The Pine Bluff City Council on Monday will hear the first reading of a proposed ordinance that would give businesses located in Pine Bluff a preference when they bid on commodities — things necessary to operate the government.
The council will meet at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall. The proposed ordinance, up for its first reading and sponsored by Alderman Bill Brumett, says that state law allows cities to give a preference to local businesses under certain circumstances, and the council wants to implement such a policy to promote local economic growth.
The proposed ordinance lists items such as equipment, printing, stationary, supplies, materials, goods and other things required for public purposes It does not include leases on real property, or an interest in real property.
In order to qualify, the companies would have to maintain at least one staffed place of business in the city limits for not less than two consecutive years before submitting a bid, would have to have paid taxes to the county that benefits the city, such as real or personal property taxes, have a valid business license and submit the lowest “qualified bid” that confirms to specifications and requests for bids.
Put simply, local firms submitting bids would get a 5 percent break up to $100,000, meaning that their bid would be reduced by 5 percent when compared to bids from companies not located in Pine Bluff. Up for a second reading is a proposed ordinance to waive competitive bidding and allow Mayor Shirley Washington to sign a contract with TLC Communications to evaluate the city’s land line telephone system and identify areas of potential savings.
A chart submitted with the proposed ordinance showed that the city paid $97,668.57 to AT&T in 2015, $108,041.60 in 2016 and through September of this year has paid $95,146.69.
The proposed agreement between the city and Trisha Childress, the owner of TLC Communications, calls for Childress to be paid 20 percent of the annual land line savings on bills over a 12-month period and 20 percent of any refunds for charges on the bill that were removed by the phone company. Up for a first reading Monday will be a proposed ordinance to adopt the latest edition of the electrical code of the National Fire Safety Protection Association. This ordinance will replace the last edition of the electric la code that was approved by the council several years ago. Other items on the agenda include:
• A proposed ordinance to rezone approximately 4.77 acres at 6301 S. Olive Street from residential to highway commercial. The property is located past the Walmart Supercenter on U.S. Highway 63 at Vontunglen Road and on Oct. 31, the Pine Bluff Planning Commission approved the rezoning 7-0.
• A resolution restoring funding for the position of purchasing manager for the city at a salary and fringe benefits of $55,000 plus a three-percent raise that all city employees will receive in 2018.
• A resolution authorizing the Mayor to sell property the city owns near the 5800 block of West 6th Avenue to Demetrius Melvin for $600.