Three new ordinances on council agenda


Three new ordinances are slated to receive their first readings at Monday night’s Pine Bluff City Council meeting.

The session will begin at 5:30 p.m. in the civic center’s council chambers following a 4 p.m. public safety committee meeting and 5 p.m. meetings of the ordinances and resolutions and ways and means committees.

One ordinance calls for the merger of the animal control department into the police department as a division of the latter. The measure would authorize the police chief to administer and supervise the animal control division and name its supervisor.

Under the proposed measure, the budget of the animal control department would be combined with the police department’s budget. Employees of the animal control division would perform the “functions, duties, enforcement actions, inspections, investigations and other matters of animal control” as outlined in the city’s code of ordinances.

The idea of such a merger has been endorsed by Mayor Debe Hollingsworth, Interim Police Chief Jeff Hubanks and several council members, including Alderwoman Thelma Walker, who addressed the possibility during a recent council committee meeting. Alderman Wayne Easterly, who chairs the council’s public safety committee, is the bill’s sponsor.

A second ordinance calls for the rezoning from residential to commercial of an eight-acre site at the southeast corner of a parcel bordered by Interstate 530 and Old Warren and Bobo roads. On Tuesday, the city’s planning commission voted to disregard an unfavorable recommendation from a Southeast Arkansas Regional Planning Commission authority and suggest the council’s approval of the request.

Trotter Ford, which has been in business here for 80 years, is looking at purchasing the site from the W.E. Bobo estate and building a new dealership there. Only a body shop would remain at the firm’s current Olive Street location.

The ordinance is sponsored by Alderman Charles Boyd, chairman of the development and planning committee.

The remaining ordinance calls for “establishing parameters” for ambulance service within the city, in light of the approaching Sept. 20 expiration of the long-time maintenance of an exclusive franchise to provide emergency and non-emergency medical transport. Easterly is sponsoring the measure.