Measure seeks study on pedestrian bridges

An Alderman Steven Mays-sponsored resolution calling for an Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department feasibility study on the existing and possible future pedestrian bridges here is tentatively slated for consideration at Monday’s Pine Bluff City Council meeting.

The proposal calls for the department to look at the relocation of the current pedestrian walkway over the Martha Mitchell Expressway between the University Drive and Cherry Street intersections to between the Walnut and State Street intersections “to promote safe and easy access to Lake Saracen from downtown Pine Bluff.”

The measure also asks for a study “to explore construction of a new walkway at the Lake Saracen/downtown location” if relocation of the existing walkway isn’t desirable, and construction of a pedestrian bridge over Dollarway Road at or near its intersection with School Street to provide safer and easier access to Dollarway schools.

On the agenda a second time is an Alderwoman Irene Holcomb-sponsored resolution seeking the city’s stated support of a national “Move to Amend” campaign “to defend democracy by amending the United States Constitution to ensure that only human beings, not corporations or other associations, have constitutionally protected free speech rights and to reject the premise that money is ‘speech.’” The measure was pulled from the agenda of the previous council meeting.

Other resolutions scheduled for consideration call for:

• Supporting state legislation “to improve sales tax collection information from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.” The state legislation is desired to lessen the impact of the state’s withholding of three percent from local tax collections as an administrative fee.

• Authorizing the mayor to contract with Brister Construction Inc. of Benton for previously approved improvements at fire stations No. 2 and No. 6.

• Providing for placement of costs of correcting certain nuisances on tax books as delinquent taxes and collection as such.

Eight ordinances are to be considered. Those up for third and final readings, after being tabled at the previous meeting, call for:

• Closing of the alley between Cherry and Linden streets and West Seventh and Eighth avenues.

• Closing of a portion of Parker Avenue.

• Closing part of Cottonwood Street and all of Cottonwood Circle.

• Closing parts of North Belair, South Belair, West Belair and Belle Meade drives.

An ordinance scheduled for a second reading calls for the closing of part of an alley in Block 18 of Eureka Heights, Addition No. 4.

Ordinances to be receiving first readings call for:

• Amending the current city code of ordinances concerning the basis for calculating the city’s privilege and occupation tax for daycare and childcare centers. The proposed new calculation would multiply the actual weekly attendance of children in a facility by $10 per child. Actual weekly attendance would be determined by calculating the total attendance at the center for the previous year and dividing by 52. If a center isn’t open all year, the actual weekly attendance is to be determined by calculating the total attendance at the center for the previous year and dividing by the number of weeks it was open.

• Rezoning an office building at 1115 Commerce Road from residential to neighborhood business.

• Consenting to a change of control of the cable television franchise. Friendship Cable, doing business as Suddenlink Communications, is being purchased by Cequel Communications Holdings LLC.

A public safety committee is scheduled for 4 p.m. The ordinances and resolutions and ways and means committees will meet at 5. The full council will meet at 5:30.