Coun­cil con­cludes 2018 city busi­ness

The Times (Northeast Benton County) - - FRONT PAGE - AN­NETTE BEARD [email protected]

In the fi­nal City Coun­cil meet­ing of the year, city of­fi­cials ap­proved two re­zon­ing re­quests, two an­nex­a­tion re­quests and three or­di­nances gov­ern­ing build­ing and plan­ning. All four coun­cil mem­bers were present as was one of the newly elected coun­cil mem­bers, Cody Keene.

At the con­clu­sion of the meet­ing, Mayor Jackie Crab­tree thanked both out­go­ing City Coun­cil mem­bers Lance Sanders and Bob Cot­ting­ham for their ser­vice over the past four and 13 years re­spec­tively.

Adopt­ing Res­o­lu­tion 419, city of­fi­cials amended the bud­get for 2018 as rec­om­mended by City Clerk Sandy But­ton who told coun­cil mem­bers: “If any one line item goes over, not nec­es­sar­ily all … it has to be amended.”

Over­all, the 2018 bud­get in­creased from $5,978,845 to $6,231,421, ac­cord­ing to the to­tal 2018 amended bud­get. The break­down re­flected and in­crease from $3,789,79- to $4,256,200 in city gen­eral, $178,725 to $220,900 for City Park; a de­crease from $956,000 to $587,000 for the Fire De­part­ment; an in­crease from $130,350 to $1,526,300 for the Po­lice De­part­ment; $61,830 to $94,321 for the Li­brary; a de­crease from $792,500 to $753,000 for the Street De­part­ment; and an in­crease from $200,000 to $320,000 for the Street Fund. But­ton said the Street Fund in­crease was due to re­pair from storm dam­age that will be re­im­bursed by FEMA.

But­ton ex­plained that in­creases in in­come in city gen­eral in both the county sales and “reg­u­lar” sales tax was more than an­tic­i­pated, re­quired al­lo­ca­tion to var­i­ous city de­part­ment funds and there­fore amend­ing of those bud­gets.

She said the dis­posal ser­vice ex­penses had in­creased as had group in­sur­ance. She also said the city lost about $10,000 on the mule jump this year.

“The mule jump ex­penses were a lot and in­come was not so much,” But­ton said. “We kind of went in the hole, but we love to do that for the city. I don’t con­sider that a money mak­ing thing.”

“The weather wasn’t very kind to us on that,” Mayor Jackie Crab­tree said. “We usu­ally kind of break even.”

City at­tor­ney Shane Perry said: “I would con­sider some of that money… the mule jump is part of the iden­tity and brand … it gen­er­ates a lot of good will.”

But­ton also ex­plained that the in­crease in the parks bud­get was par­tially due to the $75,000 grant re­ceived for the splash pad.

“You have to spend the money, send in the bills to show you’ve paid, then get re­im­bursed,” she ex­plained, adding that the splash pad is about 80 per­cent com­plete. “The city is out a lit­tle bit of money, but wait­ing to be re­im­bursed.”

The mayor said the de­crease in the Fire De­part­ment bud­get was be­cause of a grant ap­plied for but not re­ceived.

As for the li­brary, But­ton said: “The li­brary went over quite a bit and I’m not ex­actly sure why. They bought more books.”

Coun­cil mem­ber Lance Sanders said it ap­peared there were quite a bit of do­na­tions re­ceived by the li­brary.

“Those were from the Friends of the Li­brary,” But­ton said. “They spent some from sav­ings and cov­ered all their ex­penses.”

Coun­cil mem­ber Ray Easley said he didn’t see salaries in the li­brary bud­get and But­ton said city gen­eral pays all the li­brary salaries.

In other busi­ness, the coun­cil:

• Ap­proved Ord. 626 re­zon­ing 309 S. Cur­tis Ave. from agri­cul­tural (A) to multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial (R-2);

• Ap­proved Ord. 627 re­zon­ing 135 N. Davis St. from com­mer­cial (C-3) to multi-fam­ily res­i­den­tial (R-2);

• Ap­proved Ord. 628 and Ord. 629 an­nex­a­tion two pieces of prop­erty on Slack Street (Ark. Hwy. 72) into the city at the re­quest of the landown­ers;

• Ap­proved Ord. 630 ad­dress­ing home oc­cu­pa­tions and re­quir­ing place­ment of a sign on prop­erty be­ing con­sid­ered for a home oc­cu­pa­tion per­mit;

• Ap­proved Ord. 631 ad­dress­ing build­ing per­mit fees and ex­emp­tions;

• Ap­proved Ord. 632 ad­dress­ing pre­lim­i­nary plats, fi­nal plats and in­ci­den­tal sub­di­vi­sion; and

• Ap­proved the ap­point­ment of Ja­son C. Pa­lik to the Plan­ning Com­mis­sion.

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