Crossett ladder truck

(FILE PHOTO/News Observer)

Why have just one ladder truck when you can have two?

The City of Crossett purchased a new ladder truck earlier this year since the 1990 model 80-foot truck was aging and needed a lot of repairs. The city administration had discussed selling the truck, but when Fire Chief Bo Higgonbotham presented the potential sale numbers to the city council, Councilman James Knight said he believed it was worth more to the city than what they could get for it. 

Even though it isn’t perfect, it gives the city a second ladder truck in the case of an emergency and it also makes Crossett looks good to incoming businesses to have two ladder trucks in their fleet. 

Crossett Economic Development Director Mike Smith said it would help the fire insurance ratings for the town as well.  

When the matter came to a vote, Councilman Cary Carter voted against keeping the truck, stating that he was afraid it would cost the city in maintenance.

The remainder of the council voted in favor of retaining the truck.

 In other news, the council renewed the contract with the economic development commission after a brief discussion about what they were doing to help existing businesses. 

 Carter said it was important to him that economic development invest in existing businesses as well as new, and said he wanted the contract to reflect that. 

EDC president Howard Beatty said that he didn’t have a problem with that, but that the commission had always done things when asked, such as when they helped with the airport funding or other needs. 

Smith said that by putting that clause in the contract the city would be limiting the commission should a new corporation need to exhaust the whole budget.

Smith said he didn’t want a contract to stop him from exhausting his budget on a new industry, but that the EDC planned to continue helping Crossett businesses by doing matching Renew Crossett grants. 

The council ultimately voted unanimously to approve the contract.

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