The Conway City Council will vote tonight on buying a long-awaited computerized traffic management system that will, in theory, link all the city’s traffic lights to a unified program and improve traffic flow throughout the city.

The meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. at 810 Parkway. During the council’s pre-meeting committee discussion, the traffic management system will be discussed, as may the city’s 2010 budget.

The system, which is composed of traffic management software and hardware in the form of several desk- and laptop computers, would cost the city $151,705. This amount will likely be reimbursed through stimulus funds channeled through the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency Block Grant program. The city has been approved for such a purchase, but has not yet received the money.

City Engineer Ronnie Hall said the system will be programmed to alter coordinated traffic light timing to optimize the system for time-of-day and day-of-the-week traffic patterns, and can be temporarily reprogrammed to better accommodate occasional events that may bring extraordinary traffic into the city.

Software engineers will be needed to set the system up and to alter the programming, but the system will not require the creation of a new city position to operate and maintain, Hall said. The system will be programmed by Peters and Associates Engineers.

A larger purchase will be considered for the Conway Sanitation Department. The council will consider authorizing the purchase of a Nexgen Baling Systems automated recycling system, which would cost about $1.75 million, including delivery and installation.

Townsell described the system as an apparatus that "does exactly what hands are doing now:" sorting different recyclables by type. That apparatus would do the job currently done by Independent Living Services consumers and volunteer jail inmates, and would be purchased using Sanitation Department funds, which are separate from the city’s general fund revenue.

In other business, the council will consider:

• The nomination of Fletcher Smith to the Conway Health Facilities Board;

• A resolution approving and authorizing the issuance of hospital revenue bonds for Conway Regional Medical Center;

• A resolution ordering the condemnation and clean up of property located at 23 Shady Valley Drive;  

•  And a resolutions requesting the Faulkner County Tax Collector to place certified liens on certain properties as a result of incurred expenses by the city.

• An ordinance to revise the assessed impact fee for movie theaters in the City of Conway;

• An ordinance to rezone property at 1920 East Oak Street (US Hwy 64) from R-1 and C-2 to C-3 to accommodate plans to built a Hart’s grocery store there;

• An ordinance to rezone property at 3805 Donnell Ridge Road from A-1 to MF-2;

• An ordinance to rezone property located along the west side of east side German Lane north of 

Wills Drive from A-1 to C3;

• An ordinance amending the permit fees for the construction and alterations of buildings and building systems for the city;

• An agreement for traffic lights conflict monitors for the Conway Street Department;

• Bids for sidewalk improvements in various locations for the city;

• Bids for additional parking at the City of Colleges softball complex;

• The approval of a business plan for the City of Conway Reuse Facility;

• An ordinance to accept the donation of portable radios from the University of Central Arkansas for use for various city departments;

• An ordinance appropriating funds and waiving bids for Honor Guard uniforms for the Conway Fire Department;

• An ordinance waiving bids requirement for the Conway Fire Department to utilize a sole source vendor to repair the Reserve Engine No. 7; 

• The adoption of 2010 Dental Insurance Benefits and 2009 Voluntary Benefits;  

• And change the next scheduled City Council meeting date to an alternative date.  

 (Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached at 505-1238 or by E-mail at joe.lamb@thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit.)