The Heber Springs City Council held their regular meeting on January 25. The meeting was called to order and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by Ali Sugg. All members were present. The first item raised was to waive the reading and present the minutes from the last City Council meeting. The motion was approved. The next item presented was for approval of the December payment journal which was accepted as well. In new business, the procedure for council meetings ,it was decided to continue with Roberts rules until the new resolution could be looked at the next meeting. Mayor Jimmy Clark moved on to the State of the city. Under Police Chief BobbyWalker each officer has his own vehicle, Patrol Officers have new inboard computers, vests, digital radios, cameras and tazers. Presently there are two resource officers. One at the grade School and one at the middle school. In addition there are seven newly trained Swat officers.
Fire chief Linc Cothren keeps the fire station staffed with two fire fighters, 24 hours a day ,365 days a year. All firemen are certified and have new turnout gear. New equipment includes a ladder truck and river rescue boat.
At the Public Works Department Jeff Ashmore who is in charge of Sanitation and Superintendent Carl Patterson have implemented new maintenance programs. Sanitation has bids in on two new sanitation trucks, has refurbished 10 dumpsters and purchased 10 new ones. The Street Deparment just completed the Highway Street aid Program in which a little over $300,000 was spent on paving 4th street, Moore street, Case Street, Front, East Sugar Loaf, some of Hollowell, Taluka and the entrance to Bobby Jean Street. An application has been made for another $250,000 grant. A sidewalk project has been started on the West side of Ely Street, a grant is available to start another sidewalk on the East side of Weddingford and plans to repair parts of the Downtown sidewalks are in place.
The Animal Control officer is Zach Carlisle. He works closely with the Humane Society . Stacey Mills is the Director of the Parks Department, his assistant is Chris Kramer, Ground Supervisor is Chris Havel and Athletic Director is Tyler Erwin. Community center is enjoyed by 1,300 members. The parks department
has over 1000 kids enrolled in Baseball, soccer, softball and Basketball. The Parks Department also maintains Sandy Beach, Anderson Trail, Spring Park, Eagle Bank Park and Greer’s Ferry Lake Council Trails.
At the Airport under the Management of Charlie Evans a new 6000 gallon double walled fuel tank was installed, a new security system and a new beacon. Plans for the year include runway rehabilitation, starting after Labor Day, and new gas pumps. The State has been approached for funding for up to sixteen new T-Hangars. If it goes through it could produce $30-40,0000 of additional revenue.
Growth inside the city includes new restaurants such as Food Geek Tacos, Angie’s Hideaway, Fit Food To Go, Verona’s Italian and others. New Businesses include Hipp Equipment Rental and Landers Cowboy Chevrolet.
The goals for the coming year include a Downtown facelift, repair of the sidewalks and maintenance of Spring Park. The mayor states that the city will continue to focus on safety, economic Development, tourism, Parks, Recreation and working with a balanced budget.
The Senior Citizens Agreement was discussed next. The Senior Citizens Center delivers up to 300 meals a day. A request was made for $25,000 which passed with no discussion. The next item on the Agenda was Technology Policy which was voted on and adopted as well. The next items were the encroachments at 501 S Seventh Street and at 409 North 4th Street. Planning and Zoning was in agreement to allow the encroachment and Grand father it in. A motion was made to accept the planning and Zoning Boards recommendation, it was carried and encroachment was allowed in both locations. Introduced next was a an Ordinance for Red River Radio to allow the city to do business with the radio station. The contract states that the city can contract with the radio station for promotions, advertisements to promote city events and Heber Springs, not to exceed five thousand dollars. It was approved, note that Ali Sugg abstained from the vote. Next items introduced were the reappointment of Ron Gillispie and Mary Margaret Clark to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Both were adopted for another term which expires January 2021. The last item introduced was to allow Carl Pattison, a Supervisor at the Street Department, to be added as a signer for invoices. The motion was carried.
With no more business the meeting was adjourned.