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Mayor Joe Smith's plans to add lodging overlooking the Burns Park Golf Course are being revamped but still in the works, Smith said.

In announcing in November his intent for the city to issue bonds to cover an expected $10 million construction overrun for a new police and courts building, Smith also included improvements at the municipal airport and the addition of three cabins on a small ridge that overlooks the golf course and the Arkansas River.

The City Council last week approved moving ahead with hiring a bond underwriter and bond counsel for a $10 million bond issue for the police and courts building. Smith postponed action for $4 million in bonds for the airport work until more detailed plans are made available to the council.

The cabins, or cottages, as they've been relabeled, won't be included in either bond issue, but their cost would be from other revenue, Smith said. Originally, the three projects were going to be in a single $15 million bond issue.

"We're still working on the cottages," Smith said recently. "We're not there yet. We're probably a month away on how to figure out if we build them, how much that will cost and how much we could get out it."

The cottages are projected as a revenue source for the city through rentals to families visiting Burns Park for tournaments for golf, tennis, soccer, baseball and softball.

600 Main Building awaits dirt turning

Another project the city is waiting on is the three-story, 600 Main Building planned to be near the new $5.36 million Argenta Plaza downtown.

The $6.97 million building will be the new home for the city's Convention and Visitors Bureau on the ground floor. The other two floors will be taken up by the Arkansas Automobile Dealers Association and Taggart Architects.

Convention and Visitors Bureau President Bob Major told the city Advertising and Promotion Commission at its meeting Tuesday that a groundbreaking is projected to happen "in the next 45 days."

The 42,000-square-foot Argenta Plaza, on Main Street between Fifth and Sixth streets, has been under construction since August. The First Orion building, to be the new headquarters for the company that develops and sells software for cellphones, is also under construction immediately behind the plaza.

Meeting on forming Lions Club is reset

A meeting to discuss the possibility of forming an Argenta branch of the North Little Rock Lions Club has been rescheduled from Tuesday to March 12 at Argenta United Methodist Church, 317 Main St.

Lunch will be provided. The meeting will begin at noon and is scheduled to last about an hour.

More information by emailing [email protected]

Contract approved for design services

The City Council approved a $212,307 contract with Thomas Engineering Co. to provide engineering services for the previously approved $1.74 million Sixth Street Design Project and for two public parking lots on the north side of the new street.

The project will insert a one-block addition to Sixth Street downtown between Main and Magnolia streets and build the two parking lots, all to accommodate new development in the downtown Argenta district, including the Argenta Plaza and First Orion building.

Each parking lot will accommodate 50 vehicles, or could be built as one lot to accommodate 100 vehicles, Mayor Joe Smith said before the council meeting, adding that the final plan wasn't determined.

Metro on 01/20/2019

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