By Ray King

After several months of talking about it, the partnership between the City of Pine Bluff and the Boys and Girls Club of Jefferson County is now a reality.

By a vote of 8-0 Monday night, the City Council approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Shirley Washington to execute an agreement to provide what the resolution describes as “a set of unique services which the city cannot accomplish on its own, for the development of the youth of the city and the reduction and prevention of juvenile crime through the offering of other, more wholesome activities.”

After the meeting, Council Member Glen Brown Jr., who was one of the resolution’s four sponsors, told Deltaplex News what he believed the partnership will mean.

Council members Lloyd Holcomb Jr., Joni Alexander, and Steven Shaner co-sponsored the resolution.

Also Monday, an ordinance that would have set out timelines for putting out political signs, providing specific sizes for the signs, and waiving the fee that is currently charged for signs was defeated by a vote of 6-3, with Mayor Washington voting with Council members Holcomb Jr., Brown Jr., Ivan Whitfield, Glen Brown Sr., and Steven Shaner in casting no votes.

Alexander, Councilmember Steven Mays, and Bruce Lockett voted to approve the legislation, which will now go back to the Planning Commission.

Lockett, who was one of the sponsors of the legislation, talked about it with Deltaplex News.

An ordinance providing for office space for council members in the former Main Library, which is being named for the late Police Detective Kevin Collins, who was killed in the line of duty, was approved after being amended to eliminate the requirement of each member having a private office. That was changed and council members will share office space.

A Resolution that was approved included authorizing the Mayor to apply for an Arkansas Economic Development Administration Grant which says the city has identified approximately 500 acres near Grider Field “as a potential site for industrial development.”