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Jonesboro City Council Agenda Commentary: May 18, 2021

Welcome to another edition of the Jonesboro City Council Explication Project, a project by a political nerd for political nerds or anyone who wants to learn more about their city government. Remember that municipal (city council), county (quorum court), and state government (state legislature) bodies have a bigger impact on your day to day life than the president. You can watch the meetings live on the city’s Facebook page at City of Jonesboro, AR – Government.

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Agenda: https://jonesboro.legistar.com/View.ashx?M=A&ID=855687&GUID=84D261D0-4C78-47C6-BEE4-EBBF7B25B10E

1. Call to Order 5:30PM

2. Pledge of Allegiance and Invocation

3. Roll Call

4. Special Presentations

COM-21:022: Jonesboro Residential Housing and Healthcare Facilities Board donation to the City of Jonesboro.

5. Consent Agenda

MIN-21:038: Minutes for the City Council meeting on May 4, 2021

RES-21:071: A resolution of the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas to enter into a contract with Olympus Construction for the Jonesboro Shooting Sports Complex Phase IIC – Range Building (2021:20).

Commentary: For some reason I expected that a long break meant that I would be free of having to see our city drop money on a shooting complex while our marginalized populations suffer. Instead, I come back to the city accepting a bid for construction on this for $1,298,000.00. I cannot express how immoral I find this whole endeavor given that people in our city are often going without food, without medical care, and without shelter.

RES-21:073: A resolution to execute a Traffic Control Device Agreement to maintain a control device located at the intersection of Highway 18 and Quality Way.

Commentary: New traffic light on an intersection of Highland Drive and Quality Way. This is the intersection via Google Maps.

RES-21:074: A resolution expressing the willingness of the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas to utilize federal-aid Recreational Trails Program funds and authorizing the City of Jonesboro Grants and Community Development Department to apply for the FY21 Recreational Trails Program (RTP) from the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Commentary:The city is applying for federal funds to improve the Southside Park Walking Trail. Cities that apply have to match the funds (minimum 20%) and this is the kind of matching I can get behind. The city will invest $55,417.00 and is asking for $221,668.00 in federal funds. Some of the things the money will be used for:

  • Seeding
  • Mulch cover
  • Sidewalk drains
  • Trash receptacles
  • Benches

Of course, I’m cynical and so as soon as I saw they were investing in four benches I was immediately suspicious that those benches will be hostile architecture.

RES-21:075: A resolution expressing the willingness of the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas to utilize federal-aid Transportation Alternatives Program funds and authorizing the City of Jonesboro Grants and Community Development Department to apply for the FY21 Transportation Alternatives Program from the Arkansas Department of Transportation.

Commentary: Another grant application! This time the city is asking for $500,000.00 in grant money and matching it with $371,186.90 for the University Heights Trail. I’m not sure where this piece of the trail is located, but if it’s ever finished, it’s going to be really nice.

6. New Business

RES-21:078: A resolution to set a public hearing regarding abandoning and vacating a utility easement in a part of Lot 2 of Staton Minor Plat on Wood Street as requested by Michael Boggs from Tralan Engineering on behalf of C3, LLC

ORD-21:020: An ordinance to amend Chapter 117, Article III, known as the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas, providing for changes in zoning boundaries from R-1 Single Family Medium Density District to C-3 General Commercial District – Limited Use Overlay (LUO) for property located at 7201 E. Highland Drive, Jonesboro, AR as requested by Joshua Neely on behalf of Jeremy Baltz (first reading).

Commentary: Flipping an area zoned for Humans to Live On to an area for Humans to Do Business on instead. This is the area via Google Maps, but the legislative record has all the official maps.

7. Unfinished Business

ORD-21:015: An ordinance to vacate and abandon a 12′ alley located at 101 South Church as requested by Halsey Thrasher Harpole Real Estate Group (HTHREG), LLC (second reading).

Commentary: I really struggled to figure out where this is via Google Maps but never quite managed it. 101 South Church, your alley is an enigma!

ORD-21:016: An ordinance to the City of Jonesboro to place various traffic signs at designated locations as determined by the Traffic Control Committee (second reading).

Commentary: The legislative record contains the streets that will get new signs for speed changes and stops (click the record number and make sure you’re in the “Text” section and not the “History” section). Lots of new stop signs! Slow down, drivers!

ORD-21:019: An ordinance to amend Chapter 117, Article III, known as the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas, providing for changes in zoning boundaries from R-1 Single Family Residential to I-1 Limited Industrial District for property located at 6515 C.W. Post Road, Jonesboro, AR as requested by John Stuckey (second reading).

Commentary: Flipping an area zoned for Humans to Live On to an area for Humans to Make Stuff On. Google Maps thinks the land is here, but according to the official documents in the legislative record, the actual location on on the other side of Moore Rd.

ORD-21:017: An ordinance to amend Chapter 117, Article III, known as the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Jonesboro, Arkansas, providing for changes in zoning boundaries from R-1 Single Family Residential to C-3 General Commercial District for property located at 4503 Southwest Drive, Jonesboro, AR as requested by Debra Mangrum and Tom Kirksey (third reading).

Commentary: Flipping an area zoned for Humans to Live On to an area for Humans to Do Business on instead. It’s way out on Southwest Drive, on the other side of the overpass, in what I generally think of as residential area since that big area they planned development never went anywhere, but it seems like the whole stretch is developing a lot given how many subdivisions are out there.

8. Mayor’s Reports

COM-21:023: April 2021 Financial Reports

Commentary: If you’re deeply interested in city financials, this item is for you. If you’re like me and viewing lots of numbers at once makes you want to rip your eyeballs out and fling them into the sun, this overview report is more your speed.

9. City Council Reports: May 4, 2021

These reports are for the May 4 City Council meeting. This section runs a month behind. You can see the full report in the minutes.

  • Bryant: He thanks some people for opening the dialogue about how to do public projects using a hamburger tax. I totally missed the drama on this one and I, for one, am grateful that I did.
  • Long: National Day of Prayer happened. Here’s an AP article about the National Day of Prayer.

10. Public Comments: May 4, 2021

Commentary: There were no public comments! I am shocked.

11. Adjournment

12. Miscellaneous

As always, I advise everyone to at least read this minutes of the previous meeting if you can’t watch the meeting/attend the meeting.