Crossett Mayor Crystal Marshall — who was sworn in to fill the vacancy left by late mayor Scott McCormick’s death last month — officially resigned her position on the Crossett City Council Monday.
The resignation means the city now has 30 days to fill the vacant council seat.
Marshall said that she is strongly committed to teamwork and by resigning her position as council member it allows the council to add someone else to the team.
“Though the attorney general opinion on the matter is that I do not have to resign my seat on council, I believe it is the right thing for me to do,” Marshall said during Monday night’s meeting.
The council accepted her resignation and announced that they would be taking applications for a new council member to fill her seat.
The new member will have to live in the proper zone, which Marshall said is the Lakewood and Oakhurst area. Those wishing to apply for the seat or who have questions about the exact resident requirements may contact City Hall.
The council will interview applicants for the position on June 1.
Councilman Dale Martinie suggested that an application deadline be set because it is a big decision to make and that applicants shouldn’t be allowed to wait until the last minute to apply.
“It needs to be structured and organized because it’s a very important decision to make and if they want to come in at the last minute I don’t know that I want them to serve on the council,” Martinie said.
The council set the application deadline for the close of business on Friday, May 29.
Additionally, the council had to appoint a new pro-tempore mayor to act as mayor in the event of Marshall’s vacancy.
Marshall announced that councilman C.T. Foster had agreed to accept the position if the council approved. Councilman James Knight made the motion that Foster be appointed and Martinie seconded it. The council unanimously named Foster as the new mayor pro-tempore.
Applications for the vacant seat will be available in City Hall.
“Please help us spread the word so that we can make sure anyone who is interested has the opportunity,” Marshall said.
In other news:
-Marshall told those present that Arkansas Game and Fish will be restocking Lucas Pond between June 8 to 11.
-Martinie gave an update on the work that he, the parks and recreation department, and a list of volunteers have been doing to get Centennial Park cleaned up.
-Marshall announced that the highway department sub contractor will be in the area next week for mowing and should soon have the area between the railroad tracks located near McDonald’s and Wal-Mart cleaned up.
-The council approved two resolutions that were needed for a grant application that the city has been partnering with Southeast Arkansas Economic Development District on. Mike Smith said the resolutions were merely a formality in the grant process. The city and SAEDD are applying for a $500,000 grant through HUD and the grant will be for Cynergy, the new company located east of town. There will be a public hearing regarding this grant Thursday May 28 at 5:30 at the Crossett Middle School cafeteria.
-Marshall thanked the residents in attendance for the recent sewer tax that was passed and said even with the additional half cent added Crossett is still carrying a low tax rate when compared to other areas. Mayor Marshall said that Crossett is still 1.25 percent lower than Hamburg, .7 percent lower than Bastrop and Monroe. At 9.75 percent the city is now equal to El Dorado and Monticello.
She also announced that they received the draft for the wastewater grant, that will accompany the tax in funding the East Crossett Sewer project, and that all that it lacked was a final piece of an appraisal that she expected this week.
-Parks and Recreation Director Larry Cantley said that June 4 or 5 were his target dates to open the pool. “That is not etched in stone, but I’m going to do my best to make it happen if the weather will cooperate,” Cantley said.
In addition to the normal preparations the city is also working to comply with Covid-19 health guidelines adding extra work to the list.
-Marshall told the council that the zoo cleanup was a top priority as soon as weather permitted. She said that in order to bring the proper equipment in they needed dry ground and that there would need to be significant heat and dry weather before they could move forward, but assured the council that it is a priority.