City & County

City board to discuss police car policy, Barkadelphia land option

The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors will meet Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. in the Town Hall Boardroom with a full agenda.

Officers could drive cars farther home

Increasing the radius for which Arkadelphia Police Department officers may drive their patrol vehicles home will be up for discussion when the city board meets.

The current policy allows officers living within 15 miles of the city limits to drive their patrol car home. The city board began allowing officers to drive their police vehicles home when the city purchased a fleet of hybrid vehicles. That fleet has since been changed to Dodge Chargers, Rams and Durangos, and now the city board is being asked to increase the distance to within 25 miles of the city limits, or for officers who live in Clark County.

Police Chief Jason “Shorty” Jackson said the reason for updating the policy is twofold. The city’s small size requires the department to regularly call in officers to fill staffing needs, and allow APD to keep up with current trends in other police departments it recruits against.

HSU/ASU offering land sale for city dog park

When Henderson State University erected student housing on the former site of its intramural fields on M.H. Russell Drive, campus officials vowed to relocate the widely used and popular intramural field just down the street, to a sunny meadow at Millcreek and North 15th streets, situated on a lot adjacent to the Feaster Trail parking lot.

That never happened, and now Arkansas State University’s board of trustees is willing to sell the property. The city and a former Leadership Clark County group has been eyeing that property since the latter proposed the Barkadelphia city dog park. A city-owned property near the Feaster Park softball fields was picked, but the spot by the trailhead was the preferred location.

Now that ASU trustees have approved the land disposition, Barkadelphia — a project three years in the making — could be closer to a reality should the city board be willing to purchase the 3.95 acres.

New airport terminal needs updated weather system

The Dexter B. Florence Memorial Field is in the process of getting a new airport terminal, and a new weather system will be accompanying it.

The city will foot the bill for a $7,142 Automated Weather Obstruction System, which would be installed in the new terminal building. The system provides current weather conditions for pilots and the National Weather Service, and is also used by news stations for their weather forecasts.

The Federal Aviation Administration will be responsible for installing the system once it’s ready to be relocated.

Other business

Arkadelphia Fire Chief Jason Hunt will present Assistant Chief Andy Neel to the city board.

Mayor Scott Byrd will read a pair of proclamations. One celebrates Chamber of Commerce Week; the other celebrates National Friends of Libraries Week.

Directors will consider a second reading of a pair of ordinances raising water and sewer rates for Arkadelphia residents and its wholesale customers, effective Jan. 1, 2023.

Directors will open a public hearing to adopt Technical Code – NFPA 70 National Electric Code 2020 & Annex 1. Once the public hearing is closed, directors will then consider an ordinance to adopt those codes.