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A united North Little Rock City Council swiftly approved a $10.875 million bond issue Monday to build the city’s new police and courts building while repealing its earlier passage of a $4.925 million bond issue that would have financed improvements at the city’s airport.

Members of the City Council voted 8-0 on the ordinance Monday evening that both approved the police and courts bond issue and repealed issuing bonds for airport improvements.

The City Council had split, 4-4, on Aug. 26 on an ordinance that combined the passage of the two bond issues into a single vote. The four council members who voted against that ordinance had stated that they preferred to vote separately on the two bond issues. Mayor Joe Smith then cast the deciding vote for a 5-4 approval.

Smith announced late last week that he would ask the City Council to repeal the airport bonds because of questions about how the bonds could be used, saying that having previously combined the two bond issues into one piece of legislation could jeopardize the police and courts project. The bond issue for the police and courts also had to be reapproved in the new action.

The improvements that were scheduled for the North Little Rock Municipal Airport, 8200 Remount Road, included a general aviation center, a corporate aircraft hangar, expanded parking and a restaurant. The aviation center and the restaurant would both be leased to private businesses to operate.

“The bond counsel had concerns about having longterm leases on buildings constructed with bond money,” City Attorney Amy Fields said.

The Friday, Eldredge & Clark law firm is the city’s bond counsel.

Print Headline: Officials approve police, courts bond issue, pull airport money

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