Leader Blues

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

TOP STORY >>Soliciting ordinance is repealed

By HEATHER HARTSELL
Leader staff writer

At a meeting where all resolutions and ordinances were passed unanimously, the Cabot City Council Monday night voted to repeal last year’s ordinance regulating solicitors, peddlers and vendors within the city because the ordinance could not be enforced.

“The entire night the council passed items without opposition,” Mayor Eddie Joe Williams said. “It goes to show the hard work of the committees during committee meetings.”

In annulling last year’s ordinance, Williams said the city had received concerns from the different scout groups in town saying the ordinance placed too much of a burden on them.

“This year’s council thought the ordinance put an undo burden on the local organizations,” Williams said. The council ruled to table the resolution authorizing Williams and city clerk Marva Verkler to enter into a contract with the Mountain Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

The contract would have extended the city’s lease on a bay in Mt. Springs’ station from one year to three years to allow Cabot time to build a new fire station.

Williams said a special city council meeting would be held April 14 to discuss the location of Cabot’s future fire station. The city moved a fire engine into an empty bay at Mt. Springs’ station on Hwy. 5 in December to prevent homes in the area from receiving an Insurance Services Office (ISO) rating of 10 (no fire protection).

The city’s fire and police committee is looking at purchasing three acres on Hwy. 5 to house a new fire station that is needed to hold insurance premiums down for some residents on Hwy. 5.

The commercial property is located at West Mt. Springs Road and Hwy. 5 and has an existing two-bay shop, mobile home and storage building, located outside city limits with city water, electricity and no gas. The asking price is $295,000.
The council also adopted a wrecker rotation policy which will level the playing field between the three wrecker services in Cabot, making sure all are treated fairly and the same. “Some wrecker services had asked us to do this, so we got it done,” Williams said.

The policy will make all wrecker services within the city limits charge the same amounts for their service, have the same fees, and the same hours of operation. An ordinance to adopt storm water pollution prevention and erosion control standards was also approved.

Williams said the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) had been enforcing the rules and regulations, but effective January 1, it was passed down from the state and now the city must enforce the standards.

The city will now be responsible for inspecting new residential and commercial construction for compliance of the standards.
George Binderim was recognized through a resolution for his generosity.

Williams said several council members led the effort to recognize Binderim for supplying thousands with hot meals.
“There were 50-plus people there in his honor and he received a standing ovation,” Williams said.

Dr. Eugene McKay of Arkansas State University-Beebe recognized Cabot during a proclamation celebrating ASU-Beebe’s 80th anniversary, saying the city produces the largest enrollment for ASU-Beebe than the rest of the state.

Williams said McKay thanked the city for its support during the college’s anniversary and for the city’s continued support.
Williams also said McKay asked him to speak at this year’s commencement ceremony.