Council to consider tougher penalties for building owners


The Pine Bluff City Council will consider a proposed ordinance at its regular meeting Monday that would provide stiffer penalties for building owners who refuse to maintain their property.

Sponsored by Ward 1 Alderman Lloyd Holcomb Jr., the proposed ordinance, up for its first reading, would require building owners whose property has been declared a public nuisance to remedy the nuisance within the time limit specified by the city council.

Violation would be a misdemeanor. Each day that the problem goes unresolved after the time limit has expired would be a separate offense for which the owner could be charged or punished, according to the proposed ordinance.

The proposed ordinance would set up a fine of $100-$500 for an offense of less than 10 days in duration. An offense of 10-20 days would result in a $250-$750 fine. A 20-30-day offense would result in a $500-$1,000 fine, up to 10 days in jail or both. An offense of more than 30 days would result in a $1,000 fine, 30 to 180 days in jail or both.

The proposed ordinance would also allow the city to go on the property, remove the nuisance and charge the responsible party.

In other business, the council will consider a proposed ordinance, up for its first reading, that would require all city contracts to contain a provision requiring the contractor to make good-faith efforts to hire local firms to help perform the contract work and require the contractor to document its efforts.

The proposed ordinance is sponsored by Ward 4 Alderman George Stepps.

In other business, the council will consider:

- A proposed resolution, sponsored by Ward 4 Alderman Steven Mays, that would direct the city to solicit proposals for a city limit boundary survey.

- A proposed resolution, sponsored by Ward 2 Alderman Charles Boyd, that would sell a piece of city property to Highland Missionary Baptist Church for $300.

- A proposed resolution, co-sponsored by Holcomb and Ward 3 Alderman Bill Brumett, that would approve an agreement between the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas Board of Trustees and the Arts and Science Center Southeast Arkansas Endowment Fund Inc. for transfer of the center’s permanent collection to the endowment for preservation.

- A proposed resolution, sponsored by Brumett, that would authorize the finance department and the city collector’s office to destroy accounting records that are past the statutory maintenance period.

- A proposed resolution, sponsored by Ward 1 Alderman Thelma Walker, that would establish an internship program in city government for students attending the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the civic complex.