JONESBORO — After postponing a final vote two months ago, the Jonesboro City Council voted Tuesday to postpone for two more months a decision about whether to exempt new “planned industrial parks” from the city’s requirement to construct sidewalks.
Council member Joe Hafner, who requested the first postponement to try find a compromise, also requested the second delay.
“I for one think the industrial park area should play a role in improvement connectivity in Jonesboro,” Hafner said. “Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, I haven’t devoted as much time to this as I would have liked to in the last 60 days and I would like to request more time to work on a resolution.”
Hafner said he hoped to have a proposal ready for the council’s public works committee meeting on Feb. 2.
The council voted April 17, 2018, to require sidewalks in all commercial developments, including the industrial areas, following the recommendations of a specially-appointed citizen committee.
But five industries apparently haven’t built the sidewalks since the ordinance went into effect.
Mark Young, president and CEO of Jonesboro Unlimited, which recruits industry to the area, has urged approval of the exemption.
In other business the council approved ordinances that:
Give city approval to Sunrise Hospitality for a private club restaurant alcohol permit, doing business as Lazarri, 2230 S. Caraway Road. No one spoke against the proposal. State law requires city council approval before a formal application can be filed with the state Alcohol Beverage Control Division.
Rezones 2.05 acres at 604 E. Highland Drive owned by Pilgrim Lutheran Church from R-1 single family residential to C-4 neighborhood commercial. The land, with a vacant house, is adjacent to the church’s campus and school.
Changes the city’s stormwater management ordinance to require city approval before anyone can alter or modify any open channel, drainage swale, detention facility, storm sewer or other watercourse either natural or artificial where any of the facility is part of the city stormwater management system.
The council heard the second readings of the following three proposed rezoning ordinances:
PDW Properties to change 5.12 acres west of Craighead Forest Road and Savannah Hills Drive on the old Craighills Golf Course property from R-2 multifamily low density district to PD-RM multifamily residential planned development. The site plan indicates 14 triplex buildings, for a total of 42 housing units.
Kenny and Sheila Throgmartin to rezone 0.57 acres at 2512 and 2514 Curtview Drive, off of Race Street, from R-1 to RM-8 multifamily for the purpose of constructing two duplex buildings.
John C. Stuckey, to rezone 2.88 acres at 3216 Moore Road from R-1 single family residential I-1 limited industrial. The land is across Moore Road from Aramark, and Stuckey indicated Aramark uses the property for warehouse and offices.
The council heard the first reading, waived the second reading and scheduled final action for Dec. 1 for the following proposed ordinances that would:
Waive competitive bidding and approve a three-year agreement with Ritter Communications for internet connectivity and cloud services at a rate of $21,345.09 per month.
Waive competitive bidding and approve a contract with Arkansas Blue Cross Blue Shield for employee health insurance
Waive competitive bidding and approve a contract for employee dental insurance through Delta Dental.
The council also approved resolutions to:
Schedule a public hearing for 5:20 p.m. Dec. 1 on a proposal to abandon a 16-foot-wide utility easement across a parcel west of the Prospect Farms subdivision and East of Wolf Meadows subdivision.
Schedule a public hearing for 5:25 p.m. Dec. 1 on a proposal by Colson Group Holdings LLC to issue industrial development bonds to fund construction of a new production facility.
Award a contract with Blue Sky Technologies for new telephone equipment. Under the contract, the city would pay a one-time fee of $105,838.50 for VoIP and fax equipment, and $699 a month for local phone and fax service.
Reactivate the Downtown Jonesboro Improvement District and appoint Ted Herget, L.J. Bryant, Clay Young, Vincent Turner, Holly Acebo, Tracy Owens and Andrew Berner to serve as district commissioners.
Fourteen separate resolutions authorize the city staff to place municipal liens on properties to recover the cost of code enforcement actions, such as mowing the grass of vacant lots.