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The city's board of directors approved a public works department purchase and ordinances during its meeting Tuesday night.

Mayor John Mark Turner was absent; Vice Mayor Reid Carroll conducted the meeting.

The purchase was for a mini excavator with a dump trailer for $113,504.42 from Riggs Caterpillar. Danny Farine, water services superintendent, said the excavator will help crews navigate smaller spaces and the dump trailer will act as a way to haul the excavator and debris to and from job sites, ultimately reducing the number of workers per job.

Directors also approved a memorandum of understanding between the Siloam Springs School District and police department for school resource officers. Chief Jim Wilmeth said the only changes made to the memorandum were to modify the agreement to reflect the salaries of the five resource officers currently in the positions.

The district is expected to reimburse the city for one-half of the annual salaries, payroll taxes and retirement for the officers involved in the school resource officer program, an estimated $155,995.91, according to a staff report. The district is also expected to reimburse the city $4,000 per position for vehicle maintenance and officer equipment, according to a staff report.

The 2019-2020 agreement was approved by the school district on July 16, according to a staff report.

Directors also adopted a City Lake management plan. According to city staff, the city's parks department maintenance crew will be responsible for overseeing the execution of the plan. The plan was created by Amy Smith, owner of SEARCH (Smith Environmental Research Consulting House) and former city director, pro bono, to provide guidance for future development of the lake and surrounding area. The plan outlines features of the area, working with local agencies to manage fisheries and wildlife, educate visitors about the natural resources and more.

Directors also approved, and adopted, an ordinance amending a section of the city's code to rezone 3303 Cheri Whitlock Drive and the 1500 block of Stephens Road from an agricultural area to commercial and residential area.

Directors also approved an ordinance amending a section of the city's code to rezone a portion of Kenwood Street from an agricultural area to a residential area. However, directors Marla Sappington, ward 3, Lesa Rissler, ward 4, and Bob Coleman, at large, voted against approving a preliminary plat development permit for the Somerset Addition, slated for the 3000 block of East Kenwood Street, associated with the ordinance.

The motion passed because directors Mindy Hunt, ward 1, Brad Burns, ward 2, Reid Carrol, at large, and Carol Smiley, at large, voted yes.

During public comment, residents near the project approached the directors and expressed concerns related to increased traffic and current East Kenwood Street road conditions. When construction is completed, city staff expects traffic to be at 67 percent of what the road is capable of sustaining.

The Somerset Addition is expected to span 25 acres and be developed into 74 single family lots.

A few of the same residents also spoke against a preliminary plat development permit for the Grandview Addition at 3901 East Kenwood Street, citing the same concerns.

Directors approved the development permit, but not before thanking the residents for speaking out about their concerns.

"Development causes an action and sometimes it's a reaction from the citizens voicing their concern," Director Burns said. "We take that to the county. You have had no action out there, for decades, and now we have action."

Director Hunt said he hopes the discussion about the condition of Kenwood Street can be an opportunity to make improvements.

In other business, the board:

• Heard a public comment about concerns of potential damage to area trees and the Illinois River caused by the kayak park.

• Met the artist, Yatika Fields, selected to paint the mural featured in Memorial Park.

• Heard comments from City Administrator Phillip Patterson about Lake Francis Drive construction. The city's public Works Department purchased about $46,000 worth of storm drainage pipes to start the project. Lake Francis Drive will be closed from Azlin Place eastward to Highway 59 beginning Aug. 8 to begin the rebuild of the street, Patterson said. Patterson expects construction to take until the end of the year should weather not hold out.

General News on 08/11/2019

Print Headline: Directors approve department purchase, ordinances

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