Pine Bluff City Council Meeting: June 5

Pine Bluff Civic Center, including City Hall. The Civic Center, designed by Edward Durell Stone and Edward Durell Stone, Jr., was built over a span from 1963 to 1968. Photo credit: Shane Vaughn The Pine Bluff Civic Center, which includes City Hall. Photo credit: Shane Vaughn

The Pine Bluff City Council will meet on Monday evening:

June 5, 2017, 5:30 pm
City Council Chambers / City Hall Civic Complex
200 E. 8th Street, Pine Bluff, AR 71601

Meeting Agenda

The meeting’s agenda lists one proposed ordinance to be read and several resolutions.  The proposed ordinance is summarized here:

  • An ordinance amending Chapter 16 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, respecting nuisances, to add a new Article VI concerning vacant buildings; and for related purposes (up for the 2nd reading)

This new article would establish requirements and procedures for registering property that has been vacant for at least three consecutive months. The provisions allow for registration by the property owner or, if necessary, by a city inspector. If registered as vacant by the inspector, the article outlines procedures for owner to challenge the registration. Regardless of who registers the property, the owner must pay a registration fee. the proposed article lists exceptions to paying fee (e.g., property being for sale). If the property owner does not live in Jefferson County, then needs to have a property manager.

At Monday’s meeting, council members will also address several proposed resolutions:

  • Two resolutions, one for each project, to accept grant funds from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), to pledge matching funds, and to authorize the mayor to execute the grant agreement with AHTD for two projects:  Downtown Streetscape  and Phase VIII of the Lake Saracen Trail.
  • A resolution supporting the establishment of the Delta Rhythm and Bayous Cultural and Entertainment District in a section of downtown Pine Bluff.
  • A resolution appointing Floyd L. Stice to the Pine Bluff Planning Commission.
  • A resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement with 1911 Construction Company for work on Phase VIII of the Saracen Trail.
  • A resolution authorizing the mayor to execute an agreement with CDL Contractors, LLC, for professional services as construction manager of the Pine Bluff Aquatic Center.
  • A resolution implementing a moratorium on the zoning approval and issuance of occupation license for alcohol package stores for a period of one year.

The Last Meeting (in a Nutshell)

  • An ordinance to close a portion of Pryce Street between Dollarway Road and Womack Street and to close a portion of the 10 foot alley extending west of Pryce street (up for a third and final reading).  Carried 8 to 0
  • An ordinance to amend Section 13-89 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Pine Bluff, Arkansas, concerning the schedule of license and occupation taxes assessed by the City; declaring an emergency; and for related purposes (up for the 1st reading).  The council voted to suspend the rules in order to allow for a second reading and then did the same again to allow for a third reading. The ordinance was then passed 8 to 0.

After a review of the city’s existing schedule of license and occupation taxes (e.g., for accountants or advertising agencies) a new schedule has been developed which updates the amounts assessed. This tax is billed biannually, and the next billing cycle starts in June — hence the urgency in having the council vote on whether to adopt the new schedule.

  • An ordinance to provide for the rezoning of certain territory in the City of Pine Bluff, Arkansas (5801 Cheatham) (up for the 1st reading).  The council voted to suspend the rules in order to allow for a second reading and then did the same again to allow for a third reading. The ordinance was then passed 8 to 0.
  • An ordinance waiving competitive selection and authorizing the mayor and street department manager to contract with Engineering Management Consultants Corporation d/b/a EMTEC, for services in replacing the bridge on 52nd Street between Main and Ohio Streets (up for the 1st reading). The council voted to suspend the rules in order to allow for a second reading and then did the same again to allow for a third reading. The ordinance was then passed 8 to 0.

The City will use its own personnel to remove and replace the bridge but needs an engineering firm to supervise and manage the project.

Also at last Monday’s meeting, council members addressed several proposed resolutions.  All were supported unanimously.

  • A resolution requesting the Arkansas Municipal League lead an effort to place an initial constitutional amendment before the voters in the general election of 2018 to increase the maximum millage a city may levy for the support of local police and fire pension funds from one (1) mill to two (2) mills.
  • A resolution authorizing the Mayor to convey real property (1101 E. Martin, northeast corner of Martin and Indiana Streets and northwest corner of Martin and Kentucky Streets).
  • Three resolutions, one for each position, to appoint Goldie Diane Whitaker, Todd B. Howard, and Anthony Jerold Howard to the Pine Bluff Crime Commission.

Two additional resolutions were added to last Monday’s agenda at the time of the council meeting.  Adding new resolutions to the agenda at the time of the meeting requires a unanimous vote for each one; indeed, the council voted 8 to 0 twice, once for each resolution to be on the agenda.  Then the council considered and voted for each resolution as an agenda item and voted unanimously to support each one:

  • A resolution authorizing the mayor to apply for a grant from the Delta Regional Authority.
  • A resolution designating and declaring the Friday before Homecoming at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB) as Dr. Lawrence A. Davis, Jr., Day.

Acknowledgement:  Thank you to Alderman Steven Mays for providing copies of the agenda and minutes that informed this announcement.  However, any errors or omissions are those of the author.

Additional Information

Pine Bluff’s City Council meets on the 1st and 3rd Mondays of each month except for holidays, inclement weather, or other extenuating circumstances such as a called meeting.

The city’s website includes one webpage with contact information for the mayor and other elected officials in city hall, including the city clerk, and another for the departments run by those elected city hall officials. The website has a page for council members as well.  Recently, the agenda for the most recent merting has appeared on this page.

City Records

The city clerk maintains records of ordinances and resolutions passed plus tapes and minutes of council meetings (and other board and commission proceedings).  The city clerk’s phone number is 870-730-2006.  The email address is lorettaw@cityofpinebluff.com.  Some records are posted online, though quite a few are not.  The lacking online availability of some records may be due to the city website undergoing a notable reorganization.  Still, the records exist; this is just a note about online postings.

City Council Meeting Agendas (Online)

City council agendas can be found online (as part of city clerk records) for meetings as recent as March 20, 2017 and also for May 1 and May 15, 2017.  The April 2017 city council agendas are not posted on the city website as of the time of this post.  One additional portion of the city’s website that has recently posted council meeting agendas is the City Council page; they have posted the two May 2017 agendas.

City Council Meeting Minutes (Online)

The most recent online city council minutes are those for the September 20, 2010, meeting.  It should be noted that the city’s webpage has been undergoing a notable reorganization; perhaps more recent years’ minutes will appear when those changes are complete.

In the meantime, contact your alderman (council member) or contact the city clerk’s office for access to printed minutes in the office.

Karen Coker
About Karen Coker

Karen Coker, a native of Pine Bluff, is the editor and publisher of PB Junction. Though she started PB Junction as a creative and technical endeavor, she has found people's stories to be the most interesting part of it. In addition to this website, she writes scientific reports and has a background in statistical analysis as well.

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