A new patrol car, a potential grant for expansion of the city's sewer system, a city park with a soccer field and walking track and a hazard mitigation plan were all topics at Highland City Council's regular monthly meeting May 12.
Resolutions 09-11 and 09-12 were accepted by Highland City Council. The resolutions were to allow the city to apply for a grant and enter into a contract for funding from the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for a fun park which would include a new soccer field, playground area and walking track. Alderman Ty Casey said the Soccer Commission would be responsible for the clean-up of the park and the city would maintain the park. Alderman Mary Jo Clark, who was instrumental in orchestrating the plan for the park and obtaining funding information, outlined a variety of funding options available to the city.
The potential grant from the Parks and Tourism Department would provide the labor cost for building the park if the city provides the land. Clark said the park would include a play area and soccer field surrounded by the walking track.
In other business Resolution 09-08 was passed. Alderman Larry Allen reviewed the Hazard Mitigation Plan and presented a summary to the council about the contents of the proposed resolution.
Allen said this plan was designed to make the city more prepared for a natural disaster and help reduce the risks of these hazards by being proactive. Allen said they assess probable risks by utilizing historical data to establish the potential of a reoccurrence of a natural disaster.
In order for the city to receive government funding in the event of a disaster, the city must have adopted this resolution. Resolution 09-08 requires the city of Highland to submit an annual report detailing at least one proactive measure the city has taken to become more prepared for a disaster. Allen said some examples of these things would be a safe house.
In other business, the city council voted to purchase a new patrol car. Hardy Mayor Jerome Norwood will be ordering the new Dodge Charger for the city.
An issue brought up at last month's meeting was whether or not to continue to allow Highland Police Chief Bea Sharp to drive the police vehicle home from work as she has done since she was hired.
Sharp and Alderman Woodrow Pardue feel that since Sharp is always on call, the vehicle being in close proximity is vital to response time. Sharp said she not only serves residents of the city of Highland, but also people in any area that might need her.
In other business, Highland City Council approved Resolution 02-09 allowing the city to go into debt for a possible loan from Rural Development for an expansion of the city's sewer system.
Norwood said that he is waiting for the award from a USDA grant for the city for $297,000 to aid in the project before actually applying for the $128,000 loan from Rural Development.
Norwood said the expansion of the sewer system will allow the city to serve more residents. He said this loan will not raise rates and that the additional customers will be enough to cover the loan payment.
Highland City Council meets on the second Tuesday of the month at 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend.