The Conway City Council seems to support creating a license system for door-to-door peddlers, but some changes to the proposed ordinance will be considered.
There was some concern voiced by members of the public at Tuesday night’s Conway City Council meeting that the ordinance would require each member of groups like scouts or high school band musicians to pay individually for a license — which could run into the thousands of dollars depending on how high the city decides to set the fee.
Deputy City Attorney Chuck Clawson said that only a representative of any organization that would have people under 18 going door-to-door would have to get a license, and the individual members would have to have some sort of identification badge that they or their organization could make themselves.
The licenses would be issued by the Conway Police Department, and applicants would have to pass a background check. The price of a license isn’t set, but is recommended to be "nominal" and only enough to cover the actual costs of paperwork and badges.
A local parent also suggested that requiring children to have their names on the badges presented a "stranger danger" issue because adults with bad intentions can use knowing a child’s name to gain the child’s trust. This point seemed to be well-received, and Clawson said he’d look into revising the ordinance.
The issue will be brought up again at an upcoming council meeting.
Also, the council talked about its 6-month review of a conditional amendment to a city development plan to allow Phoenix Recovery center to operate in the Pine Street neighborhood. Phoenix Recovery is a transitional housing center for men with drug/alcohol dependency problems, but no history of crimes involving violence, robbery, sex or guns.
The council set nine conditions, including building a fence and Phoenix Recovery donating $10,000 for a beautification project in the neighborhood. Phoenix Recovery was also supposed to buy the last privately-owned residence on its campus, which is a Habitat for Humanity home.
Matt Bell, who runs the Conway facility, was at the Council meeting with the $10,000 check, which he made out to a Pine Street neighborhood development organization. Bell said that he’s working with the family in the Habitat for Humanity home and would pay their moving expenses, but they’re not ready to move out yet. Also, the wisdom of a requirement that Phoenix Recovery petition the city to close streets inside its campus and install a gate across what is currently a public road was discussed.
Bell will report back in a couple months.
The council also approved a change in Conway Fire Department’s leadership structure. Instead of having an assistant chief who has authority over training and fire marshall divisions, the department will now have an assistant chief of operations who will be on the same tier as the assistant chief of training and assistant chief of fire marshall divisions.
The city will also have to spend about $4,500 to pay for recent work on the Conway Planning Department’s Honda Civic hybrid car. The hybrid battery went out, as they will after 10 years, and the clutch that engages the electric motor to the drivetrain gave up the ghost.
Like the several other unexpected but foreseeable expenses the city has encountered this year, the Honda repairs have to be paid for with money outside the budget, because no money is budgeted for capital improvements in most city departments.
Mayor Tab Townsell reminded the council that, so far this year, the city has spent about $200,000 over its budget. This includes about $107,000 that the council formally dedicated on Tuesday to replace or update computers still using the Windows XP operating system, which Microsoft has abandoned.
In other business, the council voted to approve:
• A resolution setting a public hearing to discuss the closing of four fifteen-foot utility easements located in the Tommy Lewis Addition Phase 2;
• The nomination of Dwayne Young to the Conway Housing Authority Board and the nomination of Reggie Rose to the Advertising and Promotion Commission;
• An engineering agreement with Garver to include full-time inspection during the Western Loop Sturgis Road Overpass Construction;
• Consideration of a request from Lewis Cross Development (old Sale Barn Site) to pay in-lieu fee in place of sidewalks and bike lanes;
• A Resolution amending the Master Street Plan in the Old Cantrell Field/Central Landing Area;
• An ordinance amending the Conway Subdivision ordinance to require additional right-of-way as needed for roundabouts;
• 2014 CDBG Allocations;
• Buying a 2014 commercial rear-load refuse truck and 2014 automated side loading refuse truck for the Conway Sanitation Department using sanitation funds;
• Disposal of certain inventory within various departments for the City; and
• Monthly financials ending Feb. 28, 2014
(Staff writer Joe Lamb can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 505-1277. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)