Trumann council talks dilapidated buildings

Sunday, February 14, 2016

During their February meeting, the Trumann City Council passed several resolutions and ordinances and discussed dilapidated properties.

Regarding condemnations which had been tabled previously, the council discussed a house on Pine Street which caught fire in 2014. Code Enforcement Officer Gary Anderson said a lot of work has been done to the outside of the house, though there is still a lot of work to be done on the inside. A resolution of condemnation was originally given to the owner in May of 2015. Anderson recommended rescinding the resolution, though Mayor Barbara Lewallen voiced concern that nothing will happen if the council lets up the pressure since nothing was done to the property for a year, and it wasn't until the council threatened condemnation that work happened on the house.

Many council members suggested giving the owner more time and consulting City Attorney Jimmy Gazaway on the legal aspects of the situation, including how much time is reasonable to give the owner. Mayor Lewallen agreed to consult with Gazaway and report back.

Another building up for condemnation is at 518 Speedway. The owner has a buyer who wants to tear it down, but they are waiting on a release deed from Bank of America before they can proceed. Alderman Mike Sullivan suggested giving him another 30 days but said if the deal the owner has with this buyer falls through, the council should not wait on another deal.

Another property, 124 Campbell, is set to be condemned. Mayor Lewallen said there would be a resolution on that next meeting.

On resolutions and ordinances, the council:

*approved a resolution waiving competitive bidding for two sewer lift stations not to exceed $38,000 each.

*approved a resolution removing items from police inventory which are no longer in use.

*heard the first reading on an ordinance recognizing that Charles Jones, a Trumann police officer, is a vendor of services to the city. Jones, owner of Jones Knows, maintains the police department's Watchguard mobile camera system.

*heard the first reading on an ordinance recognizing that James Hickey, a Trumann firefighter, is a vendor of services to the city. Hickey owns Custom Communications, which provides FireText--an emergency messaging system for notifying first responders and firefighters of emergency incidents.

*heard the first reading of an ordinance on water conservation. The ordinance allows for lawn irrigation to be limited in the case of emergencies on the recommendation of Trumann Water Works with the approval of the mayor. If they deemed it was necessary, lawn irrigation could be limited so that people with even-numbered addresses can only water on even days and people with odd-numbered addresses could only water on odd days. Everyone would also be prohibited from lawn watering between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. The mayor said these rules would not go into effect unless Trumann Waterworks decided the city faced a crucial situation requiring water conservation.

*approved an ordinance amending the budget for 2015. Total revenue for 2015 was $7,379,294, and total appropriations were $5,439,734.

*Approved a resolution to purchase a 2014 Dodge Ram for the Parks and Recreation Department at $22,984.

*Approved a resolution to purchase a 2016 Chevrolet Tahoe for the police department at a state contract price of $36,347.

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