VILONIA — The Vilonia City Council approved hiring a construction manager to oversee the building of a new city maintenance facility during its meeting this week.
"We will run an ad and make a request for qualifications," Firestone said. The maintenance facility is to be located near the new park and recreation facilities being built on N. Mt. Olive Road. The site work has already been completed by city employees, Firestone said.
The council also approved a one-time payment of $350 for full-time employees and $175 for part-time employees to be paid in December.
In other business:
— Firestone issued a proclamation declaring November National Hospice Palliative Care Month raising awareness of end of life care.
— The council approved providing up to $500 for awards for the top floats in the Dec. 7, Christmas parade. Those planning on being in the parade, Police Chief Brad McNew said should be at the city park by 4 p.m. The road will be shut down at 4:45 p.m. and the parade will begin at 5 p.m.
Anyone that can go to the water department, park their vehicle and walk into the park is encouraged to do so, McNew said. Due to the announcer’s stand, Firestone said, it is very important that once in line entries should not change.
— Approved paying Municipal League dues costing about $13,659 for 2014.
— Approved the transferring of $50,000 from the General Fund to a CD.
— Approved the appointment of Brad Ussery to serve on the sewer committee replacing Scott Langston. Alderman Skip Cates said he has had some phone calls from residents regarding the matter. They want to know about the timing of the appointment, Cates said. There was also a brief discussion regarding the sewer budget and the commission members working on it. "The people doing the budget know all about the budget," Firestone said. He also said it is a good time of the year to take someone off and put someone else on.
Cates also said he had been questioned regarding a conflict of interest with Joe Maxwell, who serves as chairman of the committee, voting on the appointment. At that point, Maxwell recused himself from the vote. With alderman Sherry Clements absent, Firestone cast his ballot and in favor of the appointment along with council members Kathy French, Jim King and Art Pischke. Cates voted against the move.
In the audience, Langston said, he has served on the committee since 2008.
Vilonia has been named as one of 12 Volunteer Communities in the state, Firestone said. "It’s a very big honor for us," Firestone said. He also said the Highway Department will furnish and install the signs.
— Planning Commission. Fred Fowlkes, city engineer/code enforcement said the planning commission has been provided maps showing their jurisdiction which extends one mile outside the city limits. At the October planning meeting, he said, a preliminary plat was approved for Parkwood Meadows Subdivision on Naylor Rd.
— Code enforcement. There were no new building permits, Fowlkes said, in September and October. However, he said, there has been five or six in November. There have been 53, he said, issued during 201 including 37 single family, one duplex and 15 storage buildings.
— Police Department. Chief Brad McNew said they have been "fixing cars and rolling along." Two police cruisers, he said, has experienced heater problems costing about $800 each to fix.
— Fire Department. Chief Keith Hillman said the Boot Drive, providing Christmas for needy children in Faulkner County, will be Nov. 13. Also, the fire department’s Breakfast with Santa will be held 7 a.m. until 10 a.m., Dec. 14.
— The council briefly discussed the 2014 proposed budget set for adoption in December. If need be, Firestone said, a special meeting can be held prior to the regular meeting to go over the figures and answer any questions. There is little change, he said, in last year’s and this year’s proposed budget.