Today's Paper Latest Coronavirus Elections Cooking 🔵 Covid Classroom Families Core values Story ideas iPad Weather Newsletters Obits Puzzles Archive

GRAVETTE -- A short public hearing preceded the City Council's Committee of the Whole meeting Nov. 12 to discuss the city's proposed unified development code.

Courtney Tannehill-McNair from Garver Engineering attended to outline a few changes in the code, and both she and building inspector/code enforcement officer David Keck answered questions from council members.

Councilman Ron Theis said he felt the road section of the code was "pretty ambiguous" and questioned whether it complied with the council's earlier decision to not accept any gravel roads but only double chip and sealed streets.

Tannehill-McNair said a parcel could be divided three times but, upon the application for a fourth split, city subdivision regulations would apply and only a double chip and sealed street would be accepted.

Councilman Jeff Davis questioned whether the makeup of the board of adjustment should be defined. Keck said the membership of the board of adjustment was outlined in the bylaws when the Planning Commission was created.

Keck encouraged council members and residents to feel free to comment on the unified development code, saying the more input is received the more valuable a document it will be.

Council members considered declaring as surplus a 2012 Dodge Charger owned by the city. Mayor Kurt Maddox reported the Sulphur Springs Police Department was interested in purchasing the vehicle. A resolution authorizing the sell was to be on the agenda for the Thursday council meeting.

A proposed parcel split for property owned by Billy McClendon at 13356 Stidham Lane in Hiwasse was discussed. Two mobile homes are already on the property and McClendon wishes to add one or more additional mobile homes and rezone the property from A-1 agricultural to R-4 mobile home housing. After a brief discussion, council members voted to table the parcel split until the December meeting so more can be learned about the proposal.

Consolidation of the parcels at 604 First Ave. S.E. and 606 First Ave. S.E. (sites of the present city hall and police station) was discussed. An ordinance to consolidate the two parcels will be on the agenda for the Nov. 19 city council meeting. The new address, 6504 First Ave. S.E., will be the site of the new Taco Bell.

A proposed lot split for property owned by MDX Group at the corner of Fort Smith Street S.W. and Second Avenue S.W. was discussed. Maddox, president of MDX Group, proposes to split the property into three lots and donate the flood plain area to the city for future flood plain management. A vote on the lot split will be on the agenda for Thursday's council meeting.

Carl Rabey, city finance director, distributed copies of a financial summary comparing the 2020 and the 2021 budgets and said his goal is to keep expenses in line.

Rabey also gave the October financial report. He reported general fund revenue was down about $17,000 due to a decrease in sales tax revenue. He said the Water Department fund was up $23,000 due to an increased customer base, and the street fund was up about $13,000.

Police chief Chuck Skaggs reported new radios are currently being installed in all the police cars and said a Walmart executive donated $6,000 to the department's Shop with a Cop program. Youngsters will be taken for shopping and a pizza on Dec. 9.

Maddox reported at the conclusion of the meeting that owners of a barbecue food truck have submitted an application to begin doing business soon in Centennial Park.

Susan Holland may be reached by email at


Sponsor Content

COMMENTS - It looks like you're using Internet Explorer, which isn't compatible with the Democrat-Gazette commenting system. You can join the discussion by using another browser, like Firefox or Google Chrome.
It looks like you're using Microsoft Edge. The Democrat-Gazette commenting system is more compatible with Firefox and Google Chrome.