City improvement projects — from adding sidewalks to improving a dangerous intersection — topped the items on the agenda Monday night at the Ward City Council meeting.
David Stanley submitted a proposed plan from Lemons Engineering Consultants Inc. of Cabot for additional sidewalks to be built in the city using funds to be received through a Safe Routes to Schools grant.
Stanley recommended that the council approve a resolution authorizing Mayor Art Brooke to apply for the grant.
The council approved the resolution. Under the current plan submitted by Stanley, the new sidewalks would connect the existing sidewalks on either side of the city that were built using money from a previous Safe Routes to Schools grant.
Brooke brought council members up to speed on the plan to build a circular drive at the intersection of Arkansas Highways 367 and 319 to make it safer, and said Metroplan has approved the project and funding is in place.
The current estimated cost of the project is $675,000, he said.
Stanley said the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department now wants to install a stoplight at the intersection instead of the previously agreed upon roundabout and that engineers from Lemons Inc. would be meeting with the AHTD district engineer in the coming weeks to discuss the project. Lemons Engineering sees the roundabout as the safest way to improve the intersection, according to Stanley.
In other business, the council approved a motion to start paperwork to refinance a 2008 bond. City administrative assistant Deborah Staley said refinancing the bond will not cost the city any money, but will save $500,000 over the life of the loan.
Karen Madding from Suddenlink Communication asked the council to approve a one-year extension in the company’s franchise agreement. After some discussion, the council agreed to table the issue until the March meeting because of pending legislation that could affect the way in which city governments receive local franchise fees.
Alderman Don Howard voiced a resident’s concern about basketball games taking place in residential streets and trash cans being left at the curb for too long. The council briefly discussed having City Attorney Clint McGue draft ordinances to address the issues, but decided against it after Alderman Jeff Shaver voiced concern about placing too many restrictions on residents.
“Unless we have a valid reason; multiple complaints, we’re asking for it,” he said.
The council members agreed to look further into the complaint to determine if it’s a widespread issue or an isolated incident.
The council’s next regular meeting will take place March 11 at Ward City Hall.