Gravette coun­cil au­tho­rizes is­su­ing se­cond cap­i­tal im­prove­ment bond

Westside Eagle-Observer - - NEWS - SU­SAN HOL­LAND shol­land@nwadg.com

GRAVETTE — Mem­bers of the Gravette city coun­cil, at their reg­u­lar meet­ing Thurs­day, Sept. 27, passed an or­di­nance au­tho­riz­ing the is­suance of a sales and use tax bond for the pur­pose of fi­nanc­ing the cost of cap­i­tal im­prove­ments and pledg­ing col­lec­tions of a .75 per­cent sales and use tax to pay the prin­ci­pal and in­ter­est of the bond. The or­di­nance states that the city is ac­cept­ing the of­fer from Farm­ers Bank and Trust Com­pany in Magnolia to pur­chase the bond at a price of $1,045,159.05.

Ryan Bow­man, rep­re­sen­ta­tive of bond coun­sel Fri­day, Eldridge and Clark, and Bob Wright, of Crews and As­so­ciates, were present at the meet­ing to ex­plain the bond is­sue and an­swer any ques­tions posed by coun­cil mem­bers.

Pro­ceeds of the Se­ries 2018 Bond will be al­lo­cated, with $195,000 go­ing for street im­prove­ments, $410,000 for parks and recre­ational im­prove­ments, $70,000 for sewer im­prove­ments and $390,000 for side­walk im­prove­ments. Coun­cil mem­ber Melissa Bur­nett asked about spe­cific projects to be fi­nanced by the bonds, and mayor Kurt Mad­dox replied that more streets are to be paved, in­clud­ing North Mt. Pleas­ant, more work is to be done at Hi­wasse and more work, in­clud­ing light­ing, is to be done at Pop Al­lum Park.

In other busi­ness at the meet­ing, coun­cil mem­bers passed an or­di­nance to split a tract of land owned by Ken­neth and Nel­lie Dun­can at 18240 Ridge Road, passed a res­o­lu­tion set­ting the 2019 prop­erty tax levy at 4.75 mills on each dol­lar of as­sessed value and the 2019 per­sonal prop­erty tax levy at 4.75 mills on each dol­lar of as­sessed value and passed a res­o­lu­tion ap­prov­ing lineitem ad­just­ments mov­ing $30,120 from the cap­i­tal im­prove­ment gen­eral fund to the po­lice depart­ment fund to pur­chase an ad­di­tional ve­hi­cle for the po­lice depart­ment to re­place an older Charger now in use and mov­ing $17,000 from the breath­ing ap­pa­ra­tus fund to the street depart­ment fund to help fund the pur­chase of a new ve­hi­cle for the street depart­ment.

Mayor Mad­dox re­ported that bids have been re­ceived for clean­ing the la­goons at the sewer plant but all are much higher than ex­pected, so en­gi­neers rec­om­mend wait­ing and com­bin­ing bids with fur­ther sewer work in hopes of a cost sav­ings. City at­tor­ney David Bai­ley rec­om­mended hir­ing an out­side at­tor­ney for lit­i­ga­tion on un­sat­is­fac­tory work done on the la­goons as he does not have enough spe­cial­ized knowl­edge on the sub­ject. Mad­dox re­ported that three par­ties — the contractor, the man­u­fac­turer of the prod­uct and the en­gi­neer — are all blam­ing some­one else for the un­sat­is­fac­tory work.

Mayor Mad­dox said bids had been opened ear­lier that day for work on the old home eco­nom­ics build­ing. Three bids were re­ceived in the amounts of $200,000, $254,000 and $289,000. Mu­seum com­mis­sioner John Mitchael was present at the meet­ing and rec­om­mended ac­cept­ing the low bid of $200,000 from D.C. Sparks. The mu­seum com­mis­sion has re­ceived a $75,000 grant and a $50,000 donation from Care and Share for the ren­o­va­tion of the build­ing. Mad­dox rec­om­mended that, since the mu­seum com­mis­sion has used so much of its funds to­wards the project, rental fees from the ren­o­vated build­ing go to the com­mis­sion for the first three years af­ter com­ple­tion.

Pa­trick Hall was present at the meet­ing and spoke to the coun­cil dur­ing the cit­i­zen com­ment pe­riod prior to the meet­ing. He asked if there was a par­tic­u­lar process for de­cid­ing how the 2018 bond money was to be spent. He con­grat­u­lated coun­cil mem­bers on the ac­com­plish­ments com­pleted with the first round of bond money but urged them to con­tinue to seek pub­lic input for the se­lec­tion of projects and sug­gested de­lay­ing the vote on the bond is­sue un­til a well-pub­li­cized pub­lic hear­ing could be held and the planned ex­pen­di­tures could be re­viewed by the plan­ning com­mis­sion.

Dale Ayres, may­oral can­di­date, also spoke to the coun­cil, urg­ing pru­dence and ask­ing it to ex­er­cise cau­tion in spend­ing city money and go­ing fur­ther into debt.

Mayor Mad­dox replied that pru­dence was used in a se­ries of well-pub­li­cized hear­ings in 2015. The hear­ings were well at­tended, cit­i­zen input was re­ceived and vot­ers hand­ily ap­proved the bond is­sue in the March 1, 2016, spe­cial elec­tion.

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