The Lonoke City Council on Monday approved four more properties for condemnation consideration.
The properties are at 214 Harrison, owned by Robert Marshall; 519 Reynolds, owned by Alonzo and Reola Coleman; 302 Teresa Lane, owned by Farris and Dorothy McClain and 119 Thomas Circle, owned by Connie Cooney.
The council also dealt with property owners with vacant and rundown houses. The council agreed to give another 30 days for repairs to the property at 519 Hamburg, owned by Warren Cole.
Alderman Raymond Hatton said the property only needs lumber hauled off.
The council approved the hiring of a contractor to make repairs at 521 E. Eighth St., owned by BAC Home Loan Servicing LP, with the city to bill the owner later for the cost of the work.
City Attorney Camille Bennett said the house is fine, but there are fence and gutter issues. Bennett said she contacted the owner several times but doesn’t always hear back from them.
The council at their May meeting approved giving the family of Carolyn Thomas, property owner of 112 E. Eighth St., two weeks to tear down the storage building on the property or the city would spend $3,500 to tear down the building and the family would be responsible for paying the demolition costs. Mayor Wayne McGee said since Carolyn Thomas passed away, he was giving the family a little more time.
In other business, the council made a change to the ordinance code manual.
If a property owner’s grass exceeds 8 inches in height, then the city in the past has sent the owner notice they have seven days to mow it. The council changed the time allowed from seven to three days.
Bennett also spoke about changes she made to the section of the code manual to the regulating animal ownership within the city. She told the council dogs and cats now must have city tags, and if are caught by the dog catcher with no tags, they will be held for 48 hours then put up for adoption.
She said if a cat is sterilized, then it may be outside. If a cat is unsterilized, then it must be kept indoors. She also said the sterilized and non-sterilized cats would wear different color tags.
The council members also heard updates and approved items for departments.
Lonoke Community Center Director Mike Brown said upcoming center events include:
• An archery camp July 24
• A 10-year anniversary celebration Aug. 18
• A Wade Knox Children’s Advocacy Center fundraiser Aug. 25
Brian Whitworth, Lonoke Public Works Department director, told the council that the department fixed 23 leaks and repaired 15 man holes, but found seven more manholes that need to be repaired.
The council authorized the department to:
• Spend $14, 768 to repair the manholes. The money will come from funds left in surplus after paying department expenses in cleaning out water lines.
• Spend up to $16,000 to relocate water lines on the south side of Arkansas Highway 89 for the overpass project.
• Spend $2,940 to finish relocating water lines on the north side of Arkansas Highway 89 for the overpass project.
Brad Davis with Arkansas Utility Protection Services and Mike Gowen with Arkansas One Stop spoke to the council.
Davis said it’s great when homeowners call for an utility location request before they dig, but Davis asked the city to have the property owner give the contractor’s name and billing address and for the contractor to also call the company. Gowen added Lonoke is the only city that makes property owners call One Stop before they get a permit.
"If a line is damaged, it will affect in a negative way," Gowen said why it’s important for the owner to call the company.
During June, the police department received 236 complaints/dispatched calls, 15 fire calls and 204 calls to 911. The fire department responded to three brush/grass fires, one structure fire, three fire alarms, two extrications and one ambulance assist.
The next regular council meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 13 at City Hall.