City Administrator Phillip Patterson presented the city board on Tuesday with a list of progress made on the 2021-2022 board goals.
The city board of directors chose 12 goals during a goal setting workshop held on May 14, 2020 for the city to work on during 2021 and 2022. The 12 goals chosen fell under the categories of growth/annexation, economic development, quality of life, environment, housing, streets, finance, planning and zoning, parks, communications and public works.
At the board meeting on July 7, the city directors approved the 2021-2022 city board goals. During Tuesday's meeting Patterson updated the progress the city has made. He did not go over every goal, instead choosing to just add the information to the board's packet and letting the directors read the information on their own.
Patterson did touch upon the economic development goal and said that Tugg Logistics from Gravette is opening a location in the old Franklin Electric Building on U.S. Highway 412.
They will be a Business-to-Business and Business-to-Consumer fulfillment center, according to Tugg Logistics President Joe Isabell. They are already fulfilling orders and Tugg Logistics has purchased the old Franklin Electric building, Isabell said.
The Siloam Springs location will primarily fill orders for businesses, Isabell said. For now they are looking to hire six people bringing the total number of employees to 15 or 20, Isabell said. Tugg Logistics is projecting on having 50 to 60 employees in a few years.
Progress on other board goals included work on the growth and quality of life goals.
Patterson and Community Development Director Don Clark were assigned to work on this goal. The purpose of the goal was to encourage voluntary and fiscally sound annexations into the city, according to the board goals list provided by Patterson.
Part of the process involved researching all existing annexation policies including those related to the extension of utilities the list states. Patterson said during the goal setting workshop one way to do this was to have rural water customers sign a pre-annexation agreement.
In some cases water boundaries extend beyond the city's electric boundary service, he said. The city would then buy out the electric contract from the rural resident's electric contract.
Current progress on this goal included approving Ordinance 21-01 on Feb. 2 which annexed 30 acres off of North Country Club Road for the Mission Hills subdivision.
The purpose of the economic development goal centered on attracting entrepreneurs and startup companies, small and large tech companies, and new retail and primary manufacturing jobs, the list states.
To accomplish this goal, the city would work with the chamber of commerce, Main Street Siloam Springs, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Retail Consultant Rickey Hayes to develop a promotional campaign to advertise what the city has to offer and programs to attract desired jobs, the list states.
As of January 2021, the city saw Sam's Furniture Outlet store open its doors in the old Bynum Home Furniture building which added nine new jobs, the list states. The city also issued 10 additional business licenses in the first quarter of 2021, the list states.
Quality of Life
Quality of life was the last goal the city has worked on to date. The purpose of this goal was to provide a broad range of artistic, multi-cultural and multi-generational activities and events; improve the water quality of Sager Creek and recognize its economic and quality of life potential; and conduct citizen surveys on a regular basis, the list states.
Currently, the only progress made on this goal involved working on Sager Creek. The city worked with Infrastructure Solutions Group to complete a study of the creek's deteriorating rock-lined walls and the impacts of the creek's eroding of its natural rock banks, Clark said.
The study was received by the city on Monday, Clark said. Staff will now convene and subject to the board's approval, nominate members to a committee consisting of property owners adjacent to the downtown creek and residents who will review all existing studies and develop a recommendation for how to best improve and develop Sager Creek in downtown, the list states.
In May, staff will present the nominations for committee members to the board for confirmation.
City directors also discussed and voted on the following items:
• Approving workshop minutes for the April 6 workshop.
• Approving the regular meeting minutes for the April 6 meeting.
• Dedication of utility easements for 2800 and 3000 Waukesha Road.
• Dedication of utility easements for 911 Ark. Hwy. 16.
• Approving a grant application from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the airport runway preliminary engineering report for the Airport Runway Pavement Rehabilitation project which will cost $82,700.
• Approving Resolution 12-21 regarding street and alleyway closures for the John Brown University Junior and Senior Banquet, 5A State Soccer Tournament, Lambert Wedding and Heritage Festival.
• Approving the appointments of the members of the Broadband Advisory Committee.
• Placing Ordinance 21-06 concerning the annexation of 25.57 acres at 23006 Lawlis Road on its second reading.
• First Quarter 2021 Reports from the chamber of commerce, history museum and Main Street Siloam Springs.
• Administrator's report.