A proposed ordinance setting out guidelines for the naming of municipal properties, streets and the like will be read for the first time when the Pine Bluff City Council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday.
Sponsored by council member Bruce Lockett, the proposed ordinance provides among other things that the naming of the property or street should be based on criteria including if the individual made a significant and lasting contribution to the economic development or civic life of the city or was involved in a historical event of note to the city.
Other criteria for naming included the individual devoted a significant amount of time and effort to a city project, has given extraordinary service to the city and community and has attained national or international recognition for positive achievements.
The city council has the final authority to name and rename all city-owned properties and streets and to designate commemorative property or street names and plaques.
The proposed ordinance was actually drafted in October when the council was considering naming a fire station in the Dollarway area for a retired firefighter who worked at that station but was discussed in committee for the first time last week when members of the Traffic and Aviation Committee recommended the full council approve the measure.
On the subject of naming property or streets, a resolution on the agenda Monday would designate East 16th Avenue between Ohio and Indiana Streets as Jim Hill Way in honor of the late Hill, “whose lifetime dedication to the sport of baseball in the city made Pine Bluff known throughout Arkansas and the United States as a baseball hotbed.”
The resolution goes on to say “Jim Hill’s tireless efforts led to Taylor Field hosting regional and state Babe Ruth and other amateur baseball games and tournaments; regional and state high school tournaments and professional baseball games when Pine Bluff had minor league professional baseball.”
That resolution is sponsored by council member Ivan Whitfield.
Lockett is also sponsoring a resolution which would create a “Pine Bluff/Jefferson County National Heritage Trails Taskforce.”
According to the resolution, “Pine Bluff has a number of existing buildings, structures, properties and waterways connected to important motifs in U.S. History but has not developed them as interpretive points of interest to educate the public and enhance tourism.”
It goes on to say “the Creation and development of quality interpretive mediums in Pine Bluff which connect to national heritage trails can elevate Pine Bluff/Jefferson County’s history and can attract the interest of national and international tourists.”
A resolution adopting the city’s 2020 municipal budget of $54.3 million including $33.2 million in general revenue is also on the agenda as is a resolution to accept a $384,000 grant from the Arkansas Department of Transportation for the Grant Street Multi-Trail project between West 13th and West 6th Street in the Coleman School area, and a resolution authorizing Mayor Shirley Washington to execute a contract with Civil Engineering Associates, Inc., to continue their work on drainage problems in the city and proposed alternatives for remedial action.
The council will also consider several budget adjustments including the acceptance of a grant of $1,500 from U.S. Master’s Swimming Inc. to pay for an adult-learn-to-swim program at the Aquatic Center; $2,000 from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation to buy uniforms, materials and field trips for youth in the Police Explorer Program and $2,000 from the Pine Bluff Area Community Foundation for the Pine Bluff Fire Department to sponsor a communications/recruitment project for 18-year old fire department applicants.
Another budget adjustment of $20,000 in carry-over funds from the 2017 Sales Tax (Go Forward Pine Bluff) is to pay the costs of an additional grant writer to write eight grant applications in a one-year period.