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Rogers council approves police upgrades, rezoning

by Alex Golden | February 24, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
Rogers City Hall, April 11, 2016

ROGERS -- The Police Department will move forward with upgrades and a new ethics program.

The City Council on Tuesday approved a $2,000 donation from the family of Jim Tull to the department. Tull is the Civil Service Commission chairman. The department has decided to use the money to help start an ethics training program for its police officers, Police Chief Hayes Minor said.

One police officer will attend a one-week training program in Plano, Texas.

"They'll get the training and come back, and we will start an ethics program within the Police Department," Minor said.

The council also voted to allow the department to spend about $30,300 on an evidence storage system to replace its current one. The department's system had a major malfunction last year and was repaired, but it is at the end of its life and new parts for it are unavailable, Minor said. The new system is similar with some technological upgrades.

Money from the bond issue approved by voters in 2018 will pay for the new system. The bond issue included $11.5 million for the Police Department.

The department will also upgrade a server for $24,250. Council members passed all items unanimously.

The council also unanimously approved a $6,500 grant to the Fire Department from the state's trauma system, which regulates how patients experiencing medical emergencies are treated. The money will pay for telecommunication devices to help in the treatment of trauma patients, according to city documents.

The council voted 5-3 to rezone about 2.3 acres southeast to the intersection of 46th and Olive streets from residential office to neighborhood commercial at the request of HVM Construction Inc. The land doesn't include the Malco Rogers Towne Cinema Grill on 46th Street, said Bill Watkins, an attorney representing the request.

Four residents expressed concern to the council about not knowing what may be built on the property, which neighbors the Scottsdale Center, a shopping center with several empty storefronts. Residents said they would like to see the Scottsdale Center revitalized and do not want to see apartments built on the land.

Watkins said he doesn't know exactly what will be built on the property.

"This is not going to be a single-use residential development. This is intended to be a mixed-use development," he said.

Developers don't have to submit plans for projects when requesting to rezone land.

Council members Clay Kendall, April Legere, Mark Kruger, Barney Hayes and Gary Townzen voted in favor of the rezone, while council members Mandy Brashear, Marge Wolfe and Betsy Reithemeyer voted against it.

Alex Golden may be reached by email at agolden@nwadg.com.

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