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Several comical exchanges were evidence of a light agenda at the city's Board of Directors meeting on March 6. The meeting lasted 36 minutes and included an approval of a grant application for a van and early readings of two proposed ordinance amendments.

The most jovial moments came during talk about renewing an agreement with the Siloam Springs Fútbol Club to use the Sager Creek Soccer Complex.

"When I first read this, I thought it said 'foosball,'" said director Brad Burns. "And I got extremely excited, but as I read it again with my bifocals, I saw it was 'fútbol.'"

Mayor John Mark Turner chimed in after a few chuckles at Burns' comment.

"In our staff meeting, I read it as 'futsal,' and I'm thinking 'wait a minute.' I was adding an 's' in there," Turner said.

Later, during administrator Phillip Patterson's comments, he had this to add:

"On the note of foosball, since you brought it up, I just want to go on the record that I'm officially the 1981 Arkansas State Foosball Champion, so I'm just putting that out there," Patterson said.

Sounds like city staff should put together a foosball tourney for charity in the near future as Mayor Turner joked with Patterson about "what grade were you in in '81?' He then added a story about an old foosball table at his house. A church group used tape to fix a broken piece and had "taken a marker and named it Lieutenant Dan," after a character from the movie, Forrest Gump.

"A little levity," Turner said. "We're getting out of here early tonight."

The board unanimously approved the agreement and director Steve Beers asked parks and recreation director John Bolles if more kids played soccer than "even baseball" in town. Bolles said he didn't have exact numbers, but believed that to be true while saying, "upwards of 600 or 700 kids" have signed up to play soccer. The agreement will cover two terms for the club's usage of the facilities for its spring and fall seasons.

"The fútbol club provides recreational soccer for our youth, up through high school age, something that our parks and (recreation department) currently does not offer," Bolles said. "They do a good job and I think the state titles the high school is showing shows that as well."

Community Development Director Don Clark gained board approval to apply for an 80/20 matching grant from the Arkansas Department of Transportation to purchase a "taxi van." The city currently has two vans that provide rides to disabled and seniors citizens. Only one is handicap accessible.

"Depending on what's going on on any given day, a taxi driver may have to come back and switch the van to the handicap accessible van to transport people who are in a wheel chair," Clark said. "What we're looking to do is go to a van that will do both. Be handicap accessible as well as being easy to get in and out of, because that's kind of the complaint we hear with the larger one.

"It's hard for some elderly to get in and out of because it's higher up off the ground."

If the grant is approved, the city would only be responsible for about $9,200 of the estimated cost of $46,000 for a new van. That would come out of the 2019 budget, Clark said.

The board heard the second reading of a proposed amendment to city ordinance that will simplify electrical inspection fees. It would make the fee structure "more user-friendly and comparable to surrounding cities," said city electrical director Phil Stokes.

The first reading of an ordinance to rezone property located at 609 North Gunter Street also was heard. The applicant is requesting the zone change from I-1 Industrial to C1-A Light Commercial to construct a shop/office building at the location.

Both readings will be heard again during the board's next meeting, which is scheduled for March 20.

General News on 03/11/2018

Print Headline: 'Levity' highlights board's agenda

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