April 19, 2017 Edition

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Rezoning approved for Dollar Tree

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council approved a rezoning for property planned for a new Dollar Tree at Monday night's meeting.

A similar rezoning had previously been voted down as area residents were concerned about the store's proximity to their property. Since then, Clark General Contractors has redrawn plans and adjusted the rezoning to include a residential buffer along the sides near residential property.

Nearby resident Peggy Maryman had some questions about drainage and light pollution, all of which were answered, and the area residents at the meeting said the new plans were agreeable.

Aldermen Jon Walter and Everett Hart commended Clark General Contractors for their reworking of the plans. Hart added that he was happy the people's voice was heard.

Also at the meeting, aldermen:

approved the proposal from Crist Engineers, Inc., to prepare a hydraulic model of the city's water distribution system. Fire Chief Frank Owens said this will include a flow test that will allow them to coordinate flow with hydrants. This will help to improve the city's ISO rating and be useful in marketing to businesses that need information regarding water flow. The cost will be split between the city and the water department and is not expected to exceed $8,000.

heard an update on the Walnut Ridge Community Center transfer to the Lawrence County School District. The school board voted to accept the transfer. Mayor Charles Snapp has agreed to continue to provide garbage pickup at no charge until the end of 2018.

voted to open bids for a 15-foot mower at a cost not expected to exceed $22,500. Snapp said the mower will allow for more efficient mowing as it is substantially larger than what the city has currently.

approved an ordinance to lower the elevation required on new structures from two feet above the base flood level to 1 foot. The base flood level is the height at which water levels have a one percent chance of reaching in any given year.

voted to transfer a $250,000 water department loan to Integrity First Bank to save .5 percent on interest. The new rate is expected to save about $10,000 over the 11 years it will take to pay the remainder of the loan.

voted to enter an agreement with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality to pay a $7,200 penalty, adjusted from $11,400. Snapp said the rain overloading the sewage system caused the violations and the department is working toward improving the system.

approved the purchase of a Dodge truck by the fire department to be used as an off road brush truck. Upon acquiring the new truck, the fire department will transfer its current truck to the street department.

approved the second and third readings to release land at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport, located between Fulbright Avenue and Miller Drive, to be sold for industrial use. The airport commission has already released the land, and the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the land for non-aeronautical use.

heard from City Clerk Sharon Henson that the city had 23 ordinances as far back as 1887 that hadn't been filed at the courthouse. The total cost to file was $415.

voted to adopt the College City zoning map into the consolidated Walnut Ridge. While the College City map has been used when reviewing types of property, the map hadn't been officially adopted.

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