July 17, 2013 Edition

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WR Council rezones property

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council voted to rezone a property along Highway 67B North and mentioned a few budget items that will be discussed in greater detail at the next budget committee meeting.

The lot that sets on highway frontage in front of Gateway Animal Clinic on Highway 67B North was rezoned from R1 (residential) to C3 (commercial).

Alderman Jeff Taylor told the council that the city's planning committee had approved the rezoning, and a public hearing held regarding the issue produced no opposition. He also told the council that property owners in the neighborhood had not raised any objections to the rezoning.

The council approved the ordinance, waived the second and third readings and invoked the emergency clause, making the ordinance effective immediately. Taylor abstained from voting due to a potential conflict of interest.

Following that vote, the council went into a 10-minute executive session to discuss a personnel matter. Mayor Don House said no action was taken during the session.

Mosquito control for the city is well underway.

Alderman Michael "Button" Wallin, mosquito control committee chairman, told the council that the city's trucks used for mosquito control had undergone some repair work, but the city now has two trucks spraying, and another truck that can be used as a spare if needed.

Mayor House spoke briefly about the city's tax revenue.

He said revenue seems to be swinging back toward normal after being lower than expected at the first of the year. "Hopefully, it will be doing well by the end of the year," he said.

He added that workmen's compensation and health insurance costs have increased significantly and that another increase is expected in January of next year. Some delays in the new federal health insurance laws have been announced by the government, but it's not yet clear how the city will be affected, he said.

Alderman Rob Combs asked if the request from the Moore family at last month's meeting had been addressed. The Moores had asked the city to have a property owner move vehicles parked in front of their homes further away and to have tall grass adjacent to their yards mowed.

He was informed that some of the problems have been corrected by the property owner, and the city plans to install a new storm drain in a drainage ditch near them to help alleviate the problems they have been having. The Moore families told the council last month that they have had a real problem with rodents, insects and other pests in their yards in the past.

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