Berryville council congratulates McKinney on AML post

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Berryville Mayor Tim McKinney was greeted with mild fanfare during the regular meeting of the Berryville City Council on Tuesday, July 6, as council members congratulated him on his recent election as president of the Arkansas Municipal League.

McKinney was absent during the previous meeting of the council on June 15 because he was attending the the league’s annual meeting in Little Rock, where he was sworn in.

“I appreciate the congratulations,” said McKinney, who became the first Berryville mayor to lead the statewide organization. “I just want to say none of it would be possible without you people. You all gave me a second chance when I may not even have deserved it, but I wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for you all and for the people of Berryville.”

Tim Mckinney

During the meeting, council members were presented with a monthly activity report from the city’s Saunders Museum.

“Looks like it’s about right back to 2019,” said council member Max Nichols.

The report, issued for the month of June, showed the museum hosted 171 visitors and took in $944, including $827.50 in admission fees. Two years ago, the museum hosted 174 visitors in June and took in $877.

“I think they’re having a pretty good year,” McKinney said.

In other business, the board considered a request from a downtown merchant for a parking tag for the square. Normally, parking is limited to two hours, but the requesting party — who volunteers at the Senior Center Thrift Store — cited a medical reason for being unable to regularly move her car.

“Since we first put in the two-hour limit, we’ve given two that I know of,” McKinney said.

After some discussion, the board agreed to grant the permit.

“It seems reasonable,” said council member Jason Williams, “especially if you’re working in a business as a volunteer, that business should have a parking permit for people to use.”

The council also voted unanimously to hire Bruce Wright as construction manager for the city’s renovation project on the downtown square.

“He’s going to oversee the job and keep the contractors and the cement people [in line],” McKinney said. “He’ll work on a contract basis kind of like what we did at the armory with the construction manager out there.”

McKinney said Wright’s compensation for the job has yet to be determined.

“We’re still in negotiation,” McKinney said. “Usually, it’s just a percentage of the job. I think his is going to be on a weekly basis.”

The board also discussed safety concerns from city residents near George’s Pond.

“We had some citizens got some concerns about safety over George’s Pond, the traffic around there with the kids,” McKinney said. “I’ve looked at it quite a bit and I think there’s parts of that area that we need to put up chain link fence to keep kids from running out in the road. One of the worst is on the north side. That road that goes around there is very narrow.”

McKinney said residents had suggested putting speed bumps in along the approximately two-block stretch of Hanby Avenue.

“I don’t know that speed bumps are the solution,” McKinney said, instead suggesting making that stretch of Hanby a one-way street. “There’s just about three houses there and all they’d have to do is circle the pond. It wouldn’t be a big inconvenience to make that a one-way street.”

The council agreed to begin looking into the matter.

The council — which met in executive session before adjourning — also voted to grant yearly step raises to all employees who were eligible, save one who was granted a two-step raise based on the recommendation of their supervisor and another who was not granted a raise based on an evaluation and a limited work schedule.

Some of the employees who have been recently hired or promoted won’t receive the raise until they have completed six months of duty at their respective positions.

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 20, at Berryville City Hall.

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