GENTRY – The City Council, during its November 1st session, passed ordinances amending the description of the RN (residential area) zone, annexing land and setting fees for the city.
Due to the number of regulations that the Council has to consider at its November meeting, the Council voted to suspend the rules and read all regulations that are to be taken into account at the meeting only by heading.
A regulation to change the language of the RN zone, adopted in first reading in October, was adopted in second and third readings.
The ordinance amends the description of the recently established RN Zone to clarify that it is a zoning option for more than just the neighborhood north of Main Street, which is full of historic homes. The RN Zone is intended for single family homes, but on a smaller lot width than the R-1 Zone (at least 50 feet wide instead of the 70 foot width required by R-1). In order to do justice to the smaller lots, fewer setbacks are required in the RN zone as well.
Mayor Kevin Johnston told the council in October that many homebuyers are looking for smaller homes with less garden space.
The council accepted the incorporation of Springtown Properties LLC and land owned by Roger and Belinda Stricker into the city, and accepted the Planning Commission’s recommendation to divide the land into Zones A-1 for agriculture. The two properties are at the intersection of Arkansas 12 and Dawn Hill East Road (on the curve west of the bowling alley).
Separate ordinances were passed in three readings, in which administrative fees for the town hall and the library were set; Late fees for commercial (professional) licenses; Microchip fees; Hydrant meter fees; Construction, plumbing and electrical permit fees; HVAC permit fees; Parking reservation fees; and changing, removing and revoking obsolete language (Board of Review, Amusement Games, Water Service Reconnections) from the city code.
The council voted to hold a public hearing at the beginning of the council meeting in December (6:30 a.m. on 6th South Otis Avenue and South McKinnon Avenue). Johnston said the alley has municipal utilities, but a developer planning to build on the property on the west side of South Gentry Boulevard will move the utilities if the city approves the request.
The council voted to authorize the mayor to negotiate a contract with Garver of Rogers for engineering services related to the city’s master plan for wastewater treatment. Garver was the only company to submit qualifications to the city following legal notification of its engineering service needs. While the council usually accepts the qualifications of three professionals and empowers the mayor to negotiate a contract with a professional, starting with the first choice, the second and then the third, the lack of response means that when a contract with Garver fails the city will repeat the tendering process and again look for qualifications from companies that provide the necessary professional services.
The city is currently using Garver’s services for its water storage project.
In addition, Johnston notified the council of the cleansing of condemned lots 119 N. Nelson and 117 N. Smith. He advised the council that the North Nelson cleanup was complete but that progress was slow on the North Smith property and the council may need to consent to intervene to complete the work and apply for a lien on the property.
A public hearing was called at the December meeting to confirm the amount of the lien on the North Nelson property. Joel Kurtz, the city attorney, said the amount would likely be $ 8,900 to clean the property, plus postal and legal fees related to the property’s conviction.
Johnston reported that the city’s new splash pad has been winterized and closed, and that the city is going through its final punch list with a few things to do as the splash pad is closed for the season.
Flintco’s Justin Spafford reported on progress on the new Gentry Sports Complex, which is located along Browning Road on the northern edge of town. He said Flintco hopes to complete most of the current project by the end of November and complete everything by the end of the year. He said paving and fencing work was currently underway at the facility, as well as grouting. Work was also carried out on sidewalks and pavilions. He said the blinds and display panels would arrive in the next few weeks and then be installed.
It was reported that the city’s new water tower along Y-City Road was almost painted and that the city’s logo was placed on the tank. Work on the water pipes and electrics is scheduled to begin in January. Difficulties in laying the water pipes and an amendment order were reported because the water reservoir was built on rock, with a gas pipe also on the rock.
As required by law, Johnston submitted a draft budget for 2022 to the council. The Council will review the proposed budget and make any necessary adjustments before it is submitted to the Council for adoption, possibly at the December meeting.
Janie Parks, Executive Director of the Gentry Chamber of Commerce, reminded the council of the December 11th Christmas parade at 6:30 p.m. with a line-up at 5:30 p.m. She also said the annual quilt show will be held January 14-21 in the McKee Community Room, sponsored by McKee Foods.