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GRAVETTE -- Members of the Gravette city council, at their committee of the whole meeting Thursday, Aug. 9, discussed rezoning of property owned by Michael F. McMillan in Hiwasse. A vote on the action will be on the agenda for the Aug. 23 council meeting.

Council members also discussed a FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant recently awarded to the Gravette Fire Department. The total amount of the grant is $45,514 with FEMA providing federal funds of $43,347 and the fire department matching with $2,167. Funds will be used for four air paks and accompanying masks so that each firefighter will be equipped with his own individual mask. Fire captain David Orr said this will be much more hygienic and will be a step forward in the department's airway protection program.

Orr also reported that the department has responded to 643 calls, year to date, and said the metal has been received for use on fire station repair.

Police chief Chuck Skaggs reported the police department has responded to 4,053 calls, year to date, and said Gravette has been designated the 10th safest city in the state.

Tim Dewitt, streets and parks department manager, said his crew has been busy mowing and setting up for Gravette Day. He reported Cassville Striping is in town and has been filling cracks in Main Street, patching bad spots and resealing parking lots to prepare streets for several more years of use. He also reported recent high winds had snapped a light pole at Pop Allum Park.

Corey Reardon, water and sewer department manager, reported sludge removal bids will be opened Aug. 21 at city hall.

David Keck, building inspector and code enforcement officer, reported 78 building inspections in July, the most in one month since his arrival. He also reported helping with preparations for Gravette Day and said he is working with Musco, which did the lighting at Pop Allum Park, to decide whether to replace the damaged pole with another wooden pole or replace it with newer metal poles. He reported civic center renovation is progressing nicely and new ceilings are now going in.

Karen Benson, library manager, reported the children's summer reading program has just ended with the children logging 571 hours, 30 minutes, of reading. Teen Tuesday Maker Space ended July 31. Nineteen teens participated in the program and were involved in three Makey Makey stations, stop-action animation, 3-D printer pen, snap circuits, paper circuits and robotics.

Mayor Kurt Maddox reported bids have been opened for the city's proposed wayfaring signs and the two lowest bidders were present at the meeting. Arkansas Sign and Banner submitted a bid of $105,000, and Sign Studio submitted a bid of $118,000. Both bids are over the $75,000 set aside in the budget for the project. A vote on the selection of installer and a possible budget adjustment will be on the agenda for the August council meeting.

Carl Rabey, finance director, reported a good month citywide with $508,000 in revenue and $386,000 in expenses for the period. Revenue includes $95,000 received from FEMA and $45,000 from the state highway department for 2015 flood damage. He reported sales tax collection has been better than expected and acknowledged that a budget adjustment may have to be done because of increased fuel costs.

General News on 08/15/2018

Print Headline: Gravette council discusses rezoning, fire department FEMA grant

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