerning the new Code Red Warning System that is being implemented in the Saline County area. The system has three main points of interest. It can contact citizens about an emergency that is looming, citizens can receive any type of weather warning, and the city can use the system to notify citizens of any announcements through text and/or voicemail. Cox encouraged all present to go to the city’s website and sign up for the free service.

The results for the 2010 Census have been returned to the city with a lower count than expected. The city was anticipating around 18,500 people with only 16,688 showing in the Census. Finance director Gary Holis reported that the month of January was good but that the month of February was going to be even better.

Other items on the agenda included the council approving the purchasing of backstop padding, fence capping, and foul poles to complete the baseball and softball fields at Bishop Park. This will complete the fields and have them ready for play for the coming season. The Boys and Girls Club at the Center was also approved to receive $25,000 from the city to continue operations.

With April just around the corner and city clean up about to begin, it has been determined that some of the city equipment is in need of replacement. A bid for a wood chipper was approved and it was approved that the city’s current skid steer would be traded in on a better one. A standing ovation was given to the council after they approved raises for JESAP employees.

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