Rector Council Hears Support for Proposed Ordinance
The Rectors City Council met in regular session Monday, Feb 5, at city hall. During the gathering, Kim and Ben Isom along with Scott Stirnaman appeared in support of a proposed city ordinance which would allow the use of golf carts and side-by-sides on city streets. Information organized by the Isoms was explained and given to Mayor Teresa Roofe. The information contained statements by approximately 25 residents who, by their signatures, indicated that they were in favor of such an ordinance, knowing there would be specific regulations and costs associated with the provision.
The council thanked the Isoms and Stirnaman for bringing forth the information to give the council citizens’ viewpoints. Council member Lark Sigsby indicated the council was interested in moving forward with an ordinance, making certain to have completed all the necessary research and considered all procedures. Kim Isom stated, “Yes, everyone we talked to was in favor of procedures which call for responsibility and safety. We know there will be a fee structure, too.”
When the Council took on the agenda item, the discussion focused on the dawn until dusk provision included in some municipalities’ ordinances. The council resolved that side-by-sides and golf cart vehicles could be driven only during daylight hours (dawn until dusk) unless the vehicle is equipped with headlights and tail lights. Council member David Romine, along with audience member Ben Isom, agreed that would be a very attractive provision of the ordinance.
Further discussion centered on the requirement of liability insurance, the minimum age of 18 years to operate the vehicle, a marker for Slow Moving Vehicle (20 mph max) or a tall flag. Registration for the permit would cost $30 annually which would provide for reflective permits to be placed on the rear of the vehicles where easily visible. Other procedures that were discussed included penalties for non-compliance which could range from $100 to $500.
City Attorney Kimberly Dale will bring forth the council’s proposed ordinance for first reading at the March city council.
Mayor Teresa Roofe shared information with the council from a recent meeting with East Arkansas Planning and Development District that she attended with city superintendent Todd Watson. The primary outcome for Rector is the availability of a grant for city safety, storm siren replacement. The grant is a matching-funds grant and the city’s part can be in-kind, which means that any work or funds provided from the city to match the amount of the grant would be documented and provided in the grant proposal. The council authorized Mayor Roofe to go forward with the work required to apply for the grant. Under the guidelines of the program, the grant may not be used for repair costs to the current storm warning system.
“While ahead of its time when it was purchased in 2002, the alert system now has a number of issues which cause it to be less than 100 percent reliable,” Watson explained.
In other action, the council approved a resolution to approve the 2017 amended budget which closes out the 2017 fiscal year. The council heard reports from the water department showing 11 connects and nine disconnects, along with some equipment repair. Code enforcement issued eight letters for dogs, five letters for yards, and one letter for a house, which according the owner, will be rebuilt after insurance declared the burned-out home a complete loss.
The report from the community center shows nine events with two upcoming events in February – Night of Chocolate and A Window for Murder on Feb 17, and the annual Ryan Rogers Memorial Chili, Soup, and Jambalaya Cook-off to be held Feb 24. The Fire Department reported 13 city calls and nine calls from the county. The police department reported two accidents in town and stated that 24 appearances were logged on the city court docket.
Recently, a request was made for use of portions of the NEA-ITC building. According to Mayor Roofe, stated there is interest for use as a dance studio.
In property issues, Watson stated the city is still following up and working hard to remedy the situation at 402 E 1st Street, the site of a destroyed trailer home.
In final business, Mayor Roofe and Attorney Dale will arrange to meet with the Rector Downtown/Rector Main Street promotion group to gather information about some cosmetic improvements for Rector’s Main Street vacant store fronts. In the past, Main Street Arkansas Awards have been received for successful physical improvement projects undertaken by other small municipalities.