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Mayor looks back at Cabot’s 2013

With the end of one year and the beginning of another, Cabot mayor Bill Cypert made a review of the city’s accomplishments of 2013, and made a list of goals that he sees for the city during 2014.

First on his list is the campaign that led to the voter approval of continuing the city sales and use tax to re-fund a 2005 city improvement bond and to fund a series improvement bonds to pay for six city projects. The measure was approved with 72 percent voting “yes” to $9.5 million for the North Terminal Interchange and railroad overpass connector; $500,000 for drainage improvements in the Highlands area; $2.6 million for Library Expansion and Renovation; $5.5 million for Community Center Expansion and Renovation; $8.2 million for Wastewater Collection System improvements and $13 million for parks and recreation baseball and water sports complexes.

Cypert also reported the city has completed 13 drainage improvement projects; six street improvement projects; and two “major” sidewalk improvement projects.

Those sidewalks are East Main Street for Eastside Elementary School and Lincoln Street from South Pine Street to Oak Meadows Drive.

Crosswalks and stop lines for many intersections were either re-painted or added.

“Significant capital was invested in 2013 for street, drainage, technology, and productivity improvements while maintaining an acceptable level of cash reserve and flow,” Cypert remarked.

And, a major rainfall in December showed that the drainage improvement projects, have been successful, Cypert noted.

Other transportation oriented actions included continued strong connections to the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department (AHTD), Metroplan, Little Rock Air Force Base, Arkansas’ Congressional delegation, state legislative delegation, and Cabot School District.

Cypert said a number of measures were taken to increase productivity while reducing costs in managing the city’s operation and administration.

The city online employment application was revamped; pay periods were changed to bi-weekly; employee records were digitized and backed up; reduced compensatory time off with better management.

Cypert also noted that he had maintained project management and financial oversight for the new fire station near Magness Creed and Greystone; the Main Street Streetscape project; the Magness Creek sidewalk project to the elementary school; Community Center renovation; traffic signal at the junction of Arkansas Highway 38 with Highway 367; expansion of city hall parking; and coordinating roundabout construction on Lincoln Street at Spirit Drive and Locust Street.

Looking to 2014, Cypert said the list goals include overseeing management and financial oversight for the bond improvement projects; adoption of the revised master street plan; approval of a revised sidewalk plan; and to continue sidewalk, street, and drainage improvements.

Farther into the future, Cypert said he wants to see a “general plan revision” including zoning, land use, and coordination of all corridor plans.

The corridor plans set out commercial use of the major routes into the city, and establish groundwork for improved traffic management.

In other areas, Cypert wants a physical fitness program for police department; ensure the city animal shelter maintains a low euthanasia rate; plan drainage improvements for Allman/Bevis Sports Complex; develop a city employee health fair; landscape the City Hall Plaza to match the West Main Street Streetscape project; apply for U.S. Department of Transportation grants to widen and improve Locust Street; complete the Corridor Plan for Arkansas State High 367 (South Second Street); build a right turn lane at the junction of Locust and West Main streets near exit 19; and promote the Smart911 system.

Cypert also seeks to continued consideration of additional properties next to the city hall complex, Central Fire Station, and Community Center for expansion.

Cypert also wants to begin grounds keeping, with a new employee to maintain the downtown area, the major right-of-ways, and U.S. Highway 67/167 north from Pulaski County to mile marker 20 north of exit 19.

He also wants to see phase II of security for Cabot District Court, which would include installation of walk-through and hand-held metal detectors.

Cypert also listed revision, or replacement, ordinances for animal control, signs, parking, and rental unit inspections for consideration during 2014.

He also wants to begin a 10-year plan for street overlay and repair improvement projects.

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