Virtual meetings have been the recommended choice for local governments and the Pine Bluff City Council set a standard, holding their first virtual meeting Monday evening via Zoom.

Virtual meetings have been the recommended choice for local governments and the Pine Bluff City Council set a standard, holding their first virtual meeting Monday evening via Zoom.

Council members interacted live via video conference while the general public was able to access the meeting by calling the meeting phone number provided by Mayor Shirley Washington on her Facebook page.

All members were present as the council addressed one ordinance and nine resolutions during Monday’s virtual city council meeting.

Prior to the meeting during the committee meetings, the members decided to read the first item on the agenda once by title only and group the names together in a one-time read for resolutions five through ten.

An ordinance amending the code of ordinance of the city of Pine Bluff, Arkansas amending and restating chapter 13, section 13-47 of the Pine Bluff Code of ordinances concerning gross receipts tax collection and enforcement; and for other purposes was read once.

The 17-page long amendment was placed on the calendar.

A resolution authorizing the mayor to execute a memorandum of understanding with the Pine Bluff/ Jefferson County Library System for completion of sidewalk and drainage work consistent with the city’s streetscape project along Main Street in front of the new library and related purposes was approved by all members.

Council member Win Trafford was recused from the vote but stated towards the end of the meeting that adding the emergency clause needed to be addressed and accepted now so it could effectively belong to the city and not the highway department.

Trafford said the emergency clause was connected with agenda item number two, which the council had approved already.

According to the city attorney, the emergency clause item needed to be on the agenda.

A council member inquired what the emergency was and Trafford explained the price would increase.

The Library System has proposed to the city that its contractor perform the planned improvements on Main Street, consistent with Streetscape project requirements and specifications, for the same cost it is estimated the city would incur if done by the city.

The city would pay the Library System $39,807.00 for its assumption of part of the Streetscape work.

Council member Ivan Whitfield said the connection of the agenda items should have been known upfront which Trafford replied, they were all packaged together.

A decision was made for the city attorney to add the language and amend the ordinance in time for a special called meeting, which was scheduled for today, Wednesday, at 1:30 pm.

A resolution authorizing the mayor to negotiate a contract with Civil Engineering Associates LLC for work regarding the Grant Street Multi-use Trail Project was approved.

A resolution authorizing the mayor to negotiate a contract with Crafton Tull for work regarding the Plum Street Drainage Project was also approved by council members.

A resolution was approved appointing the following members to the Pine Bluff/ Jefferson County National Heritage Trails Task Force:

Janice Cook

Jimmy Cunningham Jr.

Mary Ann Lee

John Mitchell

Carlo Powell

Rickey Lee Williams