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Meeks, Nelson honored at Prescott City Council

The Prescott City Council met for their May meeting last night and honored Mrs. Susie Meeks and Mr. Perry Nelson.

When Mrs. Susie Meeks was elected in 1998, she was the first African-American woman to be elected alderman in Prescott. Meeks was awarded a plaque that thanked her for the 24 years of dedicated service to the citizens of Prescott. Mayor Terry Oliver said he was proud of her and that “Ms. Susie always does the right thing.” After she received her award, Meeks said she was honored and that she has enjoyed her years on the City Council.

Mr. Perry Nelson, Superintendent of Prescott Water and Sewer, was awarded a 2022 Wastewater Special System Recognition Award. Mayor Oliver said Nelson had been with Prescott since 1976 and that he was one of the best water and sewer guys in the state. This award is from Arkansas Waterworks and Water Environment Association for utilities serving populations serving less than 5001. Nelson said he appreciated the award and that the department was proud for being honored for the work on their system.

During committee reports, EDO Director Mary Godwin shared with council members that the first house of the cleanup project came down last week and that others were on the list to be next. She also said that letters have been sent out to those who haven’t mowed yet this year.

Godwin also introduced the issue of subleasing the Smiles building which is still under contract with Smiles, whose original agreement was for five years.  She says Brittany Moss, who provides CNA and other certifications to area residents, was renting a house across from Hillcrest but now needs a bigger space and would like to enter into a sublease agreement with Smiles with council approval. City Attorney Glenn Vasser joined in the conversation and reminded the council that when this lease agreement with Smiles first came to be that the city had invested a lot of money in that building which is why the lease agreement with Smiles was $2000 a month for five years. Smiles no longer has a dentist for this location so the building is empty, but they have continued to pay their rent. They can’t sublease without the council’s consent, so he suggested they pass a resolution to consent to the sublease. Moss will pay them $1000 a month, they get some of their money back, and the city still gets their money back on renovation, a “win-win” he called it. All terms of the original lease still apply. The motion was made to approve and this resolution was passed.

In Chief Ann Jordan’s report, she invited council members to check out the Prescott Police Department (PPD) Facebook page. She said the PPD was doing great things in the community and sharing it on their page. Mayor Terry Oliver followed up her remarks and said the PPD was doing a good job of community policing.

Perry Nelson addressed the council about two projects in which he labeled emergency and said these issues could not be put off for the time it takes to get grant funding, loans, etc. He said East Elm Street had 450 ft of sewer line, installed in 1911, that needs replacing, and Webb street had an old concrete sewer line that also needed replacing. He said the engineer has had a look and the estimates for Elm and Webb are $144,000 and $179,000 respectively. Nelson asked that the rescue fund money be used for these projects since these projects were time-sensitive. After a brief discussion, the motion to move forward with these projects using the rescue fund money was made and approved.

Nelson also shared with the council two other projects that needed attention: the intake at the river plant and the sewer plant. He said a design was in the works to fix these issues and they would require a lot of money. However, to apply for loans and grants, the council needed to grant signatory approval to the mayor and clerk to allow them to sign applications to apply for this money. The council approved this resolution to allow them signatory authority to apply for funds from Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

Citizen Larry Faulkner addressed the council and asked for assistance with a few issues. He said his neighbor’s animals (chickens, ducks, and dogs) were entering his property and causing damage, and he asked for assistance with this. He also said that truck drivers were driving to fast on a hill near his property and he was afraid someone would get hurt. Faulkner also asked the council if anything could be done about a certain graveyard where he and his late wife had two plots. He said his wife is already buried there, but that the cemetery was getting so full that there was no room for his plot now. Mayor Oliver, Chief Jordan, and council members had a brief discussion about these issues and possible solutions. Oliver and Jordan both said they would look into things.  

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