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Special meeting expected

Mayor Bob Freeman told the Van Buren City Council Monday night he expects to call a special meeting to consider bids for the traffic lights to be installed at West Pointer Trail and North 16th Street.

“I don’t want to lose weeks on this project,” Freeman said.

The mayor said the city is preparing to bid the project.

“I wanted to have the project completed by the time school starts in August,” Freeman said. “I am not sure if it will be possible.”

Traffic flow at the intersection is expected to increase with the completion of Northridge Drive from Arkansas 59 to Oliver Springs Road, providing an alternative route from the increasingly busy Arkansas 59.

At the monthly meeting, the council voted 6-0 to accept a $237,500 bid from Crawford Construction Inc. for a concessions and restroom facility at the Field of Dreams Sports Complex.

Freeman said the bid was in line with the other seven bids received for the project and did not expect any cost overruns. He said the bid includes a pump station to move waste uphill from the facility.

Freeman said the facility will be built near the complex’s five softball fields. Funding for the project is being provided by a sales tax passed by voters in 2012.

Aldermen approved a resolution authorizing the mayor and city clerk to transfer funds from the municipal judge and court clerk retirement fund to the Arkansas Public Retirement System and to the Arkansas Judicial Retirement System.

Circuit Judge Gary R. Cottrell, who served as municipal judge from 1987 to 1998, was the only remaining participant in the fund. Freeman said the city thought it was in the best interest to move about $120,000 and relieve the city of the obligation.

The council appointed Tiffany Webster to the planning commission, reappointed Bernie Manard to the housing authority, reappointed Nathan Hurst and Karen Pharis to the Civil Service Commission and appointed Steve Dufresne to the West River Valley Regional Waste District Board.

Aldermen also:

• Accepted a bid in the amount of $44,291.79 from Municipal Property Program of North Little Rock for property insurance.

• Approved a resolution for a fixed asset disposal of a computer server used by the fire department that is no longer operable.

• Set a public hearing for 7 p.m. June 17 at the monthly council meeting for vacating an easement at Arkansas Lamp in the Industrial Park.

• Approved a one-year lease agreement for Jeffrey and Wendey Roden to operate a day spa at 816 Fayetteville. The city purchased the former radio station building which eventually will be used as part of the Van Buren Police Department expansion.

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