October 22, 2014 Edition

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WR Council discusses condemned
properties, airport commission

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Aldermen discussed condemned properties, vicious animal control and the airport commission during their meeting on Oct. 14.

The building adjacent to the Arkansas Department of Workforce Services at 116 West Elm, owned by J.R. and Michelle Rogers and condemned by the council many months ago, is in the process of being demolished. City Attorney Adam Weeks told the council that Rogers said he hoped to see the work completed within the next week.

Alderman Ed Lawson informed the council that Jack Krepps of Cave City had passed the deadline to bring his building near the airport up to code.

Krepps asked to address the council and told them that he would be able to comply with the code within the next two or three days if they would allow him the extra time. He stated he had been having problems with the airport commission for the past 20 years and brought pictures of airport properties that he considered worse than his.

Mayor Don House suggested that the condemnation of Krepps' building be tabled until next month, and the council agreed.

The council is in the process of drafting an ordinance to deal with vicious dogs and to lay guidelines for animal care. Attorney Weeks presented aldermen with an ordinance he had prepared using information he had studied in ordinances from Jonesboro and other cities. After much discussion, the council decided to take a closer look at the 13-page ordinance and revisit it at the November council meeting.

Mayor House told the council it was his understanding that Gateway Animal Clinic would cease to be the city's dog pound, most likely by the end of the year, and the city needs to look at how they want to handle stray dogs and those not leashed.

Alderman Jeff Taylor had asked at last month's meeting to have the airport commission on this month's agenda. He told the council he did not think Lloyd Clark should be on both the airport commission and the quorum court, and said he thinks a member of the Kelley family should be on the airport commission. He also asked why the airport manager had not attended city council meetings.

He was informed by Alderman Wendell Jones that Airport Manager Michelle Anthony had attended council meetings when she was needed. Jones also said that Clark had both the knowledge and time to do a good job serving on both the quorum court and the airport commission.

Alderman Taylor voiced his disapproval of the closing of the Walnut Ridge Golf Course several years ago, and said he thinks nothing more should be done in that area until the new mayor and city council take office next year.

Alderman Jones made a motion to adjourn, and when no second was received, Jones left the meeting. Mayor House then asked Alderman Taylor if he had covered what he wanted to concerning the airport commission, Taylor said he had and the meeting continued.

Mayor House told the council that C & J Auto Sales has two Ford Rangers that they have offered to sell the city for a total of $6,500 for both. The council voted to purchase the vehicles for use by the mosquito department.

In other business:

  • the council learned there will be a public hearing and special council meeting on Oct. 30 to discuss the city's new zoning regulations.

  • an ordinance continuing a one mill tax to support the Firemen's Pension Fund was passed. This has to be passed on a yearly basis.

  • the mayor announced that Park Superintendent Charles Spargo has retired, but no replacement was announced at the meeting.

  • a four-way stop at the intersection of Oak Street and Southwest Second Street was discussed after Alderman Ed Lawson said that three residents who live near that intersection had requested the change. Lawson had requested that the residents attend to council meeting to express their concerns, but none were in attendance. Since no complaints have been received by the mayor's office and Police Chief Richy Thatcher said he knew of no complaints about speeders or record of accidents in that location, no action was taken.

  • it was announced the Walnut Ridge Christmas parade will be held on December 2. Mayor House said that because the city's Christmas lights are old and bulbs to replace them are hard to find, the lights need to be replaced with LED lights.

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