City & County

Arkadelphia’s ISO fire rating improves

This post has been updated to reflect the correct number of Class 3 fire departments in the state.

By JOE MAY | The Southern Standard

Arkadelphia residents will soon be saving money on their home insurance.

Fire Chief Jason Hunt told members of the Arkadelphia Board of Directors at Tuesday evening’s meeting that, as a result of numerous changes and research, the Arkadelphia Fire Department is now a Class 3 department, up from a Class 4, where it has been for several years.

Hunt said there are only 61 Class 3 departments among the state’s 1,003 fire departments. The new rating is based on equipment, training, staffing and response time. It will take effect in April, he noted.

The chief said the AFD is now working toward the goal of becoming a Class 2 department, noting that they were only a few points away from that rating. Making that jump will take 1-2 years, he stated.

In other business, the board:

• Approved the rezoning of 1019 N. 10th St. from residential to commercial at the motion of Directors Taylor Chaney and Keith Crews.

• Approved an ordinance raising the spending limit for the city before bids must be solicited at the motion of Crews and Director Chris Porter.

• Approved the board’s annual rules of procedure at the motion of Directors Reo Cummings and Roland Gosey.

• Voted to re-elect Gosey as assistant mayor.

• Watched as District Judge Randy Hills swore in Mayor Scott Byrd, Gosey, Cummings and Chaney to new terms on the board.

• Voted to approve the annual allotments for the Area Agency on Aging, the Clark County Historical Museum and the Community Family Enrichment Center. Director Jason Jones commented that he would like to hear annual updates for the groups regarding how the money was spent. City Manager Gary Brinkley said he would get with the entities and it was decided to update each agreement to include the requirement that the groups update the board annually on their activities.

• Heard Brinkley say that in honor of Black History Month, 12 black natives of Arkadelphia will be honored for their contributions beginning with an inaugural kickoff at Town Hall on February 1. Photos of the honorees will be placed on street lights around town, with more photos to be added each February.