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VB council closes streets

The Van Buren City Council voted Monday night to close streets during the morning hours of Saturday, May 11, for the Boys and Girls Club of Van Buren to hold a 5K run.

Mayor Bob Freeman said he and Police Chief Kenneth Bell have been working closely with the club which will be responsibility for liability insurance and any overtime for police officers.

“This could be a model for future events as 5Ks continue to grow in popularity,” Freeman said. “Chief Bell is working with other communities to see how they are handling running events. We need to get on top of this real fast, but do it right.”

Currently, King Elementary School seeks to close city streets for its annual Run With the Knights. Other events have been held in Lee Creek Park.

Jim Petty, the chief volunteer officer for the boys and girls club, pointed out a 1-mile walk will be held on the trail around Lake Cap Bedell in the city park.

“Only serious runners will be using the city streets,” Petty said. “It will go pretty quick.”

Petty said the club hopes to make the run a signature event and grow it each year.

“These races are here to stay,” said Pepper Bourlan, an avid runner. “When they are done right they create an improved quality of life by encouraging kids to run and get out from the front of video games.”

The May 11 5K will run at the club in the city park, head east on City Park Road, right on 20th Street, turn around King School parking ot, left back on 20th Street, right on Baldwin Street, right on 23rd Street (loops around and changes into 24th Street), left on Alma Boulevard, right on Rudy Road (changes into 24th Street), left on Maple Street, right on City Park Road and end at club.

Cost is $20 if pre-registered by May 1. T-shirts are guaranteed for only those who pre-pay by May 1. Cost is $25 the day of the race.

Early registration should be mailed or brought to the Boys and Girls Club, 1403 City Park Road, P.O. Box 443, Van Buren, AR 72957.

Race-day registration and packet pickup will begin at 7 a.m. May 11.

The council also approved:

• Purchasing a Kobelco mini excavator for $57,388, plus sales tax if applicable, from Alma Tractor and Equipment Inc.

• Disposing of a non-repairable computer workstation formerly used by the fire department.

• Advertising for property insurance.

• Transferring $250,000 from capital improvement funds to the general fund account.

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