Coun­cil ap­proves pur­chases

Westside Eagle-Observer - - FRONT PAGE - RANDY MOLL [email protected]

GEN­TRY — In ad­di­tion to nu­mer­ous pro­ject up­dates and in­for­ma­tional items, the Gen­try City Coun­cil, on Mon­day, ap­proved the pur­chase of a prop­erty ad­ja­cent to city-owned land which the city plans to use for a main­te­nance fa­cil­ity for a fu­ture base­ball-soft­ball com­plex and soc­cer fields, ap­proved a fi­nal plat for Phase 2A of the Sun­set Ridge sub­di­vi­sion on the east side of Gen­try, and ap­proved the pur­chase of a 2019 Ford F-350 for the wa­ter depart­ment.

The coun­cil, with rules sus­pended, ap­proved on three read­ings an or­di­nance, with an emergency clause, to pur­chase Tract 3 of Ea­gle’s Nest 1, or 1071 S. Heron Av­enue in Gen­try, from Richard and Cindy Godin for a price of $150,000 plus up to $10,000 in clos­ing costs.

The home with mul­ti­ple garage doors and garage space is ad­ja­cent to city-owned prop­erty on the west side of the rail­road which the city plans to de­velop into a base­ball-soft­ball com­plex and soc­cer fields. Ac­cord­ing to Gen­try’s mayor, Kevin John­ston, the prop­erty would be ideal as a place to store main­te­nance equip­ment for the up­keep of the park prop­erty and as a base for main­te­nance op­er­a­tions in the new park.

The prop­erty was ap­praised at $260,000, and the city is count­ing the dif­fer­ence be­tween the ap­praised value and the pur­chase price as a char­i­ta­ble gift to the city from the Godins.

Also ap­proved by the coun­cil was the pur­chase of a 2019 Ford F-350 from Su­pe­rior Au­to­mo­tive Group for the wa­ter depart­ment at a pur­chase price of $42,599, al­most $10,000 less than the man­u­fac­turer’s sug­gested re­tail price. The truck is needed to trans­port equip­ment used by the wa­ter depart­ment and the truck the city cur­rently uses is not rated to safely haul the heavy equip­ment.

Ac­cord­ing to John­ston, the pur­chase was in­cluded in the 2019 bud­get but a ve­hi­cle meet­ing the city’s needs was found on the lot in Siloam Springs at a good price, mak­ing it ad­van­ta­geous to the city to pur­chase it now and ad­just the 2018 and 2019 bud­gets as needed.

The coun­cil, by res­o­lu­tion, ap­proved a bud­get for 2019 which had been rec­om­mended by Mayor John­ston and amended in a few places by the rec­om­men­da­tion of coun­cil com­mit­tees in bud­get meet­ings.

The adopted bud­get pack­age in­cludes gen­eral fund rev­enues and ex­pen­di­tures of $2,208,650, street and al­ley in­come and ex­pen­di­tures of $1,934,080, wa­ter and sewer in­come and ex­penses of $2,766,500, and var­i­ous other smaller bud­gets.

Mayor John­ston said de­sign work on the new wa­ter tower is all but com­plete. He said some ad­di­tional geotech­ni­cal work was needed to de­ter­mine the ex­act lo­ca­tion of the wa­ter tower to en­sure all its sup­ports are on bedrock.

He said the city is still wait­ing for Arkansas Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion to fin­ish its re­view of the 60 per­cent de­sign plans of the Flint Creek Bridge be­fore mov­ing for­ward to the 90 per­cent plans and the bid process for the work. He an­tic­i­pated ARDOT ap­proval at any time.

He said the city is mov­ing for­ward with the mas­ter park plan fol­low­ing the pas­sage of the 7/8 cent sales tax in­crease in the city. He said the tax will not be col­lected un­til April 1, 2019, with the city not see­ing any ad­di­tional tax funds un­til about June 2019.

John­ston told the coun­cil of planned re­tire­ments, in­clud­ing Rick Lane, who re­tired last month from the Gen­try Po­lice Depart­ment; the May 31, 2019, re­tire­ment of Keith Smith as chief of po­lice; the re­tire­ment of Jay Wil­liams as the city’s at­tor­ney af­ter 26 years; the re­tire­ment of Darla Threet as Gen­try li­brar­ian at the close of the year af­ter serv­ing 20 years in her post; the re­tire­ment at the close of the year of coun­cil mem­bers James Fur­ga­son, Todd Wagner and War­ren Nor­man, and of City Clerk Jayne Koois­tra.

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