City council to discuss 71602 ZIP code concerns Monday

The Pine Bluff City Council will consider a proposed resolution Monday that would ask city officials to retain all records pertaining to the effects of the 71602 ZIP code on the city.

“We need to make sure that our city council, mayor, city attorney, city clerk and citizens are aware of the 71602 ZIP code that is shared with White Hall,” said Ward 4 Alderman Steven Mays, the item’s sponsor. “I am sponsoring this resolution so that our citizens know the truth about this matter and what needs to be done.”

“There is evidence that the sharing of this mail designation has adverse impact on the city of Pine Bluff’s tax collections and assessments and may adversely impact municipal functions in the covered area,” the resolution reads in part. “The city council has already created a committee to study the effects of the shared ZIP code on the city.”

In other business, the council will consider a proposed resolution co-sponsored by Ward 2 Alderman Charles Boyd, Ward 3 Alderman Glen Brown and Ward 4 Alderman George Stepps that would appropriate $30,000 to the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Economic Research and Development Center and Business Support Incubator. The item would be funded through the bond reserves of the five-eighth cent sales tax passed by voters in February 2011.

Mays is also the sponsor of a proposed ordinance, up for its third and final reading, that would amend city code to add penalties for the offensive exposure of undergarments.

“I want to help our youth become productive citizens of Pine Bluff again and get their attention and let them know that I care and that others care,” Mays said Friday.

The board will also vote an ordinance proposed by Brown, up for its third and final reading, that would remove the 30-minute time limit from parking spaces on Barraque Street adjacent to the Jefferson County Courthouse.

“Not that many people come downtown anymore and there is plenty of parking in the area with the courthouse having two parking lots,” Brown said prior to the last council meeting. “The 30-minute parking restriction is unnecessary. We did away with the parking meters years ago and now it’s time to do the same with the time limits.”

Brown said earlier that there is a connection between this proposal and the ordinance passed by the council in a contentious May 12 called meeting that allows people to park vehicles along this one-block stretch of Barraque Street for the purpose of displaying campaign signs.

“It does make a difference when people are campaigning,” Brown said. “We don’t want to have people trying to campaign being harassed by this law.”

Up for a second reading is an ordinance proposed by Stepps that would amend the job description for the position of assistant police chief, stipulating that no one can be promoted to the position of assistant police chief who does not hold the rank of deputy chief or equivalent.

Mays is also the sponsor of a proposed ordinance, up for its first reading, that would prohibit the purposeful removal or damaging of any sign lawfully located on a piece of property, making it a misdemeanor offense.

Ward 1 Alderwoman Thelma Walker is the sponsor of a proposed ordinance that would waive any permit and inspection fee for prospective purchasers of downtown real estate.

Mays is the sponsor of a resolution that would approve the construction budget for the Townsend Park Ballfield Complex project.