City Council turns down ordinance to limit small box stores


By Ray King

By a vote of 4 to 3, the Pine Bluff City Council on Monday turned down an ordinance that would have regulated the location of small box stores, specifically dollar stores in an effort to attract a grocery store to the east side of town.  The ordinance proposal needed a majority of council, 5 votes, to pass.

With Council Member Bruce Lockett absent because of a death in the family, and Council Member Lloyd Holcomb Jr., running the meeting in the absence of Mayor Shirley Washington, the debate between those who supported the store and those who opposed it took up much of the initial part of the meeting.

Council Member Glen Brown Sr., was the most vocal of those who opposed the proposal and he talked to Deltaplex News after the meeting.

In addition to his no vote, Council Members Steven Mays and Glen Brown Jr. voted no while Holcomb and Council Members Lanette Frazier, Steven Shaner and LaTisha Brunson voted yes.

After the meeting, Brunson, who sponsored the legislation, said she would try again.

In other business, an ordinance regarding the use of speed humps in the city was read three times and approved. That ordinance changes the percentage of people who agree to the placement of a speed hump and eliminates the requirement that owners of abandoned and vacant property be included.

Another ordinance, which was added at the last minute, was an agreement by the city to enter into an installment contract with U.S. Bank Corp Leasing and Finance to purchase a new fire truck. The agreement calls for the city to pay $1.728 million in five equal installments of $395,678.07 for the truck.

Also approved were resolutions dealing with landscaping in the Streetscape project and grass cutting along the Martha Mitchell Expressway.