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Batesville City Council: Mayor presents poultry plant odor update; BFD requests armored vests for firefighters

In the “Comments from the Mayor” portion of last night’s Batesville City Council meeting, Mayor Rick Elumbaugh provided an update on plans being made to help combat the smell coming from the local poultry plants.

Elumbaugh told council members he visited with Ozark Mountain Poultry (OMP) management yesterday, and the company has been making equipment upgrades to combat the problem and they have also made improvements to their ponds. The company is also installing equipment next week to help further combat the smell. The mayor also said city reps and engineers have also been meeting with Peco Foods at the company’s request to help discuss ways to battle the odor.

Elumbaugh emphasized both companies want to be good stewards of the community and that the issue will not be solved “overnight.” To listen to Mayor’s Elumbaugh’s comments regarding the problem, listen below.

In other business, Batesville Fire Chief Brent Gleghorn along with councilman Chris Poole brought forward a recommendation to provide the department’s trained personnel with armored vests when responding to a potential “mass casualty” event.

“In order for my guys to feel comfortable going into these situations, even though law enforcement’s there, we have to provide them with safety equipment to protect them in the case that there is another assailant — irrelevant on what the situation is,” Gleghorn told council members. “We’ve looked at several different versions of this body armor. We think we have chosen the most protective level that’s available to us, especially for the cost and the usability of this product.”

After hearing Gleghorn’s presentation, the council adopted the recommendation to move forward with the purchase of the vests for the firefighters. The projection showed estimated costs of the vests to be $14,000 — subject to obtaining bids.

In the City Engineer’s Report, members were told the Eagle Mountain water tower resurfacing project will begin in about a month. The project will take about 4 to 6 months. And, members were also notified the city’s new garbage trucks have arrived. Crews are training and starting to utilize them, however one truck did have to be sent back to Little Rock for adjustments to the unit’s hydraulics.

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