Without discussion, members of the Cabot City Council at the Aug. 19 meeting gave approval to funds for improving district court security and adding another code enforcement officer to the city staff.
The agenda committee at their Aug.12 meeting had forwarded the actions to the council.
Mayor Bill Cypert and aldermen Ed Long, Ann Gilliam, Rick Prentice, Ryan Flynn, Kevin Davis, Angie Jones, Jon Moore and Dallan Buchanan attended the council meeting.
During the Aug. 12 meeting, Police Chief Jackie Davis told of the findings of a security survey of the Cabot District Court facility. He presented the findings and the recommendations of the survey.
Cypert earlier explained he had called for the survey out of his concern for the safety of the court staff, and those attending court proceedings.
Davis said recommendations coming from the survey had been divided into two phases, the first phase to correct what is considered the most immediate deficiencies. Cost of the first phase was presented as about $47,000.
Included in the recommendations are video recording, illumination and other area security features.
Recording means that even weeks later, personnel can review for specific instances, Davis said. “There are often scuffles out there in hallway resulting from tempers coming out of court,” he remarked.
Also, restricting access is called for, Davis said. This would be magnetic locks installed on doors into the courtroom and council chamber area.
It would keep anyone from planting a device, or a weapon for later access, while no one was in the court area, Davis said.
On Monday, the council proceeded with the reading and approval of the purchase.
In a second recommendation from the Aug. 12 meeting, aldermen approved the addition of a second code enforcement officer.
A second officer required approving an appropriation of about $11,000 for salary and benefits, and $23,000 for another vehicle.
The council also approved the annexation of land at the junction of Rockwood Road with Arkansas Highway 5, including the travel plaza, adjacent commercial subdivision, parking area and mobile-home park. The lands are zoned as R-2, R-3, C-2 and C-3.
Second reading was made of the ordinance setting the 2014 city millage rate at 3.5. The millage is the city’s portion of the property tax bill levied each year by the county collector.
Standard legislative procedure is for an ordinance to be read three times prior to be enacted. The ordinance will go into effect after it is read at the September city council meeting.
The millage is divided into seven areas: city general, 0.5; Community Center, 0.5; fireman pension, 0.4; Parks and Recreation, 0.5; Senior Citizen Center, health department, library, 0.5; restricted to library, .07; and sidewalk projects, 0.4.
In other matters, Cypert presented Jay Lallu, owner of the Cabot Day’s Inn, with a Random Act of Kindness citation for opening the hotel pool to community center activities while the center is being repaired. “Random acts of kindness are those considerate things that are done for no reason in particular and must be recognized and encouraged in our community,” Cypert read aloud.
Renovation of the Cabot Veterans Park Community Center would have forced the cancellation of aquatic classes for several months if not for Lallu’s act, Cypert said.
“Jay Lallu … saw a need in the city and wanted to help,” Cypert said.
Council members approved a resolution recognizing former Cabot Chamber of Commerce executive director Billye Everett for her years of service.
Everett retired at the end of July. Kelly Coughlin was named to the post to succeed Everett.
State Senator Eddie Joe Williams, a former mayor of Cabot, took part in the presentation, recognizing her work while he was in the city office.