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GRAVETTE -- Members of the Gravette city council held their monthly committee of the whole meeting Thursday, Feb. 8, at city hall. A special council meeting was convened prior to the committee meeting so the minutes of the Jan. 25 council meeting could be approved and Grand Savings Bank could facilitate the loan for air packs for the fire department. In other business, in the special meeting council members voted to approve Jesse Ritter as a new member of the planning commission and he was sworn in by Mayor Kurt Maddox. Ritter will fill the position vacated by Jeff Davis, who resigned to become a member of the city council.

Several department heads gave brief reports. Chuck Skaggs, chief of police, reported 676 police department calls year-to-date. Lonnie Mullen, fire chief, reported 99 calls and 48 cases of aid given year-to-date. Mullen also reported a new paramedic would join the department Friday.

Corey Reardon, water and sewer department manager, reported the new sewer line on Birmingham Street is all in and ready for use. Tim Dewitt, streets and parks department manager, reported workmen are ready to lay rock at the new bathrooms in Hiwasse. He also said the civic center remodeling is going well and invited everyone to come by and see the progress.

Mayor Maddox reported for library supervisor Karen Benson that the number of library patrons is up over last month and the second annual "Blind Date with a Book" campaign has been very successful.

Abandonment of an alley at Fifth Avenue and Charlotte Street S.W. was discussed. An ordinance approving the abandonment will be on the agenda for the Feb. 22 council meeting. Another item on the agenda will be a lot split for Reuven Ginton on Eighth Avenue N.E. A lot split for Darrell Fordyce on Highway 72 east of town was to be discussed at the planning commission meeting Feb. 13.

John and Amy Rambadt were present and submitted a request for a variance to adjust setbacks for two houses they plan to remodel at Sixth Avenue S.E. and Charlotte Street. Rambadt said he plans to convert both two-bedroom homes to four-bedroom homes.

Council members discussed rescinding Ordinance 08-14, setting fees for city pool and civic center use, then allowing the parks department to set fees in the future. A vote to rescind Ordinance 08-14 will be on the agenda for the Feb. 22 council meeting.

Council members considered four bids submitted for parking improvements and soccer fields at Pop Allum Park. They voted to go with the recommendation of Clay McGill, of BiLD Architects, and Tim Dewitt, parks department manager, and accept the low bid of $251,724.60 from Ground Zero Construction.

Carl Rabey, business manager, gave the financial report and submitted a detailed report of revenues and expenditures for the month of January. Rabey proposes a $10,000 increase, to $465,000, of the 3/4 cent sales tax in the bond fund and a $2,000 increase, to $155,000, of the 1/4 cent sales tax in the capital management fund.

Mayor Maddox announced the summer municipal league meeting will be held June 13-15 in Little Rock, and there is another opening for a council member to attend. Any member interested in attending is asked to contact him.

General News on 02/14/2018

Print Headline: Gravette council holds commitee of the whole meeting

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