The Pine Bluff City Council on Monday will consider several resolutions concerning the Go Forward Pine Bluff tax money, including one which would give the council the authority to decide which projects should be funded.
The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m.
Sponsored by Alderwoman Thelma Walker, the resolution calls for rescinding funds allocated in the 2018 city budget, which the council adopted Dec. 4, and was projected to be $4,420,961.
According to the resolution, “It is the desire of the City Council to individually evaluate each project prior to allocating any monies to fund the project.”
The resolution goes on to say that “the City Council shall individually vet each project to determine whether it chooses to approve future allocations.”
In addition to Walker’s proposal, Alderman Bruce Lockett is sponsoring several resolutions dealing with the Go Forward tax money, including one to establish a five-eighths cent sales tax oversight committee.
The resolution said that citizen involvement in reviewing the city’s budgeting process related to spending the money “would assist the city in its goals of ensuring that the public is well informed of the City’s operations and use of these funds,” and “The Mayor and City Council believes that a citizen oversight committee would assist the City in furthering its commitment to transparency related to the use of these funds.”
Lockett is proposing that the advisory committee consist of nine people, one appointed by each of the eight members of the council and the ninth by the Mayor. Members must be over the age of 18, live in Pine Bluff and cannot work for the city, be a member of the council or work for any vendor, contractor or vendor with active contracts with the city.
He is also sponsoring a resolution that calls for treating each request for money from the tax as a separate budget adjustment and another which calls for a public hearing of the council on each request “at a time convenient to the general public.”
Still on the subject of the Go Forward tax money, Alderman Glen Brown Jr. is sponsoring a resolution allocating most of the $300,000 in the 2018 budget designated for promoting festivals and the like as a way to generate economic development by attracting people which would increase tax revenue.
The proposed resolution includes eight separate events, including the following, which have been approved for funding, and the amount allocated for each:CrossRoads Festival, tentatively scheduled for Feb. 22 - 24, $12,753 allocated.Downtown Blues, Batter and Brew, tentatively scheduled May 26, $80,000 allocated.Smoke on the Water, tentatively scheduled June 1 - 2, $50,000 allocated.Pop Up in the Bluff, tentatively scheduled late September, early October, $5,000 allocated.Homecoming Concert , tentatively scheduled middle October, $50,000 allocated.RodeoFest, tentatively scheduled September, $21,000 allocated.Christmas Fest, tentatively scheduled December, $40,000 allocated.Basketball Tournament, tentatively scheduled December, $30,000 allocated.
Also on the agenda, Walker is sponsoring a resolution calling for the city to acquire the currently vacant properties at 2100 E. Harding Ave., and 2700 E. Harding Ave., “to be used for public purposes, via purchase, contribution or eminent domain.”
“This authorization includes acquisition via public auction by the Arkansas Land Commissioner which is tentatively scheduled for May 30, 2018,” the resolution says.
Other items on the agenda include:An ordinance increasing the clothing allowance for Pine Bluff Police and Firefighters from $600 to $800 annually, up for a second reading.An ordinance modifying the personal leave policies for police officers and adding up to four additional days for officers with more than 20 years of service.A resolution appointing Lanelle Roberts to the board of trustees of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System.A resolution appointing Alisa Smith to the board of trustees of the Pine Bluff/Jefferson County Library System.A resolution authorizing Mayor Shirley Washington to contract with McClelland Consulting Engineers to provide professional services for extending the city sanitary sewer system from North Hutchinson Street along the south side of West Barraque Street to Bryant Street.A resolution authorizing the Mayor to contract with JCON of Little Rock , which was the lowest bidder on a project relating to the Southwood Elementary School sidewalk project.A resolution authorizing the director of the Economic and Community Development Department to apply for a credit card to facilitate making arrangements for travel , lodging and food expenses incurred which attending training.