Pine Bluff City Council Meeting: May 15

The Pine Bluff City Council will meet on Monday evening:

May 15, 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 two proposed ordinances to be read and several resolutions.  The two proposed ordinances are summarized here:

  • 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.
  • 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 (for the 1st reading).

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).
  • 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 City is willing to use its own personnel to remove and replace the bridge but needs an engineering firm to supervise and manage the project.

  • 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 1st 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.

  • 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.

The Last Meeting (in a Nutshell)

Of the ordinances addressed at the last city council meeting, one was read by the City Attorney the first, second, and third times, with council members voting in favor (6 to 2) after each reading to have the city attorney read again immediately:

  • An ordinance to waive competitive bidding for the razing and removal of a condemned structure at 620 Main Street due to an emergency — up for a first reading.

PB Junction will update this article with a summary of other items from the May 1 city council meeting minutes, so please check back soon.

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.

The city clerk maintains records of ordinances and resolutions passed plus tapes and minutes of council meetings (and other board and commission proceedings).  City council agendas can be found online for meetings as recent as March 20, 2017 (as of the time of this post).  However, 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.

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