Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Street Hearing Set/Property Ordered Cleaned Up/Prison Status

The Warren City Council meet for the first meeting of the 2018 year, Monday, January 8th.  Five of the six council members were present.

City Clerk Helen Boswell presented the financial statement for December, 2017, which included the year end report for all of 2017.  She also provided the council a copy of the District Court Clerk's report and a document outlining the amount of overtime paid by the city during 2017.  The council members reviewed all the financial data and approved the statement.

Len Blaylock, III, the Executive Director of the Bradley County Economic Development Commission informed the council that plans are proceeding between the State of Arkansas and a private company to build a prison in South Arkansas.  He indicated he thought some final plans would be in place within a month and that the contact team of the BCEDC will be working on a proposal to try to locate the prison within Bradley County.  Mr. Blaylock also informed the council members that a private company that has previously announced plans to locate in Warren, continues to work on construction of its facility.  He stated there has been some delay in securing equipment, but he expects a news release by the next city council meeting.

In other business, Mayor Martin announced the council committee assignments for 2018 and the council voted to reappoint Geneva Curry to a five year term on the Fair Housing Commission.

The City Council then approved plans to make final repairs to the building on main Street that was damaged during the removal of the Words on a Shirt building.  Repairs should be made soon.  The contractor that will be working to renovate the Rail Road Depot will made repairs and the architect will oversee the work.

Upon a recommendation by the council's Police Committee, the council voted to approve a pay step increase to officer Shaquil Ellis based upon his graduation from the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy.  Police Chief Shaun Hildreth also announce letters of commendation have been given to Sergeants Sharp, Nichols and Ashcraft and Corporal Harper and officers Scogin and Britton for the job they did in making a recent arrest without serious incident.  It was a situation that could have resulted in gunfire and danger to the officers, the public and the suspect.

It was announced that Andrew Green has been approved as a volunteer fireman.  According to Fire Chief Howard Edwards, the city has only a few vacancies unfilled on the volunteer department.

The council then voted to order property located at 509 Bond Street to be cleaned up.  The site consist of a burned two story structure with a tree that has fallen.  some salvage work has been done but most of the structure remains.  It has been over a year since a fire destroyed the house.  The owner will be notified in writing and if no action is taken, the city will be allowed by law to clean up the site and bill the owner.  Failure to pay will result in a lien being levied on the property.

Council Member Jimmy Moseley asked that a public hearing be set for February 5th to hear request for street paving and improvements.  The council agreed to the date.

In yet more business, the council renewed the city's legal defense insurance through the Arkansas Municipal League at a cost of around $16,000.00 per year.  Ordinance #908 was then adopted reconciling the 2017 city budget.

Reports and minutes of various city boards and commissions were submitted to the council for information and the next meeting was set for February 12th at 5:30 P.M.

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