Street Lights, Police Department Policies Dominate City Council Meeting

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Members of the Sebastian County Junior Fair Board attended the Greenwood City Council meeting and provided an overview of the plans for this year’s fair, themed: “Blast from the Past.”

The Greenwood City Council met in regular session on Monday evening, July 12 at 7 p.m. Members of the council present included AC Brown, Ralph Meeker, and Tim Terry. Lance Terry, Daniel McDaniel, and Rod Powell were absent. There was a quorum with the addition of the Mayor, Doug Kinslow. Also present, City Clerk/Treasurer Sharla Derry, and City Attorney Michael Hamby.

Following the invocation and Pledge of Allegiance, the council voted to approve the minutes of the June 7 meeting. The mayor welcomed WAPDD, Western Arkansas Planning and Development representatives, and the Sebastian County Junior Fair Board. Mason Williams, the board President, addressed the council providing an overview of the plans for this year’s fair, themed: “Blast from the Past.”

Members of the council then reviewed the committee reports. Mayor Kinslow read the report from the Boys and Girls Club. Joel Goldstein with the Parks Commission presented his report, which included praise for the Parks Director on a successful Freedom Festival. Mayor Kinslow added that he was also grateful for the other departments who contributed to the success of the event.

Next, a presentation on the long-range transportation plan (MTP) by Reese Brewer, MPO Director. Brewer discussed the planning organization’s impact on projects such as the Greenwood bypass.

With no residents signed up to speak at the citizen’s forum, Mayor Kinslow moved on to the next item on the agenda. Finance Director Tom Marsh presented his report to the council, noting positive growth and anticipated revenue. In agenda additions, Mayor Kinslow recommended item eight regarding nepotism within the police department, be included.

Planning and Development Director Sonny Bell sought the council’s approval of the second reading of an ordinance to repeal and replace #20-17, a building permit fee schedule. The council voted unanimously to approve the second reading.

Police Chief William Dawson was present to discuss the next item on the agenda, a resolution to amend the police handbook regarding professional towing. Dawson proposed the companies to be included in the department’s rotation undergo background checks, inspections on trucks and equipment, have proper lighting and fencing. “They are a reflection on the department and the city,” Dawson stated. A person who has been in an accident retains the right, however, to request the towing company of their choice.

In the next item on the agenda, Street Director Chad Grouse addressed the council regarding a resolution to authorize the sale of equipment to Sebastian County. The council unanimously approved the motion to sell the city’s roller and paver purchased in 2017 and 2018.

Marsh then addressed the council regarding the next item on the agenda, a resolution to amend the budget for professional fees, water and sewer. Marsh stated that Water and Sewer Commission approved two projects that are unbudgeted, both greater than $5,000. According to Marsh, the projects will be paid for through existing funds in the city’s sales and use tax. One is in cooperation with the park’s department with the water and sewer design and engineering fees for a splash pad, and the other, a related impact study for the new east side development. The council unanimously approved the resolution.

Parks Director Tammy Briley presented the next item on the agenda, a resolution to amend the budget for capital improvements. Briley stated that she had purchased a mower for the parks department, replacing an old existing mower. “It was one those things that had to happen or we would be behind in mowing…” stated Briley. The other item Briley discussed, 19 acres of land that needs to be cleared. Briley asked that the company Prime Acres, who does mulching, be contracted to do that job. A motion was made and seconded, and the resolution was passed unanimously.

In the next item on the agenda, an ordinance to declare a 90-day moratorium on street light erection. A lengthy discussion followed regarding the details of the verbiage for the ordinance. “I would like to see it clearly defined…the minimum standard light,” Bell stated. No action was taken on the matter.

In the added agenda item, Chief Dawson discussed the lack of applicants to fill positions within the police department. Dawson then discussed the policy of nepotism and sought the support of the council to allow relatives to apply for positions within the Greenwood Police Department.

With no other items remaining on the agenda, the meeting of the Greenwood City Council was adjourned.

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Tammy Teague

Tammy Teague

Education: 1995 MHS graduate; 1999 Arkansas Tech University Graduate - BA in Journalism. Career: Managing Editor - The Citizen; Copy Writer - Southwest Times Record; Editor - Resident Press. 20+ years experience in the news.

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