The Ward City Council passed several resolutions at its regular meeting Monday night, while also scratching several items from the agenda and tabling another.
The meeting was brief, lasting about 30 minutes. Boy Scouts from Troop 201 of Cabot performed a flag ceremony at the meeting and led those in attendance in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States flag.
Two ordinances were removed from the agenda after City Attorney Clint McGue advised Mayor Art Brooke that no action was needed by the council.
Karen Madding with Suddenlink Communication Inc. approached the council on an ordinance, which was tabled at last month’s meeting, to extend the cable provider’s franchise agreement.
After some discussion, the council voted to table the issue for another month as details emerge about new legislation that changes the way in which cable franchise fees are distributed to local governments.
Under Senate Bill 101, which passed in the Arkansas House of Representatives last week, the city will still receive the same franchise fees as before, but it will first be paid to the State of Arkansas, and then redistributed to the city, according to Madding.
In other business, the council passed two similarly drafted resolutions related to the use of funds provided under the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. McGue told council members that the resolutions were nothing new that the city was not already doing, but needed to be on the books in order for the city to receive grant money from Central Arkansas Planning and Development.
One of the resolutions prohibits the use of excessive force by law enforcement agencies during a non-violent civil rights demonstration; the other ensures that residents of low income housing will be provided alternative housing in the event that their housing is converted or demolished.
The council heard an update from city Administrative Assistant Deborah Staley on last month’s bond refinance that the council approved. Staley said the savings over the life of the loan will be greater than originally anticipated and will total roughly $730,000. The savings were originally estimated to be $500,000.
The council also approved placing for sale four city vehicles that have high mileage and repair issues.
In addition, the mayor signed a proclamation declaring April child abuse prevention month.
The council’s next regular meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. April 8 at Ward City Hall.