City & County

Parks & Rec success calls for more help

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

Having become “a victim of its own success,” the Arkadelphia Parks and Recreation Department will be adding a position to assist in management of programs and the youth involved.

City Manager Gary Brinkley told directors in his report Tuesday that Parks & Rec now has 24 programs with more than 350 participants, and called for the addition of an assistant program manager to aid with the management of the participants and “other programs currently being developed.”

Brinkley pointed out the adjustment of priorities will be reflected in the quarterly budget adjustments presented to the board at its April 19 meeting.

In other parks business, the total funds as yet for the development of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park at 15th and Pine streets total $74,687. That figure includes a $50,000 pledge from Ouachita Baptist University.

The city is expecting an update from Fitz Hill, who has been instrumental in spearheading the park, on fundraising efforts come April 18.

March sales over budget
Although sales tax collected in March came in $100,000 over budget, Brinkley said he instructed Treasurer Shacresha Wilson to move that money to the city’s emergency reserve fund in order to replace money used in 2021 to replace the heating and air system at the Recreation Center.

Inflation impacts airport work
Brinkley said the lowest bid for work on the terminal at Dexter Florence Memorial Field was 100 percent more than the budget allowed. “We’re reviewing options at this point,” he said. “Addressing the floodplain issues and rising construction costs were major contributing factors.”

Fuel costs and the city
Brinkley said that, according to Wilson, the city is operating at 13.25 percent above average in fuel expenses.

Sav U Mor gets smoked out
A training drill was held earlier this week at the old Sav U Mor building, the future site of a new police station at 801 Main St. The training, according to social media posts from the Arkadelphia Fire Department, included filling the building with mock smoke and having firefighters do an operation. The Caddo Valley and DeGray fire departments took part in the training. “Much knowledge was gained” during said training, Brinkley reported.

Dates to remember
• April 15: City offices will be closed in observance of Good Friday
• April 20-22: Arkadelphia will be hosting the Arkansas City Manager’s Association meeting
• May 5: Cinco de Mayo will be at the Mural Parking Lot from 5-9 p.m., with live music beginning at 6 p.m. The festivities are a joint event with the city and chamber of commerce.

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