Police & Fire

City to talk mobile home ordinance, MLK fundraising

By The Arkadelphian

In keeping up with FEMA recommendations, the Arkadelphia Board of Directors on Tuesday is set to update the city’s ordinance relating to manufactured homes.

The city is currently under an audit of its flood plane management policies and documentation by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which determined the city needed to update its ordinance and code for flood damage prevention. The edits were suggested as they relate to mobile home placements in three flood zone districts in Arkadelphia.

Failing to adopt this ordinance will result in the city’s flood management point system dropping, according to a memo from City Manager Gary Brinkley. It would also “remove a large portion of the discount our citizens who purchase flood insurance receive.”

The ordinance calls for manufactured homes to be placed or improved on sites in an existing mobile home park or subdivision on the community’s FIRM: the lowest floor should be 1 foot or more above the city’s base flood elevation, and its chassis should be supported by reinforced piers or other foundation elements of at least equivalent strength no less than 3 feet above grade and securely anchored to an adequate foundation system to resist flotation, collapse and lateral movement.

Brinkley is suggesting that the ordinance be passed with an emergency clause.

Arkadelphia MLK Park update

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is an update about fundraising efforts for the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park, the site of which is located at the northeast corner of 15th and Pine streets. Fitz Hill, chair of the fundraising efforts, and Assistant Mayor Roland Gosey, who chairs the MLK Committee, will provide directors with the latest update on the park.

Code enforcement officer retiring

Sgt. Thomas Free, a 37-year law enforcement veteran and the city’s code enforcement officer for the past several years, is set to retire at the end of August.

In a memo to directors, Brinkley said he hopes directors will join him in recognizing Free for his “exemplary job” as the code enforcement officer.

Accompanying that memo is a resolution to retire Free’s badge and service firearm, allowing him to keep his service pistol following retirement.

Arkadelphia Bypass and water utilities

Directors at the last city board meeting approved a preliminary engineering agreement for the Pine Street widening project. At the upcoming meeting directors will be presented with a similar agreement with Crist Engineering to perform water and sewer design, but instead for the Arkadelphia Bypass project.

It’s a reimbursable $563,100 expense from the Arkansas Department of Transportation. Another memo asks directors to execute the agreement between Arkadelphia Water Utilities and Crist.

Directors are also set to consider “refreshing” the city’s agreement with B&F Engineering Inc., the firm the city uses to design and build its drainage systems, review drainage plans on commercial projects and aid on reviewing plans when commercial projects exceed the city’s “comfort level.”

B&F has joined Crafton Tull as a division of the latter corporation. The agreement directors are set to consider has a $10,000 placeholder in estimated expenses.

The Arkadelphia City Board meeting is set for 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 16, in the Town Hall Boardroom. The meeting is open to the public.