“To burn or not to burn?” was the question concerning the Prescott City Council at the April meeting last week. Mayor Terry Oliver asked the question after an agenda item suggesting an amendment to a burn ban ordinance, which would effectively reinstate a burn ban in city limits, failed to receive a motion.

“To burn or not to burn?” was the question concerning the Prescott City Council at the April meeting last week. Mayor Terry Oliver asked the question after an agenda item suggesting an amendment to a burn ban ordinance, which would effectively reinstate a burn ban in city limits, failed to receive a motion.
An amendment allowing residents to burn leaves and limbs expires April 30.
After discussing how burning in city limits affects health, property, and what solutions for disposing of leaves and limbs might be found, the council passed an amendment to the ordinance, which reinstates the burn ban city ordinance after April 30.
The council was given an update to the on going electric provider conversation.
Hope Water & Light, which is also considering pursuing options in an effort to reduce transmission charges to customers, may be an option for Prescott. Depending on the outcome of HW&L, a transmission line could be build from Hope to Prescott, and Prescott could purchase energy from the provider in Hope, Larry Jones said.
The city’s water system may also get an upgrade. The Arkansas Natural Resource Commission approved a grant and loan for a project that would provide for the replacement of a line that begins at the Little Missouri River and ends at the pond at Firestone facilities. Perry Nelson, water and sewer superintendent, said the system was built in 1964 and in the 80’s was adjusted to provide water for residents.
The grant would cover 10 percent of project cost. the remaining 90 percent can be financed with a principle forgiveness loan, which allows the city to fund the project with little to no cost or interest. While the project has been approved for $3 million, the council will have the final say on if the project takes place after the project has been estimated.
Firestone’s contract with the city for water was also updated.
Perry said the plant can purchase up to 650,000 gallons a day and the contract should be renewed every ten years at Firestone’s request, and the cost of the water can be adjusted every five years based on the consumer price index.
Due to an oversight and personnel changes, contract renewals have not been maintained. At the suggestion of City Attorney Glenn Vasser, the contract was amended to allow for the billing of water sold to Firestone while not under the purview of a contract.
Previously, Firestone paid 56 cents per 1,000 gallons. Adjusted based on the CPI, the new contract sets the rate at $1.03 per 1,000 gallons.
During citizens comments, property owner Rudy Sullivan brought concerns about his property to the council.
Sullivan, whose property was discussed at the March meeting for being in violation of code, said he has been working to clean his property up, but he has concerns.
“Maybe to some this is just junk,” he said. “But this is how I make my living.”
Sullivan said he was concerned about being fined if his property doesn’t meet expectations by the time allowed in a notice he was given.
Connie Beard, who was charged with enforcing the code, said Sullivan has no need to worry.
“He’s been making progress,” she said. “I’ve been working with him and have spoken to him - we are not going to charge the fine if we know your addressing the issue.”
Beard offered to continue to visit with Sullivan as he addresses the issues on his property. She also said several property owners have been contacted regarding property issues.
“We understand we are starting to enforce things and we want to work with people to avoid fines,” she said. “This is not about going after people, it’s about getting back on track with our code enforcement.”
(Editor’s Note — Due to staff turnover, please refer any questions or updates for this story to Picayune Editor Rick Kennedy at rkennedy@hopestar.com)