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GRAVETTE — A short public hearing was before the City Council’s Aug. 27 meeting to consider rezoning city property at 606 First Ave. S.E. and 604 First Ave. S.E. and hear input on an application for a community development block grant.

Resident Bob Kelley, who owns property on Second Avenue S.E. behind the police station, said he would prefer to have the Police Department as a neighbor rather than a fast-food place but he understood a fast-food restaurant would be an asset resulting in greater sales tax collection.

He was concerned if city hall and the Police Department move back to Main Street they’ll have the same problem prompting them to move off Main in the past — limited parking space. He also asked if a privacy fence would be erected between the restaurant and adjoining residential property, and Mayor Kurt Maddox said current zoning regulations require that.

Both Kelley and resident Vincent Welty asked about whether the alley between the two properties would remain open and Maddox said it would.

Maddox said two letters have been received in favor of the rezoning and one in opposition.

Also at the public hearing, Cassie Elliott, grant writer with Visionary Milestones, presented information about eligibility requirements for the community development block grant.

She encouraged the city to apply for a CDBG to pay for extending sewer service along Arkansas 72 east of town.

Grants are available for up to $1,000,000 for such projects.

She said having a certain percentage of low- and moderate-income residents is a requirement for eligibility and Gravette qualifies. Since this is a census year, those figures could change so they should apply as soon as possible. Applications are due in the spring.

Council members passed an ordinance correcting the dates for utility billings and payment, setting dates for water meter reading and providing for appeals or penalties for non-payment.

The council declared property at 13358 Old Train Road in Hiwasse a nuisance and set a condemnation hearing for Sept. 24. The owner, Jody Reding, was present and said he “fixed up” the property and dealt with some of the objectionable issues.

Maddox told Reding to talk to code enforcement officer David Keck about it.

In preparation for the application for a CDBG for sewer service on Arkansas 72 east of town, council members approved the engineering proposal from Burns & Mc-Donnell Engineering Company, the resident participation plan, the residential anti-displacement and moving assistance plan, the excessive force policy and authorizing the mayor to sign an application for CDBG money.

Council members voted unanimously to accept the offer of $400,000 from K-MAC Enterprises to buy city hall and the police station.

They also passed ordinances rezoning the two properties, 604 First Ave. S.E. and 606 First Ave. S.E., from open to highway commercial.

A permit was granted allowing a RazorBox Storage facility to be constructed at 12970 Arkansas 72 West.

Carl Rabey, city finance director, distributed copies of the July financial statements. He said balances in the accounts hadn’t changed since the Aug. 13 Committee of the Whole meeting and there was no change in bond funds.

Susan Holland may be reached by email at sholland@nwadg.com .

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