Tuesday, March 1, 2011

HWH City Council Passes Zoning Ordinance and Multiple Resolutions on 10-0 votes

HELENA-WEST HELENA- The Helena-West Helena City Council passed several items on 10-0 votes, showing the willingness of the council majority to work with Willis on issues of common ground.

Jim Petty Presents MeadowBrook Park to council
The council began by passing a zoning ordinance that had been authored by the Valley administration and pending for over a year.  The vote on the new consolidated zoning code was 10-0.  The push for the vote came as the council heard a request from developers of the new Meadowbrook Park neighborhood.  The new development will be located near New Haven Baptist Church and consist of 29 new homes.

Due to the tight construction time required for the state's financial assistance on the project, Alderman Don Etherly pushed for approval of the long-awaited zoning code.  He said, "We need to pass this zoning code so that Planning Commission can do what they need to do.  I am for this development."  City Attorney Chalk Mitchell, after conferring with Code Enforcement Officer Patrick Allen.  Mithcell said, "I am not an expert in this area....It seems the best thing to do is pass the zoning ordinance."  The council also gave the developers approval to begin preliminary dirt work pending the approval of the project by the Planning Commission.

The Humane Society also secured the support of the City of Helena-West Helena to participate in a county-wide animal shelter.  The Humane Society, along with the county and five municipalities have a grant for construction of a new animal shelter that was obtained during the Valley administration.  The Humane Society asked for Helena-West Helena to contribute two animal control officers and a vehicle to the continuing animal control operation.  The four other municipalities are contributing four dollars per person living in their area on an annual basis.  The Humane Society now will seek the contribution of the county.  Animals picked up will be kept for 10 days before being put down.  The council approved the request for the city's contribution by a vote of 10-0, prompting applause from the audience.

The final item that received unanimous approval was a resolution authorizing the Mayor to sign a performance bond in the amount of $1.8 million for final compliance with a consent order dating to the landfill's closure under the administration of Johnny Weaver.  Landfill Director Bob Gaston reported that this was a financially sound move.  He said that the landfill had met most of the requirements of the consent decree during the Valley administration.  This is the final year of the order and several portions of the landfill must be closed as part of the original order.  The bond will also provide enough funds for expansion of the landfill by 3 acres and a more efficient leachate system to dispose of the material into the city sewer instead of trucking it away.

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