This was the council’s first time to meet in four weeks since our previous meeting on Nov. 15 was unable to meet due to lack of a quorum present.
Mayor Caleb Norris began the meeting by recognizing the city’s employee of the month for October of 2021, Lt. Chris Lester with the Maumelle Police Department. Today, Dec. 1, will be Chris Lester Day in the city, so be sure to go out and celebrate!
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We reviewed the city’s financials through October of 2021 and the good news is that the city’s revenue exceeds our expenses by $1.8 million through ten months of the year. The city receives some of our larger revenues during November, so I would expect the city’s positive financial position to continue through the end of the year.
Under old business, the council had the second readings of two ordinances that are routine in nature. One ordinance will establish a Municipal Improvement District for a new neighborhood that is being developed in Maumelle. The other ordinance adopts and updates changes to the city code that have been made throughout the year.
Under new business, the council approved a permit for a kiosk-style dog wash facility to be located to the northeast of Lake Valencia and the southeast of Pine Forest Elementary. You’ve probably seen these kiosk dog washing stations grow in popularity in other cities and I expect this will be a popular addition to our community.
The council approved recognizing Juneteenth as a city holiday in Maumelle. This day is already recognized at the federal and state level and I’m glad to see this holiday and day of recognition added in our city.
The council approved releasing easements and quitclaim deeds from Central Arkansas Water back to the city of Maumelle. Since CAW has taken over for Maumelle Water Management, several wells and other areas have been decommissioned and restored to their natural state. This resolution recognizes those releases of easements and deeds.
The council had the first reading of an ordinance that would update our master street plan. This plan removes a road that was currently shown on our map to be built through the industrial park and across White Oak Bayou. Since the map was last updated, other roads have been built and opened which has shifted the priorities of where future roads need to be constructed. There are currently no plans to build a road across White Oak Bayou and this master street plan change would remove planned roads that dissect our industrial park. This change would also allow our Industrial Park properties to be utilized in different ways since property owners would not have to plan for a future road dissecting their property.
The fire department presented an updated ordinance that would allow for changes to their fire safety review, testing, and inspection fees. The fire chief spoke on how businesses will use the fire department as a “punch list” to have them come and review items that need to be accomplished before a business opens or can take occupancy of buildings.
Oftentimes, the fire department spends time and resources making repeated visits to a single site since the city doesn’t charge for additional reviews. The chief spoke on how this brings us in line with other cities and that the city isn’t necessarily trying to charge businesses more but this will help limit repeated trips for inspections and will further incentivize applicants to have everything completed prior to their inspection so they will not be charged for a follow-up visit later.
That’s all for this week. The next meeting will be on Dec. 6.
A few reminders about events happening in the city.
The Lions Club will hold their annual pancake breakfast at the Maumelle Community Center from 8 a.m.to 11 a.m.. Santa will arrive at 9 a.m. and be available for pictures. The cost for the breakfast is $5 per person and pictures with Santa are free and you can take them with your own camera. Donations are certainly welcome!
Later that evening, the city will hold their Christmas parade at 5 p.m. It should be a great evening and I look forward to seeing some creative floats with lights this year.