Leasing of National Guard armory discussed at Rector council meeting

Thursday, June 9, 2016
Danny Ford speaks to the Rector City Council Monday night surrounded by rector School District faculty and board members showing support in hopes of obtaining the armory.

The Rector City Council discussed leasing the former National Guard armory, hiring a surveyor to conduct an LMI/census survey and approved a new flood plain ordinance during Monday's monthly meeting.

Glen Sain Motors owner Danny Ford addressed the council on behalf of the local school's potential use of the armory.

"The school system and our kids are the most important asset in Rector," Ford said. He pointed out that, if the school had control of the armory, not only athletics would benefit.

Superintendent Johnny Fowler presented a list of ideas of uses for the armory. "It could be used as a practice field for baseball, softball, basketball," Fowler said. "It's so wet in the spring often the kids can't get on the field to practice." He added the FFA, art club and science club all have events the building could be utilized for and more often than not the multi-purpose building at the elementary is booked solid, leaving people to look for alternative places to hold practices and events.

Ford added it would be very costly for the school to build a facility like the armory, and Fowler said the school would be interested in taking on the financial responsibilities of repairs needed and maintenance. Fowler also said the city would still be able to use the building when needed.

The council agreed leasing the building to the school would be ideal, but were unsure what kind of terms to offer. The council agreed the children are Rector's future and the school district needs to be supported.

After touring the building, the Rector School Board will discuss an offer Monday at its monthly meeting, with proposed terms to be presented to the council the following week.

Kirk Ford, Nate Henderson, Kim Isom, Robert Dorman, Matt Mills and Matt Dean were also present to show their support for the school using the armory.

Flood Plain Ordinance

City attorney Kimberly Dale presented the council with a new FEMA flood plain ordinance that the council approved. The ordinance includes an updated map of flood-prone areas. The map ensures insurance rating is accurate for areas tending to flood, Dale said.

Mayor Teresa Roofe informed the council that "there is a lot of grant money out there if our LMI (low to moderate income level) number was 13 percent lower."

Roofe and alderman Lark Sigsby recently attended an Arkansas Rural Development Conference where the pair learned about different kinds of rural funding available. The council agreed the 2010 LMI and census survey may be out of date at this point and it could be beneficial to the community to conduct a current survey. Horner and Shifrin engineering representative Shannon Todd and city superintendent Todd Watson were asked to look into an independent surveyor.

Todd also informed the council he will be working on a bid package, so the council could get through the preliminary paperwork of the water tower project. He is also gathering estimates on the cost of repainting the water tower.

Also, due to scheduling conflicts the July city council meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Monday, July 11.

* The water department reported $838 profit, 15 new connections, 13 disconnects, one meter replaced, eight repairs, $552.43 in vehicle repairs and $51.20 in equipment repairs.

* Code enforcement reported two dogs picked up, seven yard letters sent out and two building permits sold.

* The street department reported one street cut, zero repairs, 12 street repairs/patches and two replaced signs.

* The police department reported five accidents, $84.78 in vehicle repairs, 76 court docket items and $2,568.65 in court-related collections.

* The community center reported 11 events, 10 paying, with a total profit of $590.

* The fire department reported 10 calls -- six in the city and four in the county.

* The NEA Innovative Training Center reported receiving a giving tree grant for $2,700 to replace the Rector Memorial Park playground borders. A GIF1 grant, Tony Hawk Foundation grant and a Parks and Recreation grant have been applied for, as well.

Aldermen Ryan Lawrence, David Romine, Lark Sigsby and Iva Fahr were present for the meeting.

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