Pine Bluff city council adopts amendment to fire department policies and procedures

By Deseray McKinzy

The Pine Bluff City Council met for their first meeting in June Monday and discussed four resolutions and three ordinances. One of the ordinances to be approved was an amendment to the policies, procedures, and guidelines of the Fire and Emergency Services Department conserving duty/return to work and sick leave. 

Pine Bluff Fire and Emergency Services Chief Sean Howell explained the ordinance and its significance to his department, 

 Another ordinance focused on waiving competitive bidding and authorization of agreement in the process of acquiring a new chiller for City Hall which has been down since sometime in May.

The council approved moving forward with a contract with Powers Mechanical Service Company for a new chiller  for the price of $64,000 and not exceeding $100,000. 

In other business, the council approved three resolutions, the first being a resolution to authorize the Mayor to convey rights-of-way to the Arkansas Department of Transportation for work concerning Franklin Street and 6th Avenue and related purposes. This resolution allows the department to receive compensation for the renovation of the route of benefit to the city. 

Another resolution focused on certifying local government endorsement of business to participate in the tax back program of the consolidated incentive act of 2003. This allows Tyson Poultry Inc. to receive a refund of local sales and use taxes from construction and equipping of the facility at Pine Bluff.

Lastly, the council approved a resolution authorizing the Mayor to submit a grant application to the Delta Regional Authority (DRA) for rehabilitation funds to restore the city-owned Bank of American building. The Delta Regional Authority was created by Congress to remedy severe and chronic economic distress by pushing economic development and fostering partnerships that will have a positive impact on the Delta Regions’ economy. The resolution included that the City proposes to apply for a grant with DRA for the fiscal year 2021 federal grant program cycle.