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A document providing updates on the city board's 2017-2018 goals was recently uploaded to the city website.

Adopted on Feb. 21, 2017, the board's 2017-2018 goals consisted of seven general topics. Each are accompanied by one or more objectives that are followed by analyses that detail how that objective is to be accomplished. Listed below is each goal along with some notable noteworthy aspects of the progress made in relation to one or more of the objectives.

Editor’s note: The following information does not pertain to stories that were recently published by the Herald-Leader regarding city board goals. Those articles were about the recently-adopted board goals they aim to achieve during 2019 and 2020, while the following information is in regards to goals that were adopted for 2017 and 2018.

Economic/Downtown Development

One objective for this goal was aimed at attracting new businesses to Siloam Springs, fostering growth in the city's existing businesses and constructing residential developments that allow for more equal housing opportunities for all members of the community, according to a city staff report. By nature, such an objective will be ongoing, but the progress made in 2017 and 2018 reflects that it has largely been a success, as 17 businesses have opened their doors during this time period.

Some of these include the Simmons Wet Food Plant, Newk's Eatery, Heavenly Stitches, Cornerstone Academy and Ziggywurst. Businesses currently in the construction process and/or awaiting planning or design approval from the city include Lykins Pharmacy and Reliable Poultry, according to a city staff report. There are also a number of residential development proposals that have recently been approved or awaiting approval, such as the Sweet Home Subdivision, which would be located at the intersection of North Mount Olive Street and North Carl Street and would consist of 48 single family homes, or expanding the Summerhill Apartment complex.

Planning

Determining ways to annex land outside city limits was another priority for 2017-2018 and during that time, the city annexed a total of 224.74 acres of developed and undeveloped land, according to a city staff report. This acquisition came from three separate areas; with 18.74 acres at Camp Siloam, 37 at the Kayak Park and 169 at City Lake.

In addition, the city has also held two meetings with residents of the Heritage Ranch Addition near Lawlis Road to encourage their annexation into the city, according to a city staff report. The proposal, however, was met with minimal support the first time and even after city staff re-evaluated their presentation of the idea and the surface area that would be annexed, only 43 percent of homeowners signed the petition the second time around, leaving the city eight percent short of the required 51 percent.

City staff is eyeing the approval of a residential development proposal that would be located south of Eastern Hills subdivision and southeast of Benton County Sales Barn, according to a city staff report. The proposal would create 112 dwelling units and its annexation into city limits will be required for its approval.

Finance

The only objective stipulated for this goal sought to determine the funding source for upgrades at the city's water treatment plant, which are expected to cost about $30 million, according to a city staff report. On Feb. 22, the board approved an ordinance that allowed for a citywide vote to take place on May 22 -- as that was the day for the primary elections -- that asked residents whether they would be in favor of extending the 5/8ths-cent sales tax to pay for the upgrades.

Residents showed overwhelming support for the extension of the tax, with 992 in favor and 152 against, according to a city staff report. City staff has since made considerable headway in their effort to begin the process. More recently, the board approved a contract that will allow the funding needed to pay for a portion of the preliminary designs during their Oct. 2 meeting.

Parks and Recreation

Two objectives were listed for this goal, the first being the need to develop a plan for routine maintenance of both park and "park-like," areas, according to a city staff report. This is measured by assessing the amount of maintenance or upkeep among the city's various parks and natural landscapes, and city staff has created a preliminary plan that is in the process of being finalized and is expected to be presented to the board during the 4th quarter of the year.

There's also plans underway to replace a portion of the grass median on U.S. Highway 412 with trees and shrubs to increase aesthetic quality, according to a city staff report. An update on the project was given at the end of the board's Oct. 16 meeting, where Community Development Director Don Clark said city staff received initial approval from the Arkansas Department of Transportation for the project and that they "feel very strongly" they will receive a grant from the Walton Family Foundation to pay for about $263,000 of the $350,000 total estimated cost. If the city receives this grant, the next steps will be to bring it to the board for acceptance and submit the project for construction bids.

Infrastructure

The only objective given for this goal was to create a master plan for street and sidewalk maintenance that ranks the condition of the city's streets and sidewalks on a scale of low to high priority for repairs and/or replacements, according to a city staff report. City staff accomplished this and produced a plan that details the condition of the 114 miles of streets and 57 miles of sidewalks that currently exist within city limits, and subsequently developed a matrix that determines which ones deserve the most attention. The document is formally referred to as the Street and Sidewalk Maintenance and Repair Master Plan, it was adopted by the board during their July 3 meeting and for more information, its full version can be accessed on the city's website.

Public Safety

The focus of this goal was to determine the fate of Fire Station No. 2, according to a city staff report. This resulted in ongoing discussions about the pros and cons that come along with either leaving it in its current location or relocating it to a city-owned property located at 751 Heritage Court. City staff recommended that the station remain at its current location at 100 S. Mt. Olive St. and be renovated instead of relocated. The recommendation was unanimously supported by the board and during their Oct. 2 meeting, architectural renderings were presented depicting what the newly-renovated station would look like. The next step will be to submit the project for construction bids.

Sanitation

The only goal recommended by the board for sanitation was to determine a way to move the recycling bins at the city's transfer station to outside the fenced area so that people could dispose of recyclable items during non-business hours, according to a city staff report. This was completed and the bins were moved outside of the fence in early April.

To access the complete report, look for the tab that reads "Update on 2017-2018 Board Goals," on the home page of siloamsprings.com.

General News on 11/04/2018

Print Headline: 2017-2018 board goals: Progress update

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