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Council informed of health fair, grant, zoning request

By Staff, 08/20/19 10:04 AM

PRESCOTT – Berry Marks, UAMS healthcare advocate, was on hand at the August meeting of the Prescott City Council Monday night to talk about the upcoming health fair on Sept. 7.

Marks told the panel everything is on track for the event, which will be held at the Spot community center and feature health screenings such as blood pressure, glucose, STD, HIV, mammograms, prostate checks and more. It will also have splash pads and bounce houses for children and take up about a block of Elm Street.

The health fair will be from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m., with a gospel concert at the Prescott Sports Complex set for 6 p.m. The featured entertainers for the event will be Tim Rogers and the Fellas.

Marks pointed out food has been donated and everything at the event will be free, including the concert. He said 28 agencies are involved in the event, offering their services and he’s been advertising it as well, getting area churches on board. “All I ask is for the community to support the event. I’m hoping to have it every year and next year I’d like to do two events.”

Marks added there will be a police presence at the health fair and concert. He asked for help with tables and chairs, saying they’re needed for vendors and the screenings.

Councilman Susie Meeks questioned the budget for the Prescott-Nevada County Economic Development Office, specifically salaries. Mary Godwin, EDO director, said the city gives the EDO $45,000 a year while the county provides $20,000-$25,000 annually. This provides salaries for two people, Godwin and Tammy Rose, while the office’s budget comes from the city sales tax fund. Rose’s salary, she said, is listed as Main Street.

City Accountant Carl Dalrymple pointed out the council approved the budget from sales tax, while Godwin’s salary comes from the $45,000 from the city. He added the EDO’s year is from July 1 to June 30.

Godwin said Rose would rather get paid from the general account as she has neither insurance nor retirement the way things are.

Councilman Howard Austin questioned why the city gives more than the county to the EDO and suggesting the need to equalize things. He said he wasn’t trying to cause problems, but this is something that needs to be looked at.

The council was informed this is through an interlocal agreement with the county, and the city pays more on a lot of these agreements.

The council gave Theresa Tyree, county librarian, permission to continue working on a USDA grant to purchase 22 new computers and a scanner for the Nevada County Library. She said this wouldn’t cost the city anything as the match would come from Friends of the Library in the amount of $13,400.

She reminded the council the library hasn’t had new computers since 2008 and some of the software isn’t compatible with these machines. If the grant is approved, some of the computers will be donated to the community center with others to be sold.

There was no discussion on approving the annual 5 mill tax on real and personal property. The council was told this must be done annually so the city can received turnback funds from the state.

Jimmy Brown, local resident and business owner, asked the council to rezone a structure on Ross St. from Commercial to Residential so he and his wife could move in and live there temporarily. He said the couple recently sold their home and are facing a deadline on having to get out. They want to remodel the structure, once the old Lays building, across from the Prescott Fire Station 2, and stay there until they find something else.

Brown said he didn’t find out he needed permission from surrounding property owners until 4 p.m. Monday and scrambled to get them to sign off. Under the zoning laws, owners within 200 feet of the structure must approve the change. He said the building has a full bath and kitchen already, but he doesn’t want to put any money into it if they can’t live there.

He told the panel he’d spoken with the pastor at Central Baptist Church who said he was leaving and this would have to be taken up with the church. Dalrymple said it wouldn’t be a problem. According to Brown, all other homeowners in the area approved.

City Attorney Glenn Vasser said the proper way to do this would be to go through the Planning and Zoning Commission, but the city doesn’t have one, so it’ll be up to the council to approve. He suggested having a title company do a search to determine the owners in the 200-foot radius to make sure everyone involved has signed.

Brown pointed out he and his wife can’t wait till the next council meeting to move as they have to be out of their house by the end of this month. “I don’t know what’ll happen if we move in otherwise.”

Vasser said if no one objects he can prepare an ordinance for the council and sees no problem as it won’t devalue property in the area. He added there shouldn’t be a problem with them moving in before the next meeting.

As the meeting closed, Prescott Mayor Terry Oliver said a second member of the council has been elected to a state committee in Patricia Roberts.