HOULKA • New Houlka’s Mayor and Board of Aldermen dealt with topics ranging from missing police equipment to improving the town playground during aldermen’s most recent meeting Tuesday, July 6, 2021 at Houlka City Hall at 6:30 p.m.

Attendees included Mayor Jimmy Kelly; Alder Lady Kimberly Murphree; Aldermen Dustin Eaton and K. C. Gates; Jerry Turner, Brad Vance, City Clerk Janie Tutor, and Attorney Kevin Howe.

Others attending the board meeting were Chief Phillip Smith and Police Officer Jaycob Paden.

The meeting was called to order by Mayor Huffman at 6:30 p.m.

All votes were unanimous unless otherwise noted.

The board took care of the following items of business:

--Voted to file charges on former Houlka Police Officer – the town is not releasing his name until he’s formally charged – for not returning the Glock 40 caliber #LEU278, the Vertex radio and charger, the keys to the police truck and the keys to Houlka City Hall.

City Attorney Kevin L. Howe will compose a second letter asking for the equipment to be returned by July 14, 2021. After this date charges will be filed against the former police officer, town officials said.

As of 9 a.m. Friday, July 16, the equipment had not been returned.

--Purchased additional equipment, a tetter totter, and two benches for the park. The funds for the additional equipment and benches will come from funds left over from the $20,000 designated in the minutes of the May 4, 2021 board meeting.

--Voted to rehire Police Chief Phillip Smith at his current pay rate; part-time police officers JR Kilgore, Mike Ford, Jaycob Paden, and George Dallas at their current pay rate; Water Department – David Ray and Matt Brown at their current pay rate; City Clerk Janie Tutor at her current pay rate; Part-time Deputy Clerk Deven Moore at his current pay rate; Attorney Kevin L. Howe as City Attorney for the Town of New Houlka at his current pay rate; Judge Garry Turner as Municipal Judge and CPA Keith Pounds as accountant for the Town of New Houlka at their current pay rate.

--Appointed K. C. Gates as the MML delegate and Dustin Eaton as MML alternate delegate, and as town vice-mayor.

--Approved the agenda.

--Approved minutes of the June 1, 2021 meeting:

--Approved paying all claims on the July, 2021 docket.

--Heard a report from the Police Department indicating the usual work is under way, and the chief will be working on the 2021/2022 budget.

--Heard a report from the Water Department indicating the usual maintenance is under way, potholes are being patched and meters replaced.

--Recessed until the regular board meeting Tuesday, Aug. 3, 2021.

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