Council approves fire fee, deals with lawsuit and resignation request

Money for fire, WR building lawsuit, water superintendent resign

WALNUT RIDGE, AR (KAIT) - It was a busy Monday night in Walnut Ridge as two residents asked for the resignation of several city employees, while city council members voted to implement a voluntary fire fee, and dealt with a lawsuit against the city.

According to a letter presented at the Walnut Ridge City Council meeting, the residents asked for the resignations of Mayor Charles Snapp, members of the water and sewer commission and Water Works Superintendent Jon Kopp.

"The present mayor of Walnut Ridge and members of the water and sewer commission has violated Arkansas Law 14-42-108 and in doing so, I am asking each to resign and save the city the embarrassment and expense," the letter noted.

The letter stated that in the 1970s, the city received property from the Lawrence County School District and that in return, the city would pay for water and sewer of the district.

Snapp told Region 8 News that many mayors have worked to modify the agreement but added he recently made a change.

None of the three parties plan to resign, Snapp said.

In other actions, the council voted to implement a voluntary fire fee to replace a fee that was repealed a few months ago.

Fire Chief Frank Owens said the fire protection fee that was repealed was about 20% of the department's budget and was used to pay for equipment and salaries.

Owens also said he believes the loss of the fee could create a long term problem if people do not choose to pay the voluntary fee.

Also at the meeting, the council voted to pass on a lawsuit against them over to the Municipal League.

The lawsuit concerned a building the city worked to condemn located on Highway 67 North.

The owners of the building filed the suit at the end of August.

The property owners claimed the ordinance the city worked under was poorly written and should not be enforced.

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