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City Council to consider University Drive master plans Monday

The Pine Bluff City Council is scheduled to consider a proposed resolution that would authorize the mayor to contract with Cromwell Architects and Engineers of Little Rock for $37,000 of professional services along University Drive.

The proposed contract between the city and Cromwell Architects would have Cromwell perform landscaping; designate pedestrian crossings; install bush shelters, benches, trash cans and signs. The project would last for six months.

Alderman Lloyd Holcomb Jr. is sponsoring the proposed resolution. He said these measures would set the stage for bringing in businesses to that area of the city.

“This is an effort to get this project going,” Holcomb said. “I am looking to improve our city in every aspect in this project and all other aspects as we revitalize our city.”

In conjunction with these measures, Holcomb said he considers education to be a cornerstone toward development.

Lori Walker, assistant director of Pine Bluff Economic and Community Development, touts these projects as improving the quality of life for residents. She said the master plan is helping to identify sites in the area that are ready to be built based on lot sizes and recommended uses.

Walker said the planning part is focusing on the area around three new businesses: Family Dollar, a Dollar General and a gas station. She said there has been about $2 million in private investment along University Drive.

The Family Dollar is being built to new design standard in accordance with the City Council’s passage of a measure in December 2015.

Walker said there is $270,000 to do streetscape work as well. This money was leftover from the Transportation Community and System Preservation Grant through the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department.

The streetscape will improve the pedestrian environment, Walker said. There will be public meetings in October with the Family Community Development Corporation to allow residents and University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff students to share their ideas.

“In the realm of streetscape, $270,000 is not a lot of money,” Walker said. “We are going to rely on planners to plan the streetscape.”

The council is also scheduled to consider the following items:

*A proposed resolution that would authorize the mayor to contract with Mehlbuger Brawley Firm of Little Rock for professional services regarding the Southwood Elementary School sidewalk and the 42nd Avenue/Fir Street intersection drainage improvement project.

*A second reading on a proposed ordinance that would set a deadline of Dec. 31, 2016, to clear Main Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues;

*A proposed resolutions that would set a millage for the Firemen’s Relief and Pension Fund and the Policemen’s Relief and Pension Fund for the city of Pine Bluff;

*A proposed resolution that would set the millage for general purposes as authorized and prescribed by law for the city of Pine Bluff;

*A proposed resolution that would set the millage for the operation and maintenance of the Pine Bluff Public Library:

*A proposed resolution providing for the placement of costs of correcting certain nuisances on tax books and delinquent taxes.

*A proposed budget adjustment that would transfer existing money to pay for police officers to have bullet-proof vests.

*A proposed budget adjustment that would transfer $4,000 to pay for collection agency fees.

The council meets at 5:30 p.m. Monday in council chambers at the civic complex. Committee meetings begin at 5 p.m.

Article source: http://www.pbcommercial.com/news/20161001/city-council-to-consider-university-drive-master-plans-monday