By Ray King

The Administration Committee of the Pine Bluff City Council voted Tuesday to allow the city’s Maintenance Department to advertise for bids on air conditioning and heating work on the old Bank of America building downtown.

The city was given the building when Bank of America pulled out and had initially leased it to People’s Shores but they relocated to Southeast Arkansas College and the building is currently empty.

Committee members were told during the meeting that three companies had looked at the air conditioning unit but only one submitted bids on repair work.

People’s Shores and the City had applied for a grant to repair the building but Mayor Shirley Washington said the city was not eligible to apply for the grant, it was made in the name of People’s Shores, and the application was cancelled when People’s Shores relocated.

Council member Joni Alexander, who is not a member of the committee asked to be recognized and questioned the city owning the building.

Washington agreed, saying Alexander’s question was one that the city should look at.

The Mayor said  there have been a “couple of companies inquiring about” the building.