The Prescott City Council gathered for their September meeting on Tuesday, social distancing and wearing masks in order to follow COVID-19 guidelines. With several items on the agenda, they jumped right into business.
Mayor Oliver informed the Council that the Health Department was having a free clinic for flu shots this week and encouraged everyone to go get their flu shot.
After the council approved the minutes from the August meeting and the financials, they heard from Economic Director, Mary Godwin. Godwin discussed the TA Road Improvement Project, presenting a letter from AL Franks, the engineer for the project, to the council. Godwin stated that the project went out to bid and the low bid was from Redstone Construction for $439,000, which is high compared to the original construction budget of $245,000. The engineering firm is recommending only doing 1/3 of the project this time because all of the funds are not available. This would allow repairs on around 125 feet of the 350 feet that was included in the original bid. Godwin offered 2 options – either continue to save up funds to complete the entire project at once or rebid and do only the 125 feet as recommended. She said that the road is in bad shape but repairing the 125 feet will take care of the worst of the problems. One of the Council members asked why the bid was so high compared to the engineer’s estimate and Godwin responded that the main issue was the soil. She stated that the engineer allowed for 10 inches of concrete, but after the soil analysts did soil testing, they said there would need to be 13 inches of concrete. After some discussion, the council voted to reject all current bids, revise the project and rebid the project for the 125 feet.
Godwin also updated the council on the census, saying that Nevada County is at 52.2% and Prescott is at 51.8%. She asked that the council continue to encourage citizens to fill out the census, that it ends on September 30 and they need the numbers to be higher because it benefits so many in the county. She stated that the new roof on potlatch building has been installed and the Electric and Street Departments have been assisting with clean-up and other projects there. They have also sold 2 portable buildings.
Police Chief, Ann Jordan, spoke to the council on changes that have been made within the police department and introduced the members of the police force to the council. Councilman Curry spoke to the officers saying that the council supports them and thanked them for their service.
In business, the council approved the annual city mil ordinance, which is a tax levy of 5 mils on all real and personal property within the City of Prescott, Arkansas for the year 2020. This is not a new tax but must be renewed each year.
There was an open discussion on the net metering ordinance. The net metering ordinance is ready to bring before the council to vote, so the council took time to ask questions and gather information on how the net metering will affect the city. Robert Poole spoke to the council on how adopting the ordinance will be beneficial to the school district. A motion was made to introduce the ordinance and the ordinance was read. A motion was made to adopt the ordinance and approved by the council.
The meeting was adjourned and the council will reconvene on October 20 for their next meeting.