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Council approves variance for facility

The Cabot City Council, at its regular meeting Monday night, approved an ordinance allowing a zoning variance for ReNew Community Church to operate a childcare facility on its campus.

The issue, which was met with concern by some city council members, was one of several zoning and annexing issues at hand during Monday night’s meeting.

Spencer Dunlap, pastor at ReNew Church, approached the council and explained that the church had received approval from the Arkansas Department of Human Services and all of the other necessary entities, but could not move forward with the operation of the center without a zoning variance to move the church’s property out of industrial zoning.

Aldermen Rick Prentice and Eddie Long, who lives near the church campus, expressed concern over the fact that children would be present in an area that was originally zoned for industrial use and that there is a factory nearby.

After hearing from Dunlap that all of the proper safety measures were in place and would be adhered to and from Tim Lemons of Lemons Engineering Consultants Inc. that care would be taken not to impede the flow of traffic, the council passed the ordinance.

Other properties to be rezoned include a 2.3-acre tract of office space on South Pine Street. The property will be rezoned from office use to commercial. Lemons said the portion of the property that borders a residential area will remain residential.

The Hunters Chase Estates subdivision will be annexed into the City of Cabot after city council members approved an ordinance declaring the gated community part of the city. The agreement will provide residents with emergency services and other services, such as sewer and water. Chad Young of the neighborhood’s property owners association was present and spoke on behalf of the residents.

A commercial property on Arkansas Highway 89/West Main Street, owned by Gary Waymack and under contract to be sold, will also be annexed into the city. City Councilwoman Ann Gilliam did not vote on this issue.

In other property business, the council approved a resolution declaring the property at 62 St. John St. unsafe and clearing the way for its demolition. The resolution allows the property owner 30 days to submit a plan of action to bring the property up to code.

Council members also passed a resolution to award a contract to Verizon Communications Inc. for the city’s cellular and data services. Mayor Bill Cypert said the new contract will save the city roughly $10,000 a year. The projected annual cost for the services is $18,300, according to a comparison chart included with the resolution.

The council’s next regular meeting will be at 7:00 p.m. May 20 at the city annex building on North First Street.

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