This week’s meeting started off with the mayor introducing Ms. Beatriz Souza, who will be taking over for Liz Mathis as our city’s finance director. Ms. Mathis is leaving the city for a role in the private sector and I’m very happy to see her with this new opportunity. Ms. Mathis has done a tremendous job getting our finance department back on track with timely and accurate reporting. Ms. Souza moved to Maumelle recently after living in Miami for many years. It’s great to have her on board and I look forward to getting to know her in the coming months.
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In old business, the council approved the annexation of land to the north of White Oak Crossing. Most of this land is in a floodway and will never be developed, but the owner wanted to bring the land into Maumelle in order to protect it from development. Most of this area lies within White Oak Bayou so it’s important to preserve and protect this property.
In new business, the council approved several budget resolutions. The first was a request from the Police Department to use $60,000 from the Drug Control Fund to purchase a license plate reader system. This system is already in use by neighboring cities and is in place currently along Maumelle Boulevard in North Little Rock. With Maumelle also participating in the system, it will allow our police department to receive alerts when vehicles reported as stolen cross into Maumelle. Another feature is that a car involving an Amber Alert for a missing child would also trigger an alert if the vehicle enters or leaves our city.
The remaining five resolutions were largely administrative in nature so I won’t go into a lot of detail here. The list included:
Moving money between funds to pay for our new all-inclusive playground.
Correcting a salary error for a position in the Planning Department.
Approving additional funds for part-time help in the Finance Department to assist with the transition between directors.
Authorizing the 2022 Audit to be completed by Forvis.
Amending our budget to provide additional funds for audit services.
Last on the agenda was a discussion item regarding the future of Park on the River. This property has been owned by the city for a number of years and was leased to Team Summit who would host events and/or weddings at the facility. This contract expired in November of 2020 and was never renewed even though Team Summit continued to host events at the site. Events were largely shut down due to Covid restrictions during this time, so the site has seen very little use. Discussion among the council largely centered around how to move forward and whether we should renew a shorter lease at the property or explore different uses for the site. This discussion was very preliminary in nature and no action was taken.
That’s all for the week. Please let me know if you have any questions. Chad 501-529-1336, email@example.com