Carl Conley gave an update on the Code Enforcement. Conley noted the Land Development Code has 5 residential zones, 4 commercial, and 2 industrial zones. He also noted they handle subdivision regulations and the state adopted codes which include the state fire code, national electric code, the Arkansas Energy Code, the Mechanical Code, Plumbing Code, and one other. Conley also talked about ordinances they uphold including condemnation and removal of nuisance structures, fireworks, and peddling ordinances. Conley also talked about building permits. He said the city usually averages one new home per year and several mobile homes . Conley also detailed new commercial buildings and commercial remodels which has have numbered 14 this year. Conley noted they have sent out 401 letters on tall grass this year. Conley also detailed such code enforcement violations as RV living, home occupation and zoning, barbed wire, vehicles, rubbish, sewer, and more. Conley also showed a picture of garage sale and business signs removed from utility poles. Conley also detailed plumbing, electrical, and HVAC inspections. Also detailed were demolitions. He showed 20 sturctures were demolished by the owners and 7 taken down by the city. He showed some slides of property before and after demolition. Conley also detailed future work including possible regulations on electronic signs and upcoming condemned structures . Audience member John Akin asked for clarification on inspections.
The board considered bids on wastewater rehabilitation. The project involves rehabilitation of sewer lines. The engineer estimated the project is at $800,000. The board considered both open cut and pipe bursting. The advantage to pipe bursting is not digging up yards. Local contractor Rodney Bobo had the low bid on the open cut construction but he recommended the city go with PM Construction for the pipe bursting method and bid. Bobo said he hoped PM would subcontract with Bobo and Bain on the project. The board accepted the PM bid of $747,345.65.
The board heard from Assistant City Manager and Police Chief J.R. Wilson concerning possible changes to the city nepotism policy. The request was to remove the prohibition of hiring two immediate family members in the same department, changes concerning a paid position and whether it can be filled by an immediate family member, or related by blood or marriage in the third degree to the City Manager, Assistant City Manager, or board members, and leaving the definition of “immediate family member” as is. The request was approved.
The board went into executive session at 8:08pm to discuss the City Manager’s employment contract. The meeting convened at 8:18. The board voted to extend City Manager’s contract for one year. It will now extend through September 30th 2020. All board members voted for the extension except director Mark Ross. Ross said his vote was not against Catherine Cook but because he doesn’t like any kind of contract for any city manager.
Under the city Manager’s report, the board discussed the cell tower proposal on the airport property and authorized Cook to continue negotiations. The board agreed to allow J.R Wilson to prepare an application for a $2,500 “Greening of Arkansas Grant” for the beautification committee. Cook reported on the downtown Pavillion pre-construction conference. There was also an update on the “Assistance to Firefighters Grant”. Catherine Cook also gave an update on the $550,000 FAA grant for the airport and an update on asphalt overlay on the street program. Mayor Montgomery gave the details on the recent awards the city has won.
Hazel Simpson complimented the board in citizens request. Mayor Montgomery suggested the city review comptime policies. The meeting then adjourned.