City funds diverted for street sweeper, paving

City officials have rescinded their commitment to spend $226,510 on improvements to William D. Jones Boulevard and voted instead to divert those funds to the purchase of a street sweeper and paving projects along Marty and Eldad roads.

Prompting the action was a deadline to spend $43,510 of the $226,510 this year, said Mayor John Ed Underwood during the Fayetteville Board of Mayor and Aldermen’s July meeting, and that wouldn’t be feasible since obstacles continue to stall the city’s progress on William D. Jones Boulevard. In particularly, the city is having a difficult time getting all the easements needed for the project to begin.

And since the city wouldn’t be able to get the project underway in time to spend the funds this year, the city was faced with either losing the $43,510 in matching state and federal Surface Transportation Program (STP) funds or reallocating them to another use. The remaining $183,000 in funding for the project had come from the city’s issue of bonds last year.

Now, those funds, plus a few thousand more, will assist in the acquisition of a street sweeper and repaving a portion of Marty and Eldad roads – the cost of a street sweeper has been estimated at $170,500, while the paving projects are estimated at $60,000, according to action taken by the board, for a total of $230,500.

In other business, board members voted to delay action on an ordinance that would require residents to obtain a prescription for medicines containing pseudoephedrine. Board members scheduled an informational meeting on the matter for this past Monday morning, saying they would then discuss the matter during their August work session.

The board voted to ratify their action of hiring the new city administrator, including with the action acceptance of various aspects of the arrangement. The new administrator, who also serves as city clerk, is an employee at will of the body.

The rezoning of South Elk Avenue property from commercial to residential status. A public hearing had been held prior to the board’s meeting, during which no opposition was voiced.

Additionally, board members amended the city’s pay scale, making the scale match with levels held by city employees. The action did not result in any raises, said Tonya Steelman, city finance director, during the meeting.

The board also adopted a cell phone policy, which allows employees in certain positions to be reimbursed $30 for voice and text messaging, or $55 if a data package is required, to those using their personal cell phones for city business.

In final business, the board made the following appointments and reappointments: Janine Wilson and Glen Oldham to the Fayetteville Public Utilities board of directors, Danny Shelton and Myron Parks to the Fayetteville Regional Planning Commission.

A number of parade permits were also issued, including Spooky Tails, set for Oct. 12, Trail of Tears Walk, Oct. 26, and the Kiwanis Reindeer Run, Nov. 9.

Posted on Thursday, July 25, 2013 at 6:23 am