Council asked to support bid for state veterans home

The Pine Bluff City Council will consider a resolution sponsored by Second Ward Alderman Charles Boyd and Fourth Ward Alderman Steven Mays that would formalize the body’s support for the city’s efforts to bring the new Arkansas Veterans Home to Pine Bluff as part of its regular meeting Monday night.

“I believe that having the new Arkansas Veterans Home to Pine Bluff will be a huge shot in the arm to the city as far as economic development and moving our city forward,” Mayor Debe Hollingsworth said Friday afternoon. “Just understanding the size of the investment, which is between $22 million and $25 million, is just wonderful for our city.”

Hollingsworth said that between 125 and 300 people would be employed by the home.

“These would be higher-paying jobs,” Hollingsworth said. “We are supposed to be notified if we have been selected by the end of the year if not sooner.”

The resolution text emphasizes that the desire to bring the home to Pine Bluff is widely shared.

“We, the members of the city council, together with the mayor, express our enthusiastic support for the city’s application and efforts to locate the new Arkansas Veterans Home in the city of Pine Bluff,” the resolution text reads. “We further pledge the cooperation of city government in this effort.”

An Ordinance Amending Chapter 14, Article 1 of the Code of Ordinances for the City of Pine Bluff Regarding Payment by Labor of Fines Assessed for Misdemeanor Convictions and/or Code Violations, will be up for its third and final reading.

The ordinance would amend the relevant law to allow offenders the option of doing clean-up work along city streets instead of paying a fine.

Up for a second reading is an ordinance that if passed by the council would increase the amount of money the city will be able to collect from cable television providers that operate within the city limits;

• an ordinance that would declare an emergency and waive competitive bidding and authorize Hollingsworth to sign a contract with Reynolds Construction Company of White Hall for improvements to the roof of the Saenger Theater;

• an ordinance that would prohibit illegal dumping of solid waste and promote increased surveillance of known dump sites;

• an ordinance that would create penalties for landlords who rent or lease substandard dwelling units;

• an ordinance amending Ordinance No. 6463 to clarify the authority of the City Council regarding the cost of living increases for the local firemen’s pension fund;

• and an ordinance providing for the zoning of certain territory in the City of Pine Bluff approximately 2.93 acres located on S. Olive St. north of Ridgway Road.

The council will consider a resolution to declare certain houses, buildings and/or structures as nuisances and ordering their abatement.