City agrees to annual maintenance payment
By Mark Randall email@example.com
Earle has agreed to help pay to maintain a generator at the county health department office in the city. The council decided to chip in $300 a year toward maintenance of a new generator. County Health Department administrator Crystal Moore told the city council that the state is buying them a $14,000 generator for the Earle health unit on Ruth Street. All they are asking in return is that the county and city agree to pay for any repair costs in the event it breaks down. The county has already agreed to pay for repairs but wants Earle to commit to bearing a portion of any costs. “The state is in the process of purchasing us a generator for the health department building in Earle,” Moore said. “The county has approved taking on some of the funding. We wanted to see if you would do something with whatever you are comfortable with.” The generator has a one year warranty. In addition to paying for the generator, the state is also paying for the concrete slab and case around the unit. Moore said they have never had a breakdown on their generator in West Memphis, but there have been power outages in Earle. “Right now we do a weekly check on the generator,” Moore said. “But if anything happens to the generator either the county or the city has to foot that cost. And we have had power outages in Earle and we have a lot of vaccine there. So we have almost lost thousands of dollars of vaccine with those outages.” When asked how much they were looking for from the city, Moore replied that it was up to the city to decide what they feel they can afford. “Whatever you are comfortable with,” Moore said. “Just write us a letter that if anything happens to the generator that the city of Earle will give that amount. The county will take care of the rest.” The county currently pays for all maintenance inside the building as well as the utilities. “It can be a percent. It can be a dollar amount,” Moore said. “Whatever you are comfortable with.” Moore said the generator will stay in Earle. Councilman Robert Malone suggested the city commit to paying a fixed percentage — possibly 35 percent as a figure. Others on the council suggested the city give a specific dollar amount instead. “I think we should do a dollar amount,” said Councilman Charlie Young. Councilman Donnie Cheers agreed. “If we do a percentage, that could be $7,500,” Cheers said. “I like $500.” Councilwoman Jimmie Barham reminded the council that the city is cash-strapped as it is and suggested $300 instead. “I’m not trying to be silly about this,” Barham said. “It is our duty to do something. And we sure need the help of the health department. We do know the electricity goes off. She just wants us to give what we are comfortable with.” The council agreed with Barham and voted to send the health department a letter on city letterhead committing to pay $300 toward repairs.