Budget impasse forces AR city to go without services - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Budget impasse forces AR city to go without services

By Nick Kenney - bio | email

TURRELL, AR (WMC-TV) - Darrell Conner is not a garbage man. His truck is just a regular old pick-up.

But Thursday, he was collecting trash and hauling it away from Turrell, Arkansas - a small town with a big problem.

"It's a mess," he said. "It's pitiful. It's a shame."

Thursday in Turrell, the city's sanitation truck sat parked, and the police station was locked.  Turrell City Hall is closed for business indefinitely.  Why?

"Without the budget, we can't operate," Turrell Mayor Franklin Lockhart said.

Lockhart says he submitted a budget to the city council just after the first of the year, but the city council has yet to respond to his proposal.

Without a budget, he said, he can't pay city workers, and he can't ask them to work for free, either.

Thursday, Action News 5 spoke to city councilman Manual Harris. Through him, all six city council members declined on-camera interviews.  But the council says it did propose certain changes to the budget, and the mayor refused to accept those changes.

"You see, they think the mayor is supposed to be there little messenger boy," Lockhart said. "But the mayor is not their little messenger boy. The mayor is the mayor. The mayor has obligations to all the citizens of this town."

The citizens of Turrell are caught in the middle, but some, like Darrell Conner, are not taking sides.

"Both represent the city," Conner said. "Both should be accountable for it."

They're just taking out the trash - themselves.

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