The Ecru Board of Aldermen met Monday, June 1, for the last time with Mayor Jeff Smith presiding as well as the last time Donald Andrews and Richie Turner would be sitting on the board. 

Andrews opted not to run for re-election. Andrews was first elected in 2001 and only lost one four year term since, which was in 2009. He has served 16 of the last 20 years on the board as alderman. Turner did not make it to the general election.

When the board reconvenes in July, there will be a new mayor, Patty Turk and the five board members that were elected last night (Tuesday, June 8) will be sworn in Thursday, June 24, 6 p.m. See Pontotoc-progress.com to find out who the new board members are.

The aldermen’s first business of the night was to hold a hearing for a variance request to zoning for Phil and Diane Sneed. The couple wishes to replace a mobile home at their 349 North Road address.

“They were grandfathered in when we did the zoning,” Mayor Smith noted “and they are replacing the old mobile home with a much better one.”

The three members of the board that were present agreed to the variance.

In another matter Prettis Young asked the mayor to request the board transfer his water account credit from 828 Central to his dad’s account at 904 Central. The son’s house burned and he moved in with his dad. 

Mike Nesbit said for better bookkeeping it would behoove the board to simply cut a check to the son and close the account. “He can turn around and deposit that check into his dad’s account if he wishes.” The board voted to cut the check and allow the account to be closed.

A release form was signed to allow Pontotoc Electric to cut some trees near the daycare building at the park. “They are old trees and they really need cutting,” Mayor Smith noted.

The board also approved a resolution request from Ashley for Ad Valorem Tax Exemption and approve the third cash request on the Ashley Water and Sewer Improvements of $39,810. The improvement check is grant money the board already has in reserve waiting to be paid out.

The town of Ecru is looking to get some $230,000 from the American Rescue Plan funds (Covid 19 monies) with only half that coming into the town this year and the other half to be disbursed to the town next year. Chief Financial Officer Mike Nesbit told the board that the town must set up a separate bank account for these monies. “None of these funds are to mingle with any general funds of the town,” he said.  Nesbit said it will be some 60 to 90 days before the first funds will be disbursed. “We need to have this account ready for the monies to go directly into it rather than waiting until we get it then switch it to another account. Let’s just be pro-active and ready for the funds when they get here.” The board approved for the account to be established at First Choice Bank.

The consent agenda was approved in one motion which included approving May minutes, June payroll, June claims docket, water adjustments and April financials.

In closing the public part of the meeting before the board went into executive session for a legal matter, Mayor Smith glanced at the board members around him; “I’ve enjoyed working with you these last four and a half years,” he said with heart felt congeniaility. He looked at mayor-elect Turk and told her that he is leaving the town in a much better shape “than it was when I started.” She nodded her head in agreement. 

As his last act in the first of the month board meeting as mayor of this term he asked for a motion to go into executive session and the public was dismissed.

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