The contractor has up to six months to do “pre-construction” work on the proposed aquatic center, and construction may not begin until 2018, a committee of the city council was told Tuesday. Several committees met and also discussed other items including landscaping on University Drive and roof replacements on West Barraque Street.

At the Public Health and Welfare Committee meeting, members discussed options for the city’s cemetery tractor. Gail Blackerby, head of the cemetery department, said that she occasionally has problems with a wheel on the tractor due to a flaw in the pin that holds things together. The tractor is used to maintain the city cemeteries on Pullen Street.

The committee told Blackerby to continue maintenance on the tractor while getting quotes on a new tractor as it fits into the cemetery budget.

Donald Hatchett, chair of the Public Health and Welfare Committee advised Blackerby to work with the Purchasing Department to ensure participation in the correct process of purchasing a new tractor if needed.

The Economic and Community Development Committee discussed an update on the University Drive landscaping project. This project is funded by a grant from the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department along with Community Development Block Grant funds.

It plans to add benches, trees, plants, etc. from Martha Mitchell to the football stadium on Oliver Road. No exact date has been established for work to begin, but the committee will have the final plans for the landscaping by August 1 said Larry Matthews, Director of the Economic and Community Development Department. Cromwell and Associates is the engineering firm that will work on this project.

The committee also discussed emergency rehab projects to assist low income families with home repairs. According to Matthews, this project is funded by Community Development Block Grant funds. This project allows a maximum of $10,000 per unit for repairs on selected homes in the city of Pine Bluff.

The Public Works Committee discussed a roof replacement project that plans to replace roofs on all buildings on the south side of Barraque Street between Chestnut and Pine Street. Matthews says this project is funded by the Community Development Block Grant funds along with private investments made by the property owners.