Coun­cil hears com­plaint, sees new air packs for fire­fight­ers

Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - SU­SAN HOL­LAND shol­

GRAVETTE — Jimmy Den­ver spoke dur­ing the pub­lic com­ment pe­riod at the be­gin­ning of the city coun­cil com­mit­tee of the whole meet­ing March 8 and asked coun­cil mem­bers to take a close look at the plan­ning com­mis­sion and its pro­ce­dures, say­ing that city plan­ning has long been an is­sue.

Den­ver said the city pre­vi­ously had qual­i­fied city plan­ners who were valu­able re­sources and had lost those peo­ple be­cause the city failed to uti­lize them. He com­plained that cit­i­zens were not prop­erly in­formed about plan­ning com­mis­sion ac­tions and said other cities do things prop­erly, but Gravette keeps go­ing back­ward. He asked that coun­cil mem­bers go to other cities and in­quire about their pro­ce­dures.

City clerk Mike von Ree replied that post­ing signs for pro­posed lot splits was pos­si­ble but not re­quired. He said he no­ti­fied nearby res­i­dents by cer­ti­fied let­ter when­ever a lot split or re­zon­ing is­sue was pro­posed and very few replies were ever re­ceived. City at­tor­ney David Bai­ley said he would check pro­ce­dures in area cities and would check Gravette’s pro­ce­dures and make sure they are cor­rect.

A pub­lic hear­ing was held re­gard­ing a lot split for prop­erty owned by Dar­rel Fordyce at 16492 W. High­way 72 in Gravette. No one was present to make a com­ment. The pub­lic hear­ing was closed and a spe­cial coun­cil meet­ing was held in which an or­di­nance was passed ap­prov­ing the Fordyce lot split.

Re­ports were heard from var­i­ous depart­ment heads. Chuck Sk­aggs, chief of po­lice, re­ported a good month and asked per­mis­sion to make Joe Betz, po­lice depart­ment chap­lain, a re­serve of­fi­cer and al­low him to wear a sidearm so he could de­fend him­self if the need arises. Coun­cil mem­bers ex­pressed no ob­jec­tions to Sk­aggs’ re­quest.

Lon­nie Mullen, fire chief, re­ported 165 fire depart­ment calls this year to date. He re­ported 81 in­ci­dents of aid be­ing given and 10 in­ci­dents of aid be­ing re­ceived. He said he had sub­mit­ted quotes on new am­bu­lances to Mayor Kurt Mad­dox. Mullen brought one of the depart­ment’s 19 new air packs and dis­played it. The new air packs last 45 min­utes and are badly needed, Mullen said, since old air packs have failed in re­cent fires. He re­ported the fire­fight­ers are very ap­pre­cia­tive of the new equip­ment and thanked coun­cil mem­bers for ap­prov­ing the in­vest­ment in their safety.

Corey Reardon, wa­ter depart­ment su­per­vi­sor, re­ported the new pump is now on­line. He said a leak study is now be­ing done.

Tim Dewitt, street and parks depart­ment su­per­vi­sor, handed out re­ports on work be­ing done at the ball­fields in Pop Al­lum Park and pro­posed work on the con­ces­sion stand. Paving of the north park­ing lot is sched­uled for March 20. Con­ces­sion stand work be­gan Mon­day and county in­mates will be work­ing there for the next month.

Dewitt said paint­ing is al­most com­plete at the Hi­wasse com­mu­nity build­ing and cab­i­nets have all been in­stalled. Play­ground equip­ment and bath­rooms are al­most com­plete.

Karen Ben­son, li­brary su­per­vi­sor, said the sec­ond an­nual “Blind Date with a Book” event was very suc­cess­ful and re­ported on up­com­ing events in March, in­clud­ing a seed swap March 17 and a book sign­ing March 22.

Coun­cil mem­bers re­viewed re­zon­ing of prop­erty on Dal­las Street owned by John Lykins Jr. from A-1, agri­cul­tural, to R-1, sin­gle fam­ily res­i­den­tial. The prop­erty, across from Pa­triot Park, is a lit­tle over seven acres and is the lo­ca­tion for a pro­posed hous­ing ad­di­tion. An or­di­nance ap­prov­ing the re­zon­ing will be on the agenda for the March 15 coun­cil meet­ing.

Coun­cil mem­bers also dis­cussed a lot split for prop­erty owned by John Hol­loway along High­way 279 in Hi­wasse and a lot split for prop­erty owned by Leon Rose off High­way 72 in Hi­wasse. An or­di­nance ap­prov­ing the Hol­loway lot split will be on the agenda for the March 15 coun­cil meet­ing.

Carl Rabey, city fi­nance di­rec­tor, gave a bond fi­nan­cials up­date and said the city has spent $2.8 mil­lion of the $4.8 mil­lion bond fund, about 52 per­cent. Rabey also pre­sented the monthly fi­nan­cial re­port for Fe­bru­ary. He said the city has hired a new wa­ter clerk who started March 5, and is do­ing well. He re­ported the au­di­tors are al­most done and said he an­tic­i­pates bud­get ad­just­ments for the new build­ing in­spec­tor, switch­ing from con­tract la­bor to a salary, and bud­get­ing for train­ing and for ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Mad­dox re­ported plans were be­ing made to use the old li­brary as a site where po­lice of­fi­cers and fire­men can work out. Mullen had re­ported that all fire­men now have a one-hour manda­tory work­out each day. Mad­dox also re­ported that heat­ing and air work will be­gin at the civic cen­ter dur­ing spring break and said op­tions were be­ing con­sid­ered for a per­ma­nent city coun­cil cham­ber so meet­ings would not have to be moved be­tween city hall and the civic cen­ter. A re­model at city hall is be­ing pro­posed, tak­ing the city clerk’s of­fice for the coun­cil cham­ber, build­ing two more of­fices and mak­ing a sep­a­rate room for copy­ing.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.