By Ray King

Changes to the American Rescue Plan enacted by Congress to help stimulate the economy because of COVID-19 will allow the City of Pine Bluff to decrease expenditures for public safety by $10 million and use the grant fund for police and fire expenses.

During a meeting of the City Council Monday, a resolution appropriating $10 million from the money Pine Bluff receives from the fund for police and fire salaries and employee payroll contributions from Jan. 1, 2022, through Dec. 31, 2022.

Councilmember Glen Brown Jr., chairman of the Public Safety Committee and the sponsor of the resolution was asked about it by Deltaplex News.

In order to take advantage of the rescue grant, it was necessary for the city to allocate the money by April 30.

Also Monday, a resolution lo0cking-in prices for two new fire trucks for the city was approved without dissent.

According to the resolution, “the prices for major equipment as the city needs is rapidly escalating and there is keen competition between fire departments for the items, hence a purchase order directed to the vendor for the acquisition of the needed equipment should be authorized for the purchase and lock in the prices.”
Councilmember Brown Jr. explained what the city wants to buy.

The resolution sets a price of $1.669 million for a ladder truck and $798,522 for a pumper truck, and according to a letter from the vender, the production time for the two trucks is 23.5 to 24.5 months. The total purchase price is $2,467,935.

Resolutions reappointing Michelle I. Pashkevich, Thomas A. Palmer, Rocky R. Thornburg, and Keidra J. Burrell to the Pine Bluff Aviation Commission were approved, as was a resolution appointing Leon J. Scallion to the commission.