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Cave City update

The City Council met for their regular meeting tonight at City Hall. With the week our team just endured, I tried to keep it short!

The usual monthly reports were reviewed and approved. I also recapped the snow storm, and tried to do justice to our employees that worked so hard. You’ve read snippets here and there, but I’m still shaking my head as I think about the totality of incredible work that was done to keep us out of trouble during the big freeze.

Our water system did not fail us, thanks to the incredible work, at ALL hours of the snowy days and nights, of Jim Smith and Payton Wooldridge. (https://hallmarktimes.com/3066-2/) Folks, that is a heavy burden to bear for two people! The water tank monitoring app that we invested in really saved us, alerting us in the middle of the night to issues, and keeping us from having to drive to each tank to verify levels, etc. And praise God, Jim Smith was not seriously hurt when his equipment turned over and into an icy ditch. (https://www.facebook.com/groups/113251815376109/permalink/4062595753775009)

He said it was like being “body slammed by Hulk Hogan”. An amazing group sprung into instant action there, too.

The snow plow truck did attempt to suddenly leave us stranded, less than 48 hours before the snow hit, but a mix of city employees and others we called in to help were able to repair it, saving us from having a terrible mess of city streets on our hands. That truck and plow was a blessing, and we worked it day and night to keep things in better shape than we’ve ever been able to in the past.

Our police and fire personnel were incredible. They kept the peace, made medical and other calls, helped pull folks out of ditches, saved at least one house from burning down, and pitched in wherever else they could to keep us moving ahead. We would be lost without them.

Our office staff were ready when roads kept them at home. Thanks to work we did in 2020, we are now able to seamlessly transition to remote capabilities at any time, allowing us to process payroll and do the other things behind the scenes that keep us going.

It takes an incredible amount of work to keep even a small town upright, and hopefully I’ve helped you see this even more clearly through my updates this past week. When you see members of our team out and about, thank them for what they do.

Finally, we are now moving ahead on a police department initiative that Chief Barnett and I have been discussing for some time. He will soon transition to more of a standard weekly schedule, rather than working regular rotating shifts. Thanks to the willingness of our part time officers, we can do this (for now) without the total expense of adding another full time position. This will give our Chief more time to properly handle the ever-increasing administrative demands of managing the department, and allowing for an officer to be on duty taking calls while he is in the office, meeting with prosecutors or others, making trips to the crime lab, etc. This is going to be a terrific opportunity to strengthen our department, and I want to thank Chief Barnett for the work he’s done on this, our part time officers for stepping up to help, and to the City Council for being supportive of this change. In the future, it could lead to the addition of another full-time officer, but this will be a good way to transition toward that while being mindful of our budget and other considerations. If it works well, we can continue forward. If not, we can easily adjust.

And that’s it for now. I’m thankful for your support, and thankful to do this work with such an incredible team of people leading the charge. We are truly blessed in Cave City, Arkansas. Don’t take it for granted. Have a great week!

Jonas Anderson

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