This past Monday’s meeting led off with a report from Fire Chief Gerald Ezell on the service calls they responded to in 2021. The fire dept went out on 2,038 calls this past year which is up about 200 calls from 2020. Of these calls, medical made up about two-thirds of the calls with fire calls being a little over a third of their calls.
Chief Ezell also used this time to tell us he will be resigning from the city later this month as he has taken the position of Fire Chief in Joplin, Missouri. This is a great opportunity for him to return to his home in Missouri, and we will certainly miss him here in Maumelle. He’s become a great friend to many and I’m excited to see him take this promotion to lead the city of Joplin’s Fire Department.
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Moving on to old and new business, the council unanimously approved a zoning change, along with companion development resolutions, for a 4 acre parcel of land that was previously the site of the old Maumelle Water facility. The applicant was requesting Commercial Zoning so they could build an event center on the site to host weddings and other public or private events.
The applicant has worked with Maumelle Country Club to develop this in a manner that will benefit the country club and they plan to donate a portion of the property back to the club to help them expand their driving range. From the renderings, seen above, of the proposed event center that were shared with the council, this will be a top-notch facility and should be a very popular and beautiful site for hosting events. I certainly wish them well with their project and look forward to seeing it completed in the future.
In other new business, the council unanimously approved a resolution accepting right of way in public areas for the Bradley Property that was recently annexed into the city.
Lastly, the council discussed three different proposals for ward redistricting that will rebalance our city’s population into our four wards. I’ve shared a copy of the proposed map, see above, that was advanced forward Monday night by a majority vote of the council. This map will now be put forward in an ordinance at the next meeting on Tuesday, Jan. 18 where it will be open for public comment. This map will be voted on at the final council meeting in February.
Overall, I’m very pleased with this proposed map since it reallocates Wards 1 and 2 and moves the population from these wards into 3 and 4. Residential growth over the past decade has taken place predominantly in wards 1 and 2, so it was necessary for these two wards to shrink and move population to wards 3 and 4. Additionally, many of the active home construction sites continue to be in wards 1 and 2, so these wards were purposefully left with a smaller population than 3 and 4 to plan for future growth. If you have any questions about the proposed ward boundaries or why specific changes have been proposed, please let me know.
Chad, 501-529-1336, firstname.lastname@example.org