Council OKs parade, sudivision regulation amendment

Thursday, November 3, 2011

BERRYVILLE -- A parade permit request was approved by Berryville City Council members Tuesday to allow the annual Christmas Parade to go forward with a new staging site.

The request, submitted by Chamber Director Ginger Oaks, calls for a Saturday evening parade on Dec. 3, starting at 6:30 p.m. and following its usual route.

What will be different is the staging area for floats. Because of a large party at the Berryville Community Center that evening, the floats will line up at Southern Heights Baptist Church instead, located on Ark. Hwy. 221 South.

Oaks said the parade route will remain the same: Carl Street to U.S. Hwy. 62 and proceeding west through the center of the Public Square and ending at Price Cutter where parade participants are to disperse, staying away from the community center if possible.

She was also granted permission to allow vendors to sell items on the square during the parade, such as 4-H members who plan to offer fresh wreaths.

Limb pickup

In other business, the council members discussed briefly the city's residential limb pickup program that has been scheduled to start next week. It is designed to help residents clear their properties of stray limbs that have fallen or were cut by the homeowner. No piles of limbs left behind by a professional tree trimmer will be included. Residents are to set "neat piles" of limbs at the curb with their trunks facing the curb for easy loading into the chipper.

Mayor Tim McKinney said city crews will be out to "search and see what's out there." If someone is missed, they are to call city hall. Limb pickup will be one week only, ending Friday, Nov. 11. It will be followed by the annual leaf pickup program that runs Nov. 14 through Dec. 9. Leaf pickup route schedules are available at city hall.

Police activity

Police Chief Dave Muniz appeared before council to present his monthly report. He confirmed there had been a rash of thefts lately, mainly thefts from vehicles, and said investigators had good leads they were pursuing. In September, 26 thefts were reported and there were another 22 in October.

Insurance procurement

The council passed on all three readings an ordinance waiving competitive bidding and purchasing property and building insurance from the city's present carrier, United Insurance Agency. McKinney said the premium rose by $5,000 this year, to $29,927, because the city increased its coverage by $1.8 million with upgrades at the wastewater plant, and because the city had claims last year. He said a quote from the municipal league was higher, at a little more than $33,000, and United had a proven service record with the city.

Subdivision regulations

Council members passed the second reading of an ordinance amending subdivision regulations, as recommended by the planning commission. The third and final reading is expected at the council's next meeting, set for 6 p.m., Nov. 15, at city hall.

McKinney said he was beginning the budget process.

Alderman Joel Gibson suggested they "be fair and honest with everyone."

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