Update on town projects heard at Jonesboro Board of Aldermen meeting

The Board of Aldermen for the Town of Jonesboro held their regularly scheduled monthly session for May this past Tuesday evening where an update on the several improvement projects finalized a short agenda.

The session held at the Charles H. Garrett Community Center started with what has become a routine request over the last several meetings by Councilman Devin Flowers that had the same results as before. Flowers asked that the agenda be amended to include the presentation of contracts of several officials and employees of the town of Jonesboro, stating that the public had a right to know what all was entailed. After several minutes of heated discussion between council members, this was shot down again as it had been in the three previous attempts through the vote of the council.

Flowers also attempted to have the approval of April’s finances tabled using the same reasoning of his agenda amendment desire. His motion was seconded by Robert Hunter. The ensuing vote ended in a 2-2 tie with Councilmembers James Ginn and Nia-Evans Johnson standing opposed to the motion. As with parliamentary procedure in the event of a tie vote, the mayor then can cast a deciding vote, which Dr. James “Spike” Harris did, deciding to not table the item but call for a vote to act on it. That also received a tie vote with Harris once again casting the deciding ballot to approve the April financials.

Mr. Anderson and Mr. Burns then addressed the council regarding having a city ordinance that states large trucks are not permitted on incorporated streets of the town changed. Their reasoning was that they had no way of reaching their homes under the current situation due to the problem of the way a main access is constructed.

“With the way you must turn off Hwy 167 onto Beech Springs Road, it is dangerous and has already caused an accident. There is simply not enough room to make that turn with a big truck when there is traffic at the light,” stated Burns. “The only other alternative we have is to go down Leon Drive.”

After hearing more regarding the problems being faced, Compliance Officer Wayne Anderson, requested time be given to review the statutes in place. The council decided to take the request under advisement and to come back with a decision at the next meeting. In a corresponding move, Mayor Harris asked Jonesboro Assistant Police Chief Warren Johnson to allow for this to take place before writing any more citations for this violation.

The session closed with Mayor Harris providing updates on several projects and activities currently going on in the town including:

1. Patterson Street Water Tank – Expected to be back in service in 2-3 weeks.
2. Water Well #1 – Expected to be back in service in 3-4 weeks.
3. Sewer Projects – All should be completed by the end of July, weather permitting.
4. South Oxidation Pond – Project Completed
5. Lift Station Project – With the installation of 2 generators project will be completed.
6. Airport Apron Project – On hold currently while seeking reclassification.
7. National Guard Building – Open House with Ribbon Cutting planned for May 19th.
8. Budget sessions among council members begin this week.
9. Online purchase system for city employees in place
10. Water meter reading is expected to take place in August.

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