Syn­op­sis of Tues­day’s city board meet­ing

Siloam Springs Herald Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Hunter McFer­rin Staff Writer hm­c­fer­rin@nwadg.com ■

The city board will hold their first meet­ing of Septem­ber on Tues­day night to en­gage in de­lib­er­a­tion over a num­ber of is­sues on their agenda. The meet­ing will be­gin at 6:30 p.m. and there will also be an up­date re­gard­ing the re­lo­ca­tion of the rodeo grounds be­gin­ning at 6:00 p.m. Both will take place at City Hall and are open to the pub­lic.

Among the most sig­nif­i­cant of items on Tues­day night’s agenda is an or­di­nance that would re­zone the .49 acre prop­erty lo­cated at 817 N. Mt. Olive St. from R-2 (res­i­den­tial, medium) to R-4 (res­i­den­tial, multi-fam­ily), ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port. The item will be on its first read­ing and its ar­rival to the board has been the re­sult of a cou­ple of months of dis­cus­sion. It was first re­viewed by the city’s plan­ning and zon­ing com­mis­sion dur­ing their June 10 meet­ing, who sent it to the board on their July 3 meet­ing, pro­vid­ing no rec­om­men­da­tion. The board then re­manded it back to the plan­ning com­mis­sion with a di­rec­tive that they pro­vide a rec­om­men­da­tion. Dur­ing the com­mis­sion’s Aug. 14 meet­ing, de­spite con­sid­er­able op­po­si­tion from res­i­dents who live nearby the prop­erty, it was ap­proved in a vote of 5-1.

An­other no­table item is an or­di­nance that would au­tho­rize a ser­vice fee on all debit and credit

card trans­ac­tions that take place in the city; par­tic­u­larly those that per­tain to the pay­ment of util­ity bills, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port. The or­di­nance will be on its first read­ing and comes af­ter a June 10 work­shop the board held, in which they con­sid­ered four dif­fer­ent op­tions to al­le­vi­ate ris­ing costs be­ing in­curred upon the city from credit card pro­cess­ing fees, par­tic­u­larly from users of “pur­chas­ing” or busi­ness cards. Un­like typ­i­cal credit cards, these cards charge the city a flat-rate pro­cess­ing fee of 2.7 per­cent. The city paid out just over $150,000 in credit card pro­cess­ing fees in 2017, and just over 40 per­cent of that came from pur­chas­ing card users. Due to this, city staff’s take­away from the work­shop was that the board felt it was nec­es­sary to let users pay this ex­pense for the pur­pose of off­set­ting the amount the city lost in 2017 and to en­sure that non-credit card users are not in­di­rectly sub­si­diz­ing those who are us­ing them.

There is also the board’s con­sid­er­a­tion of an or­di­nance that would elim­i­nate an in­cen­tive of­fered to in­dus­trial-scale en­ergy users that own their own elec­tri­cal trans­form­ers, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port. The in­cen­tive pro­vides these cus­tomers a per­ma­nent five per­cent dis­count on their elec­tric bill. City staff rec­og­nized that this dis­count ends up cov­er­ing the cost of a trans­former in ap­prox­i­mately two years, Due to this, it is their opin­ion that the con­tin­u­a­tion of this dis­count would have ad­verse ef­fects on city rev­enue, ac­cord­ing to the re­port. If the pro­posed amend­ment is ap­proved, cur­rent re­cip­i­ents of the dis­count would not be af­fected; only cus­tomers in the fu­ture. There are also sev­eral other items up for the board’s con­sid­er­a­tion, which are sum­ma­rized below.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove a bud­get amend­ment in the amount of $11,497.50, re­quested by the po­lice depart­ment for the pur­pose of re­plac­ing a heat­ing ven­ti­la­tion and air con­di­tion­ing unit, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove a re­quest from James Mel­ton to sell his pri­vately-owned air­port hangar lo­cated at 4600 Smith Field Drive, and to si­mul­ta­ne­ously de­cline the city’s right to pur­chase the prop­erty, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port. Mel­ton has a ground lease with the city at the lo­ca­tion of the prop­erty, and pro­vi­sions of the lease agree­ment state that the city has the first right of re­fusal to pur­chase the prop­erty and city staff is rec­om­mend­ing this re­fusal be­cause they see no po­ten­tial ben­e­fit in do­ing so.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove an or­di­nance that would re­zone the 5.56 acre prop­erty lo­cated at 1996 E. Hwy 412 from R-2 (res­i­den­tial, medium) to G-I (gen­eral in­sti­tu­tional), ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove an or­di­nance that would va­cate the right-of-way lo­cated in an al­ley­way that runs east to west on the 500 block of West Tahlequah Street, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove an or­di­nance that would amend a sec­tion of the city’s zon­ing code that per­tains to P-K (parks) zones. The code change is be­ing re­quested by the city be­cause un­der the cur­rent reg­u­la­tions, the ap­proval of sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment per­mit is needed in or­der for the city to be able to do things such as erect struc­tures such as re­stroom fa­cil­i­ties or to carry out tasks re­lated to rou­tine main­te­nance, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion that would au­tho­rize a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment per­mit that would al­low for the con­struc­tion of four mul­ti­fam­ily dwelling units at an ex­ist­ing apart­ment com­plex lo­cated at 620 Hwy. 16 E., ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion that would au­tho­rize a sig­nif­i­cant de­vel­op­ment per­mit for the 2.45 acre lot lo­cated at 1510 E. Main St, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port. The ap­pli­cant, JWT Prop­er­ties, LLC, wishes to con­struct a 15,000 square foot poul­try sup­ply fa­cil­ity on the prop­erty.

• The de­ci­sion to ap­prove a res­o­lu­tion that would au­tho­rize the prop­erty tax rate as­sessed to prop­erty own­ers in 2018 to re­main the same in the year of 2019, ac­cord­ing to a city staff re­port.

Hunter McFer­rin/Siloam Sun­day

The Siloam Springs Cham­ber of Com­merce gath­ered hu­man re­sources rep­re­sen­ta­tives from var­i­ous com­pa­nies on Thurs­day af­ter­noon at the Court­yard Event Cen­ter to ed­u­cate them on some ini­tia­tives be­ing un­der­taken by Siloam Springs High School that are in­tended to help Ca­reer and Tech­ni­cal Ed­u­ca­tion stu­dents find em­ploy­ment af­ter they grad­u­ate. Lead­ing the pre­sen­ta­tion was the high school’s as­sis­tant prin­ci­pal Ross White (right) along with Nathan Reed, (left) the cham­ber’s di­rec­tor for eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment and fi­nance.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.