BV council waives bidding for part of soccer complex work

Friday, September 7, 2018

The Berryville City Council is trying to get the groundwork done for the Berryville Soccer Complex to have it ready for the spring 2019 youth soccer season.

The council voted Tuesday to approve Ordinance 1041, waiving competitive bidding for the costs of materials and services necessary for the installation of field sod and an irrigation system at the Berryville Soccer Complex on West Freeman Avenue.

The council voted to adopt an emergency clause in order to approve the ordinance on its second and third readings by title only.

Mayor Tim McKinney said the city will solicit bids from at least two reputable providers for installation of the field sod and irrigation system, and the lowest qualified bid will be accepted. The rest of the Berryville Soccer Complex project will be bid out through the customary competitive bidding process, he said.

He said an emergency clause was added to the ordinance because the city is trying to get the soccer complex ready for the 2019 spring youth soccer season.

“The schedule will be tight, but at least this gives us the option,” he said.

The council also voted to approve Ordinance 1040, transferring the administration of retirement coverage for eligible members of the Berryville Fire Pension and Relief Fund to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System (LOPFI) and authorizing McKinney to enter into an irrevocable agreement with LOPFI.

“Is this for all the older people?” asked alderwoman Cindy George. “I know the new people are already on LOPFI.”

“Yes,” McKinney said. “This will get it completely out of the city’s hands. They’ll get their checks like they always get and a 3 percent raise. They were all in agreement this would be the best way to do it.”

The council voted to adopt an emergency clause to pass the ordinance on its second and third readings by title only.

Also at the meeting, the council voted to approve a request for use of the Public Square by Steve Johnson, executive director of the Greater Berryville Area Chamber of Commerce, and David Bell for a Rider Appreciation Day to be held from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 29, on the northwest corner of the Square.

“My only question is about the drug store that morning and through the afternoon,” George said. “I know part of your intention in saying the northwest corner was to use the gazebo. I’m thinking we need to leave some parking spaces there in front of the drug store for sure.”

McKinney said a sign was put up during the Ice Cream Social asking that people please reserve a few of the parking spaces for customers picking up their prescriptions from the drug store.

“I think it worked out well,” he said. “You might go by and visit with them about that.”

Johnson said the idea for a Rider Appreciation Day came about because that is the weekend of the Bikes, Blues and Barbecue festival in Fayetteville, which brings about 400,000 bikers to Northwest Arkansas.

“Tons of them come through the Square Wednesday, Thursday and Friday,” Johnson said. “We thought it would be a great way to have some folks turn off on the Square. Berryville is a very motorcycle-friendly city.”

Johnson said they will hand out lists of restaurants in town with restaurants that are Chamber members at the top of the list.

“There are a lot of riders who don’t know how great Berryville is,” Johnson said. “We want to get them off their bikes and have them explore the historic Square.”

The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 18, at City Hall.

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