The Conway City Council on Tuesday night voted 5-2 on a plan to divvy up street funds with the majority of the money going to two major projects and the rest to be divided among the four wards.
The council also approved a contract with Aramark to provide concessions for the city’s ballparks with about a $125,000 savings in supplies and personnel costs, according to Parks Director Steve Ibbotson.
The major street improvement projects are Donaghey Avenue from Tyler to Prince for $550,000 and Main Street from Front to Harkrider for $100,000.
That would leave $470,000 in the 2011 street budget with $117,500 for each of the wards.
Voting against the resolution were Shelia Whitmore and Theo Jones, who said their neighborhoods in the Fourth Ward have been long neglected and need a bigger share of the funds.
"We inherited a lot of the problem streets, and we’ve never had enough money to scratch the surface," Jones said. "There are streets in our ward that are still gravel."
Voting for the plan proposed by Councilman David Grimes were Councilmen Andy Hawkins, Mark Vaught, Mary Smith and Jim Rhodes. Shelley Mehl was absent.
The council members will make lists of their choices and present to City Engineer Ronnie Hall. Improvement funds can go for streets and/or sidewalks.
Lauralee Wilcox-McCool, director of the city’s Community Development Block Grant Program, reported that CDBG funding is up in the air in Congress, with the House voting last week to slash the budget by 60 percent.
The Senate could replace some of the funds, but a big cut could affect the city’s plan for Markham Street which would include a Brownfield grant that would clean up the salvage yard. It also could eliminate support for Bethlehem House and the Boys and Girls Club.
"We might be seeing the beginning of the end of the CDBG program," Mayor Tab Townsell said.
The council also:
• Set a public hearing at its regular meeting on March 8 to consider the closing of a utility easement abutting the western property line of the Prince/Salem Station subdivision.
• Approved a resolution ordering the demolition of a structure at 1415 Lincoln St.
(Staff writer Becky Harris can be reached at 505-1234 or firstname.lastname@example.org)