The Helena-West Helena City Council Tuesday voted 9 to 1 to approve the acceptance of the Jonesboro Roofing bid proposal for the Malco Theater roofing project. The theater is currently leased by KIPP Delta Public Schools. Jonesboro Roofing Co. submitted the lowest bid for the project in the amount of $112,303.00 and the project will be funded by four parties, including $40,000 from a USDA Rural Development Grant, $40,000 from the Helena Public Facilities Board, $30,000 from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, and $22,232 from KIPP Delta.
The council also addressed a resolution dealing with a bid proposal for the architectural services for renovations and additions to the Helena-West Helena Community Center. The City of Helena-West Helena Police Department applied for funding for renovations to add two classrooms for education and workforce development as well as the addition of office space to “accommodate on-duty police officers during regular hours of operations and special events which will allow the city to deter crime in high risk areas through preventative and educational sourcing.”
After calling for the acceptance of the $20,000 bid for architectural services by Trull-Hollensworth Architects in Magnolia, the resolution was referred to the financial committee after lengthy debates.
Another topic of discussion included the infrastructure repairs on the Kentucky Street bridge in West Helena. After presenting the council with images of the decaying bridge, Ken Weiland, from Weiland Engineering, convinced the council to keep the bridge closed until further repairs can be made. Weiland noted that this type of bridge was common and the deterioration of this type of bridge is common after 30 plus years. After reviewing images of the bridge, the council approved to further review the potential costs associated with repairing the structure.
The council also approved 7-2 to provide deferred and incentive pay to city employees despite the growing city debt of over $1 million dollars. Full time employees will receive $550 while part-time employees will receive $350.
The council approved by a of 9 to 1 vote an ordinance “levying taxes [.005 mills] on the real and personal property located within the city of Helena-West Helena, based upon 2012 assessment to defray general expenses of the city of Helena- West Helena, Arkansas, for the year 2012 to pay pensions to retired police officers and firefighters, and pension to the widows and minor children of deceased police officers and firefighters, and for other purposes.”
The next council meeting will be held on Nov. 5 at the Helena-West Helena municipal building at 6 p.m.