Property owners will now get notification of proposed rezonings via first-class mail rather than certified mail. The Conway City Council approved the change at Tuesday night’s meeting.
Bryan Patrick, the city’s planning director, told the council that the change was meant to make the process a little easier and cheaper for rezoning applicants. Also, applicants no longer need to type up their own proposed ordinance. Patrick said that this provision comes from the days when typewriters were viable office equipment, and is not required when rezoning ordinances are in an electronic and standardized form.
The city also approved spending about $19,800 to replace the Conway Fire Department’s SCBU air compressor. This machine provides compressed air for the firefighters air tanks, which are necessary to work — or survive — inside a burning building. Recently the compressor block on the department’s air tank cracked, maybe because water, which does not compress, built up inside the cylinder, and the department has had to rely on outside agencies to refill their expended tanks. Assistant Fire Chief Mike Winter told the council that a replacement block would itself cost about $12,000 not including delivery and installation "and then there are warranty problems." Winter recommended a new machine, which will have a 3-year warranty.
The 2014 budget does’t include any costs for these kinds of expenses, and so the new machine will be paid for using "rainy day" reserve funds.
"And this is the rainy day," Mayor Tab Townsell said to make a case as to why this unforseen and necessary expense warranted "breaking the budget" and tapping reserves.
The new machine will be bought from a sole-source vendor without bids. The department uses Scott-brand SCBU equipment, and while firefighting SCBU tanks and compressors were once universal, now the competing brands use proprietary fittings. Generally, only a Scott machine can fill a Scott tank.
In other business, the council approved a conditional use permit to allow devloper Scott Hayes to build to MF-1 density in a R2-A-zoned district at the northeast and southeast corners of Monroe and Factory streets.
Five dwelling units would have been allowed on the property under R2-A, but the developer’s plans included three "triplex" apatment structures. Gene Salter of Salter Construction Co. and Salter Properties, speaking to the council as a neighboring property owner this time, said that he didn’t have any objection since the property falls under Conway Historic District construction requirements which require, among other things, that the three "triplexes" can’t be identical in appearance and must be built to a more aesthetically pleasing standard than those outside the Historic District.
In other business, the council approved closing part of South Baridon Street in the Bear’s Den subdivision and closing an east-west alley near 815 4th Avenue, set pubilc hearings to discuss the closing of an alley between Lots 110 and 111 and a portion of street right of way on McKennon Street in the Village at Hendrix Phase I.
The council also approved:
• The nomination of Dwayne Young for the Board of Housing Authority Commissioner for a five year term;
• An agreement with University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service for horticulture program funding;
• An ordinance to rezone property located on the southwest corner of Factory Street and Polk Street
from R-2A to O-2;
• An ordinance to rezone property located immediately east of the termination of South Baridon Street
from R-2 to MF-3;
• An ordinance to rezone property located on the west side of Fourth Avenue mid-block between Oak
Street and Maple Street from R-2 to C-3;
• A conditional use permit from Hendrix College to allow a columbarium for property located within the Hendrix Campus between Green Chapel and Trieshmann Fine Arts building at 1600 Washington Avenue;
• A request for a conditional use permit from Krystal Perry to allow child card (in-home day) in a specific plan (T5 Urban Zone) for property located at 1262 Spencer Street;
• A request for a conditional use permit from Scott Hayes to allow MF-1 density in an R-2A district for property located at the northeast and southeast corners of Monroe and Factory Streets.
• An ordinance appropriating funds to purchase replacement equipment (a SCBA air compressor) for the Conway Fire Department;
• An agreement with MEMS for ambulance services for the City of Conway, and
• Approval of the monthly finance report ending December 31st , 2013.
(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)