The Conway City Council heard a report on Tuesday from a volunteer Citizen Taskforce that has studied the city’s policies and personnel since March.


Brad Hegeman served as the spokesman saying that the result will not be a “shopping list” of ideas for the Council to consider but a broad range of recommendations focusing on cost cutting measures, mostly in the area of personnel which is 82 percent of the general fund.


The Taskforce reviewed budgets, department reports and personnel information and met with heads of departments, including police, fire, parks, sanitation and planning.


The committee began writing its report in June, with attention to examining “adequate and appropriate” levels of staffing and reviewing city operations for potential revenue sources.


Recommendations related to personnel included replacing step raises with a merit increase program and freezing all position openings until adequate reserves are established.


Additional sources of revenue recommended include an agreement with the Advertising and Promotion Commission to allocate funds between capital and operating costs for Parks and Recreation facilities and charging non-residents an annual membership or fee for use of city facilities.


The committee also recommended a “Shop Conway First” campaign to increase sales tax revenues.


Members of the Taskforce who signed the report were David Crow, Joel Hawkins, Linda Linn, Gene Salter, Bruce Sossaman and Brad Hegeman.

Assistant to the Mayor Jack Bell, Jamie Gates, senior vice-president of the Conway Development Corp., met with the group, and the city’s acting Chief Finance Officer Lowell McClanahan served as chairman.


(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at becky.harris@thecabin.net and 505-1234.)