New year could bring another shutdown of city services in Turrell

By Jason Miles - bio | email

TURRELL, AR (WMC-TV) - City services, like sanitation, will cease in Turrell, Arkansas if a budget is not approved soon.

"We can't operate without a budget," councilman Emanuel Harris said Thursday.  "So, we'll have to shut the city back down again."

We met residents after the last shutdown who were finally forced to collect their own trash.

"All kinds of mess," Harris said.

He blames the mess on the mayor, from whom the council continues to wait on a new budget.       

"It was a goal by the end of the year," he said.

Action News 5 tried to track down Mayor Frank Lockhart at his home Thursday and at city hall.  A sign there says you must first make an appointment.

The city of Turrell has been at the center of a number of problems in recent years.  It owes the IRS $200,000 in back taxes.  There are other allegations of misconduct.  The town's police chief was recently arrested on assault charges.

"That's all I see in the paper and on the news," said resident Patricia Reel.

She and others wonder if their once vibrant city has finally bitten the dust.

"I hope they can come to some sort of conclusion 'cause we don't need no bickering or nothing like that," Reel said.

"We could get things better if the mayor and council could come together," added resident Nancy Davis.

For now, relations are as rusty as the old water tower in the middle of town.

Many look forward to November's election.  That's when a new mayor and council members might be elected.

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