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— The Gravette City Council Committee of the Whole met Thursday evening, December 10, and discussed the following items:

At the advice of Municipal League attorney Mark Hayes, the City Council was advised to rescind the current fire department ordinance. The Council will review the department’s Standard Operating Procedures before taking action.

New Library Manager Kim Boldt was introduced to the Committee.

Activity reports were presented by the Police Department and the Streets and Utilities Department.

A request for a variance for placement of a travel trailer in Westfield Subdivision was received and action was deferred until the request goes before the City Planning Commission.

Council member and Chairman Byron Warren reported that, as a result of Bella Vista incorporation, the Gravette Planning Jurisdiction must be redrawn. The regional planning commission will draft the new maps.

Warren reported that boundaries for annexation to the east of the city will be compiled by the Planning Commission for consideration during the coming year.

Finance Committee

Following the General Committee meeting the Finance and Administration Committee convened and heard from Randy Pounders, representative of Roll-Off Disposal. After discussion, an agreement was reached that fuel surcharge overcharge be reduced to $3,025.82 with half-payments to be made in January and July.

A three percent increase in rates will also be waived for the year 2010. This issue will be on the December 17 Council meeting agenda.

Because Arvest Bank now holds the city water revenue accounts, business director Tracy Sewell recommended they provide debit/credit card service for water/sewer payments.

The Committee recommended building permit inspection fees for the new high school be used to finance completion of the sidewalk on East Main. Any remaining costs would come from the city one-fourth cent sales tax receipts.

The committee recommended Darren Warren be responsible for code enforcement.

The committee recommended that full time employees receive a $200 end of year bonus and part time employees a $50 bonus.This will be on the December meeting agenda.

City financial reports through the month of November were reviewed and Committee Chair Terry King recommended members review the proposed 2010 budget for discussion at the January committee meeting.

It was recommended the city set a goal of adding $30,000 to the city reserve funds next year.

Bids Opened For Highway Improvement Project In Siloam Springs

The Arkansas State Highway Commission has opened bids for improvements to a roadway in Benton County, according to Commissioner Dick Trammel of Rogers.

The purpose of the project is to widen 1.6 miles of Highway 412 in Siloam Springs to six lanes. APAC-Arkansas, Inc. of Fayetteville, Arkansas, was awarded the contract at $7,685,055.40.

“This widening on Highway 412 will extend from the Oklahoma state line eastward toWashington Street,” stated Trammel. “The improvements will make Highway 412 six lanes with a raised median in this area.”

“With the new median in place, traffic traveling on Highway 412 will be able to turn left at each signalized intersection and at the intersection of Highway 412and Dogwood Street.”

The project is being funded with money provided by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) matched with State Aid Road Program funds and local funds. The Act provided Arkansas with $351 million in federal stimulus funds for roadway and bridge improvements throughout the state. Additional information about the ARRA can be found at www.recovery.gov. For more information about its impact on Arkansas go to www.recovery.arkansas.gov. Information about specific road and bridge construction projects can be found by going to www.ArkansasHighways.com andclickingontheARRAlogo and link in the lower right portion of the page.

Trammel said work could begin on the project in two to four weeks, weather permitting. Completion is expected in late 2012.

News, Pages 1 on 12/16/2009

Print Headline: Council Committees Discuss Many Topics; Face Budget Challenge

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