Corridor planning for Arkansas Highway 89, West Main Street, dominated the July 2 combined city committees meeting.
The committee also voted to recommend budget amendments, including one for a land purchase, for consideration by the city council.
Consideration of the corridor plan included the streetscape project, adding sidewalks along West Main Street between Third and Tenth streets.
Public Works committee member Ed Long said he was frustrated by the lack of information on the progress of the streetscape project. Public works director Brian Burroughs said a public meeting had been held but was attended only by himself, Eddie Cook, architect Sally Horsey and a member of the press.
Long asked that another hearing be held for the information to be presented again.
Mayor Bill Cypert said a hearing would be scheduled for the August committee meeting unless prevented by circumstances.
In other considerations, the committee heard Cypert’s recommendations for expanded insurance coverage for city buildings and equipment.
He said the insurance package was intended to bid on last year, but a brief review led to doubts that the city is adequately insured.
“We spent most of this spring re-evaluating property values, contents values,” Cypert said. “We discovered a lot of things that were not insured or under insured.”
Traffic signal control boxes and parks and recreation properties such as fences, bleachers and lights, were not insured, he said.
The overall insured total needed to be increased to about $22 million, Cypert said. A request for bids was “extensively” advertised.
Also, earthquake coverage was added, as was coverage for equipment failures.
The low bid was submitted by the city’s current carrier, he said. However, the premium is higher than budgeted for, calling for an amendment to the budget.
The new premium of $32,303 would be about $7,300 more than the old premium of about $24,500.
“But the coverage would be well worth it?” Cypert said.
However, the budget covers the previous premium of $24,501, and the budget would need to be amended, he said.
The Budget Committee members voted to accept his recommendations and recommend the insurance bid to the city council.
The committee also approved a budget amendment for the purchase of software for the police department, purchase of a sound system and tracts in the Southfork Commercial addition.
The police department software for managing citations and warrants is a 2011 project that carried over into 2012, Cypert said.
The Southfork properties includes a deep-water quarry used by the fire department for pump testing and diver training, and a triangle of land.
In other information from Cypert, it noted that in June the land had been appraised at $20,000, but was being foreclosed on, preventing negotiation with the bank. On June 13, the land was put up for auction at the courthouse, and he was able to purchase both lots for a total of $7,000.
“That would have been my top bid,” Cypert wrote.
He told the committee there is enough land there to build a small fire station.