The Walnut Ridge City Council approved at $3,238,263 budget for 2022 and discussed the ongoing improvements projects at Stewart Park at the Monday meeting.

Mayor Charles Snapp noted that not only is the city financially stable, but the Walnut Ridge Airport Commission, also recently approved its budget as a self-sustaining airport.

“They are one of few that operate on their own,” he said.

He noted that the airport has also been tagged to receive an additional $159,000 a year for the next five years for airport improvements through Rebuild America funds.

Work continues on improvements to Stewart Park, but Snapp noted that unforeseen damage to the pool surround will put the project over budget.

“Everything around the pool had to be hand dug, rebuilt and back filled,” he said. “There was a lot of rust and leakage.”

He noted that the Friends of the Park will be donating the new slide, which will help with costs.

He said two additional grants have also been received, one a 50/50 matching grant for $9,000 to remove tree stumps and low-hanging branches, and one an 80/20 $172,000 grant from ARDOT to add two feet to the park road for a cyclist and walker lane and resurface the road.

“When we get everything done, the park should be in really good shape,” Snapp said.

Also during the meeting, Mayor Snapp reported that it was discovered that acreage approved for annexation in last month’s meeting had actually been annexed into the city limits in 1992.

He said all the paperwork was completed, but the final paperwork never made it to the Arkansas Geographic Information Systems Office in Little Rock to update the GIS map.

He said GIS informed him they would activate the entire annexed area from 1992 as an historic annexation. The property annexed in 1992 included the recently voted on acreage.

The recently adopted resolutions will not be filed since the property is already in the city limits.

In other business, the council:

Heard an update from City Attorney Ethan Weeks that discovery is continuing on the lawsuit regarding the Abbey Road property. He said he expects by March to be filing motions and getting a trial set.

Approved recommendations from Mayor Snapp for the following reappointments: Clay Sloan, Airport Commission; Punk Woods, Planning Commission; Leroy Johnson, Water Commission.

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