Tyronza city council considers privilege tax

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Tyronza could soon see a privilege tax on the books in order to increase revenue for the city. At the city council meeting last week, city attorney Noyl Houston reviewed a compilation of categories and amounts of privilege taxes from surrounding cities.

"You can debate these and maybe come up with some different amounts," Houston said. "This is not something you want to pass tonight, but just something to look over."

The members of the council were encouraged to take the rough draft home to review and to make suggestions for any changes at next month's meeting.

The privilege tax could prove to help to make up for the loss of city revenue previously gained through traffic patrols on the highway. According to Mayor Marion Bearden, since the work to the highway, it has been a limited access road and the city must have approval from the state police to patrol Highway 63, the future Interstate 555.

"We have written a letter to Col. Dozier of the state police for permission to patrol," Bearden said. "Right now we are kind of in limbo. He is waiting on a bill currently in legislation concerning the patrol of limited access highways and has not declined our request."

Col. Dozier will also be visiting the area to assess the need, according to Bearden.

"Out of courtesy we will back off the highway until we learn what is decided," Bearden said. "I am also trying to touch base with the representative presenting the bill to learn what will transpire with this. We should know something in March."

"We are cutting back any way we can to save money," she added.

The Department of Arkansas Heritage recently evaluated the city to determine if it was qualified for grants from the department. According to Bearden, the grants are available for repairing and restoring historic buildings and businesses.

"We fall in the category for a historic district," Bearden said, "We were within 16 out of 20 guidelines they reviewed. I will keep you advised of what I learn concerning these grants."

After speaking with the current Girl Scout leaders, Bearden learned that the troop was only utilizing the Girl Scout hut two times per month and questioned them about the possibility of sharing the hut with a library for the city.

"The girls could still meet there," Bearden said. "They are willing to share it with the library."

In other business the council:

*Considered the upcoming Stars and Stripes Jubilee and discussed the need for a committee to start to work on the city's festival. Chief of Police Tony Turner volunteered to help form the committee. "I think it's a great thing for the town and the kids really enjoy it," Turner said.

*Agreed to allow the city clerk, Donna Wood, to handle city business during the absence of the mayor for a 10 day trip for LeadAR.

*Was updated on the lighting problem at the BP station. According to Bearden, the light glaring into the opposite street was addressed by the owner and corrected.

*Discussed the recent meeting held at the new museum.

*Reviewed and approved the minutes from last month's meeting.

*Reviewed and approved the financial expenditures from last month.

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