Maumelle: City Council report

Last Monday, the Maumelle City Council reviewed the city’s financials through August 2021. 

Overall, the city is in good financial shape with total revenues coming in higher than budgeted and city expenses are lower than budgeted. Every city expense category is under budget so far in 2021 with the exception of City Services and this is due to the city paying insurance costs and software fees at the beginning of the year. I would expect this department to also be under budget by the end of the year. This category is only over budget by $876, so this is really a non-issue since several expenses in this budget item are front-loaded to the beginning of the year. Through eight months of the year, the city is $1.1 million ahead of where we budgeted for 2021. These numbers can shift from month to month since several revenue and expense items hit the bottom line at various points throughout the year. That said, I’m very comfortable with the position the city is in financially for 2021. As we go into budget season in the coming month, the city needs to take a hard look at our salary schedules for city employees. This is one of the most difficult labor markets our country has experienced, and the city is not immune to this challenge. Private employers and other city governments are competing for the same workforce, so it’s important for Maumelle to also remain competitive so that we can recruit, hire, and retain our city employees.

The first item of unfinished business this evening was the annexation of the Pinnacle Heights addition. This is a large tract of county land located to the west of Ridgeland Dr. and to the north of Breckenridge in Maumelle Valley Estates. There wasn’t much discussion on this agenda item since this was the 4th meeting where the issue has been discussed. Additionally, the developer held a public meeting several weeks ago where he presented the neighborhood plans to the community. Prior to the vote, Council Member Mosley read a section of code regarding ethics and encouraged council members with a conflict of interest to recuse themselves from the vote. I’m not aware of any council members that have a business relationship with this project or the landowner. The annexation passed by a vote of 6-2. Following the approval of the annexation, there were two other votes to set the zoning and land use of this annexation and those passed unanimously.

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The next item of business was the second reading of two ordinances to change the land use and zoning for property to the south of First Security Bank on Crystal Hill Road. A large project has been proposed for this site that will include independent living for seniors, assisted living, and a memory care unit. It is my opinion that this will be a very nice addition to our city and give senior citizens another housing option in Maumelle. Additionally, this project will add approximately 35 full time jobs with good salaries in the city. This project will be voted on at the Oct. 4 council meeting.

The last item of old business was an ordinance that would change sick leave accrual for our police department and restore it to the level it used to be back in 2020. Due to state law, the city had to reduce the number of hours our police officers were allowed to accrue. During the recent legislative session, state law was amended, and this now allows us to go back to the same level of sick leave that we previously offered.

Under new business, the council approved a resolution to place a lien on a property where the city has had to do maintenance and upkeep on the property. We also approved a resolution to accept grant money to pay for crisis intervention training for our first responders. The last item of new business was an ordinance that would make multi-family residences a conditional use in a Commercial-2 district. Currently, if a property is zoned C-2, then multi-family is allowed by right. This would make multi-family a conditional use in C-2 and subject to an additional review process that would require council approval.

That’s all for this week. Let me know if you have any questions or if I can be of service., 501-529-1336.