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Council condemns properties

By Staff, 04/16/19 10:02 AM

PRESCOTT – Six properties in Prescott were condemned by resolution by the Prescott City Council at its April meeting Monday night.

Initially, the resolution was to condemn seven properties, but Ann McWilliams was present for the public hearing and asked for time to clean up the property she owns on E. Elm St. She told the council her father had been getting treated for cancer, and as he improved, her husband became ill, but both are better now and should be able to help her clean up the land, including razing the house on it.

Jerry Hightower grilled McWilliams on the topic asking why she didn’t respond to the initial notice. She said she didn’t know she was supposed to. McWilliams asked for time to get the property cleaned up, weather permitting. The council agreed to give her 30 days, depending on the weather, with Hightower asking her if she understood this several times and telling her if there’s a problem she needs to contact Robbie Franks, the city’s code enforcement officer.

The resolution was amended, removing McWilliams from the list, and was passed unanimously.

Justice of the Peace Curtis Lee Johnson was at the meeting, representing the Nevada County Quorum Court, and asking if the city could help with the cost of repairing the bleachers at the rodeo arena. He said the county has $3,500 available, but the cost of fixing the large bleachers will be $5,000 and the small bleachers will be $2,000 to fix.

City Attorney Glenn Vasser pointed out the city has an interlocal agreement with the Nevada County Fair Association and can’t simply “donate” money as it wouldn’t be part of the agreement. However, he said the agreement could be amended to include helping with such repairs. The issue was tabled until the agreement can be further studied.

Jamie Hillery, executive director of the Prescott-Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, was on hand to present the winners of the recent cleanup campaign. She told the panel 1,640 pounds of trash were removed from the streets, not counting the bulk items people left curbside for the city’s sanitation department. The team from the Nevada County Courthouse was the winner picking up more than 400 pounds of trash. Mike Taylor, with Firestone, presented the top three teams with gifts. She pointed out the Firestone team was one of the top three finishers, but didn’t want to award itself a prize.

Hillery reminded the panel the Chamber Banquet is April 25 and sold out two months early.

Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver gave a mayoral address, saying the city is working on the electric situation and an end is on the horizon. He said the city won’t quit until this is resolved.

Mary Godwin, director of the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, passed out information about the upcoming census, saying it’s important for the city and county to get a good count because this affects the ability to get grants and turnback money. She told the council the jobs pay $14 an hour and could last more than a year, but 30-40 reliable people are needed to collect the information.

She said Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson signed off on a drainage grant for Prescott but the work must be completed by June 30. This, she said, is a 50-50 matching grant totaling $217,000 with the state picking up $108,000. This will affect drainage at East 2nd and Olive, E. 2nd and Pine and on Mockingbird Lane.

She concluded saying the splash pad should be open for the Memorial Day weekend at the end of May, adding the mayor of Ashdown brought people from that community with him to Prescott to look at the splash pad as they are looking into establishing one of their own.