Condemned houses big issue at council meeting

Friday, April 20, 2018

The condemning of houses was the top issue during the Trumann City Council's monthly meeting Tuesday.

Four houses were set for condemnation with the first being at 120 Campbell Street. Carl Wilson told the council that he has bought the house and is in the process of taking it down. The second house was at 504 Harrison and owned by Bob Stotts. Even with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) saying that the house is uninhabitable from the manufacture of methamphetamine, the issue was tabled for 30 days for Stotts to find someone who can give a clean bill on house. The third house was at 509 Harrison and had fire damage. The owner, Raymond Hill asked for 60 days to fix the repairs and have it ready to rent. Councilman Brett Parker recommended giving Hill 90 days to fix the repairs on the house, which was passed. The last house was a trailer at 404 Locust also owned by Stotts. Captain Gary Henry, Civil Enforcement Officer, said it would probably cost more to fix than what the property was worth. Stotts said it wasn't in that bad of shape, and he could have it looking good in just a few weeks if he was given the time. Councilman James Baker suggested giving him 90 days to make repairs, but the issue went to a vote with a 5-4 vote to condemn the structure. This brought several comments from some in the audience with bantering back and forth with some of the council members.

In other new news, May has been proclaimed as National Preservation and Arkansas Heritage month my Mayor Barbara Lewallen, and April 14 has been proclaimed at Oscar Williams Day as Mr. Williams will turn 100 years old on that day.

A resolution was passed for the city to revise its City Comprehensive Plan with help from the East Arkansas Planning District. The Trumann Industrial Development Commission has agreed to pay 50 percent of the cost, up to $20,000, for the plan. A resolution was passed to waive competitive bidding for a new Gorman Rupp sewer left station to replace the Ballard Flower lift station at a cost of $42,546.79. The council also approved a resolution to remove a 2016 Mack GU713 from its inventory as it will be traded in for a new truck. Also approved was a resolution for the city to utilize Federal-Aid Transportation Alternatives Program Funds to help with the Trumann's Safe Routes to School project. It will be 80 percent federal participation and 20 percent local match.

Public Works Director Scotty Jones reminded everyone that this week is the city wide clean-up week, and things have gone well so far with the pickups.

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