City and County

CITY BOARD: Henry Wilson talking to directors at Tuesday meeting

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors has several topics to discuss at tonight’s regular bi-monthly meeting, slated for 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Boardroom.

Arkadelphia resident Henry Wilson is expected to take the floor first. According to a memorandum dated Aug. 26 from City Manager Gary Brinkley to the City Board, Wilson is expected to accompany Joyce Johnson to address the board concerning Johnson’s property at 230 N. 18th St. Wilson is requesting to be heard for the full 10 minutes residents are given to speak to the board; however, that time limit may be extended should there be dialogue between the speaker and the board. The memo does not specify what concerns Wilson and Johnson have regarding the property.

Rezoning 346 N. 10th St.

Directors will hear a second reading of an ordinance title to rezone 346 N. 10th St., or Lots 16 and 21 of the Hardy & Barkman’s Addition. Ouachita Baptist University is requesting to rezone the property from multi-family residential to educational district. The university recently announced plans to erect student housing in the area. The Planning Commission held a public hearing on Aug. 12 regarding the rezoning and forwarded its recommendation to the board. Administration is requesting the ordinance be placed on its third and final reading, with an emergency clause, to rezone the property. “OBU owns all the property in the affected area and there are no extenuating circumstances that should hold up the final reading and adoption,” Brinkley said in a memo to directors.

ArDOT right-of-way acquisitions

The board will consider two proposals from the Arkansas Department of Transportation for the latter’s right-of-way purchase for the expansion of Pine Street. For an ArDOT offer of $9,350, Tract 71 encompasses a stretch of land in front of the future Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. Should the board OK the purchase, administration is recommending the funds be dedicated to the future development of the park. Tract 2, a 263-square-foot property near Pine and 26th streets (south of Pine Street across from Southern Bancorp), has an offer of $1,725. Should the board accept, administration is recommending those funds be allocated to the city’s General Fund. 

Should directors nix either of the offers, ArDOT may then file a condemnation suit. City Attorney Ed McCorkle noted that ArDOT had a third proposal, but McCorkle said he is unsure whether that land belongs to the city. Administration is still researching the rightful owner of that tract.

Arkadelphia Water Utilities/Gum Springs Water

Directors will consider approval of a change order and acceptance for Arkadelphia Water Utilities-Gum Springs rehabilitation. the change order for the contract, in the amount of $2,330, is for the change-out of pump pressure switches. The board will also take into consideration a land purchase for a Gum Springs maintenance facility. Administration is requesting approval for the purchase of 1.5 acres from the Clark County Industrial Council for the maintenance facility at a cost of $10,000. The city is purchasing a title insurance policy and will be paying closing costs. McCorkle has ordered the policy, and staff expects to close on the land “in the near future.”

“We must close on the land to get a Clear Title Certificate which must be presented to the ANRC so we can get the land purchase price included in the ANRC reimbursement grant,” Brinkley wrote in a memo. “The expected net cost to the Arkadelphia Water Utility for the land purchase and new building is zero dollars.”

Drainage mitigation project/Feaster Trail rehabilitation

Staff will update the board regarding a drainage mitigation project at Caddo and North 27th streets. 

Bids were opened Tuesday at 10 a.m. for the rehabilitation of the portion of Feaster Trail between North 26th Street and Baptist Health Medical Center-Arkadelphia. Directors will be provided a bid tabulation at the meeting.

COVID raises price of Sanitation Department equipment purchased in January

Directors will consider a change order for the purchase of an ejection trailer for the Sanitation Department. Purchase of a new haul trailer — used to ferry compacted trash from the city’s transfer station to the dump in Saline County — had been approved at the board’s Jan. 5 meeting at a price of $81,943 from Spector Trailer. “Since that time,” Brinkley wrote in a memo to directors, “delays with COVID, raw material, strike at the cylinder plant, etc., has led to a requested price increase” from Spector in the amount of $4,631. “The request is consistent with most of the items we have been purchasing lately,” Brinkley noted. “The difference in this case is the slow process to manufacture this unit makes the request more glaring. In other cases, we are buying smaller [items] that turn quickly so the increases appear more subtle.”

Five Mill Tax ordinance

Don’t worry, Arkadelphians: This isn’t a new tax. It’s an annual ordinance adopted by the City Board and given to the Clark County Quorum Court before the first November meeting. Passage of the ordinance is done to “ensure the city receives its maximum portion of the real and personal property taxes due,” Brinkley wrote.

City Treasurer’s professional development

The board will recognize City Treasurer Shacresha Wilson for her certification of professional development from the Arkansas Government Finance Officers Association. “This is another identifiable marker of her professionalism and desire to do an excellent job in serving the citizens of Arkadelphia,” Brinkley wrote.

City Board meetings are open to the public and can be viewed live beginning at 5:30 p.m.

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