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story.lead_photo.caption The bridge over Flint Creek on Dawn Hill Road still remains closed after 2017 spring flooding undermined its support structure. - Photo by Randy Moll

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.

General News on 12/05/2018

Print Headline: Council approves purchases, adopts 2019 budget

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