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City Council moves start time up one hour

Public comment time provided by Annette Beard | January 24, 2023 at 10:00 a.m.

City Council meetings will begin at 6 p.m., one hour earlier than 7 p.m. as previously.

Council member Ginger Larsen, during the Tuesday, Jan. 17, City Council meeting, said: "I'm concerned about why we meet at 7 p.m."

"We wouldn't want to go earlier than 6 p.m. This is really for the citizens, not for us," Nadine Telgemeier, council member, said.

"Many people get off work at 5 p.m. and need time to go home and have dinner," Steve Guthrie, council member, said.

Council member Cody Keene said he was fine with 6:30.

Larsen made a motion for the time to be changed in the rules of orders and procedures adopted the first meeting of every year. Jeff Neil seconded the motion. It passed unanimously.

A time for public comment was added to the rules and procedures, providing three minutes per speaker for no more than 20 minutes total. The time allocates time for topics that do not appear on the agenda. Speakers must identify themselves for the record. "Unrecognized comments from the audience are prohibited," according to the rules and procedures.

In accordance with the plan to meet monthly as a committee of the whole prior to City Council meetings, it was established that items for the agenda are to be submitted to the office of the mayor no later than 12 days prior to the City Council meeting. It was agreed that items may be added with the mayor's approval.

The rules and procedures also authorized virtual City Council meetings allowing council members to assemble, gather, meet and conduct open public meetings after proper notice has been given to the public and ensuring the public's right to attend by being able to listen to the proceedings and discussions.

Most items presented elicited very little discussion, as most business was discussed at the Council Committee of the Whole meeting the previous week. One item, the waiving of competitive bidding for a truck for the Water Department, was discussed as a specific truck had not been identified. Approval was based on the amount of money budgeted ($60,000) in the Water Department budget for a vehicle.

An ordinance authorizing the charge for lift assists by the personnel of the Pea Ridge Fire-EMS Department was approved unanimously. The ordinance establishes the rate for services charged to be $300 per call for a health care facility and $100 per call, subject to waiver of fees on the discretion of the fire chief.

A resolution authorizing the mayor and city officials to purchase property on South Harvey Wakefield in order to correct drainage problems in the Givens Subdivision was approved. The contract authorizes the purchase of 1.45 acres from Visitor center Properties LLC for $19,500.

Council members approved the transfer of $300,000 from the Street Department impact fees to the Street Department budget. There is about $1.2 million in impact fees, according to city officials.

An ordinance was approved waiving competitive bidding for four vehicles for the Police Department. The purchases were planned and budgeted. Due to a limited supply, the waiver was approved allowing Chief Lynn Hahn to purchase them from Superior Automotive Group of Northwest Arkansas for $38,100 and to "upfit" each with $10,247.42 in additional pursuit and emergency equipment. The total price is $193,389.68.

City officials also approved waiving competitive bidding to purchase a 2022 Dodge Durango SXT AWD for $38,545 from Superior Automotive Group of Northwest Arkansas for the city administration. According to documents, city officials have looked for available vehicles without success.

A 2019 street grader will be purchased with a loan from Arvest Bank for $245,500. Jeff Neil, president of Pea Ridge Arvest, recused himself and abstained from voting. The loan is not from the Pea Ridge Arvest. The city was leasing a 2019 John Deer 672 GP Grader from Stribling Equipment of Northwest Arkansas for $2,676.54 per month but that price was expected to increase to $4,700 per month.

Mayor Nathan See said the purchase would cost the city less than the lease.

Print Headline: City Council moves start time up one hour

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