LITTLE ROCK – The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission approved a minute order today granting 167 ballistic vests from AGFC inventory to Vest for Life, an organization that distributes functional body armor to law enforcement agencies that do not have the budget to purchase them.
The vests had reached the five-year limit on the manufacturer’s warranty and, according to AGFC policy, were due to be replaced. They will be inspected, cleaned and earmarked to be reissued to Arkansas law enforcement agencies.
“The vests still have a good usable life beyond their warranties and there are many agencies who have no budget available to procure good body armor for their officers,” said Col. Greg Rae, chief of enforcement for the AGFC. “Many of these agencies work side-by-side with our officers. The benefits of granting these surplus vests and possibly saving lives far outweigh any market salvage value they may otherwise have.”
In other business, the Commission:
• Approved a grant agreement of $6,540 to Friends of Lake Ouachita for repairs to the Denby Bay watchable wildlife boardwalk portion of the Lake Ouachita Vista Trail in Montgomery County.
• Reverted possession of 22.7 acres deeded by Entergy to the AGFC in 1971 for a nursery pond on Lake Catherine back to Entergy. The nursery pond has not been able to hold water properly in decades and was last used in 1992.
• Authorized the following projects totaling $1.59 million to be completed using funds from the Marine Fuel Tax Program:
• Resurfacing 0.7 miles of road, replacing a bridge and building up of road base leading to Caney Creek Access to Lake Conway in Faulkner County.
• Resurfacing 2.5 miles of county road leading to Lennox Marcus Access on DeGray Lake in Hot Spring County.
• Construction of a new concrete boat ramp and gravel parking area on Bayou DeView in Benson Creek Natural Area.
• Resurfacing 2.6 miles of county road leading to Boggy Point Road Access on Norfork Lake in Fulton County.
• Construction of two new boat ramps for access to the Mississippi River in Desha County.
• Authorized the following capital projects totaling $2.09 million to be completed using funds from Fiscal Year 2018:
— Construction of a new boat access to the White River at White Hole.
— Construction of a new boat access to the White River at Wildcat Shoals.
— Asphalt the parking lot at Horseshoe Lake Access.
— Begin development of the walk-in fishing access on Arkansas Highway 89 on Lake Conway.
— Expand the parking lot at the Ackerman Walk-in Access on the Norfork River.
— Construct a new work center at H.E. Alexander Spring River WMA in Sharp County.
— Construct a new work center at Petit Jean River WMA in Yell County.
— Construct a pipeline and pump station to help flood moist-soil units on Ed Gordon Point Remove WMA in Conway County.
— Stabilize erosion issues along the shoreline at Snow Access on Crooked Creek.
— Repair the dam on Lake June to restore the lake to a usable condition for anglers.
— Replace the boiler at Gov. Mike Huckabee Delta Rivers Nature Center in Pine Bluff.
— Contract a professional to investigate soil issues leading to slides on Lake Overcup Dam.
— Recognized Rebecca McDougal and Franci Halter as the AGFC’s Operations Division Employees of the Year.
— Awarded Sgt. Frankie Tucker, retiring enforcement captain at the Fort Smith Regional Office, his service sidearm.
— Awarded Capt. Chris Carpenter, retiring enforcement captain at the Hot Springs Regional Office, his service sidearm.
— Officially detailed the delegation of authority to AGFC Director Pat Fitts for administrative decision-making.
— Approved the removal of outdated and obsolete inventory with an original cost of $254,976 and a current net book value of $7,117.
— Approved a five-year agreement with the Arkansas Game and Fish Foundation to secure artwork for the Arkansas State Duck Stamp Program.
— Approved capital vehicle purchases totaling $496,000.