Youth Commission approved by council


The Pine Bluff City Council unanimously voted Monday to revive a Commission on Children and Youth that has not been used in recent years.

The council voted to set an age range for service to the commission as 16-25. Each of the eight aldermen and the mayor will appoint a member.

The item was sponsored by Alderman Steven Mays. During the discussion Monday, Alderman Irene Holcomb said that it would give young people a good opportunity to gain experience in the way government works.

The main goals of the commission will be for young people to help improve youth program offerings in the city and suggest improvements for crime prevention and reduction. The commission cannot actually pass laws, but serves in an advisory role to the mayor and city council.

In other business, the council:

• Sent to committee for discussion a proposal to allocate $3,000 toward the establishment of a police substation at 28 School St. St. Luke Methodist Church has been fixing up the building. Redus emphasized Monday that the building would not actually be a “substation,” as the proposal is worded, but the plan is for some of the AmeriCorps cadets and their supervising officer to have a home base in the building. Redus also advised that he did not believe it would be legal for the city to donate money to the project.

• Heard an announcement from Redus that Brandon Southerland has been named director of the Animal Control Department. Southerland is currently operations supervisor of the department, where he has worked for seven years.

• Voted 8-0 to approve a $17,953 budget adjustment to pay Fire Department Lt. Tim Coats, who is retiring, for unused sick leave time.

• Voted 8-0 to close a portion of West 14th Avenue between Bois D’Arc Street and Peach Street.

• Read once a proposed ordinance to close 100 feet of Wormack Street immediately west of Moreland Street.

• Read once and sent to committee a proposed ordinance confirming the budget adjustments that were approved during 2011 — a routine action to close out the 2011 budget cycle.

• Approved 8-0 a resolution to place the cost of correcting nuisances at about 53 properties on the tax books as delinquent taxes.

• Approved 8-0 three proposed resolutions commending outgoing members of the Arts and Science Center for Southeast Arkansas Board of Trustees for their service: Kyle Havner, John Jacob and Sammye Owen.

• And approved 8-0 three proposed resolutions appointing members to the Arts and Science Center board: David Fleming, Linda Lewis and Leslie Peters.