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Fayetteville ready to receive pandemic relief money

by Stacy Ryburn | June 16, 2021 at 7:00 a.m.
File photo/NWA Democrat-Gazette/DAVID GOTTSCHALK The city of Fayetteville logo is seen at City Hall on Feb. 14, 2017.

FAYETTEVILLE -- The city's chief financial officer is ready to sign the paperwork required to receive nearly $18 million in federal coronavirus aid money.

The City Council on Tuesday voted 7-0 to approve an item Mayor Lioneld Jordan walked onto the evening's agenda. The move allowed Chief Financial Officer Paul Becker to sign an agreement for the terms and conditions attached to the city's share of American Rescue Plan relief money.

The city is set to receive about $17.9 million. The council's authorization allows the city to receive the money. A spending plan will come later, Becker said.

"This resolution has nothing to do with the appropriation or expenditure of that money," he said.

Arkansas state and local governments are getting about $2.6 billion in pandemic aid. Of the four major cities in Northwest Arkansas, Springdale is getting the most with $21.4 million. Rogers is receiving $11.7 million and Bentonville $6.9 million.

The U.S. Treasury Department has said the money can be used to support public health and address negative economic impacts caused by the public health emergency. Cities can use the money for a broad range of purposes under that umbrella.

Jordan said he wants to address social, environmental and economic issues with the money. He plans to get recommendations from the city's various resident-led panels, residents and City Council members.

Workforce training, housing, infrastructure and helping local businesses are on Jordan's mind, he said. Jordan said he wants input from the public but also wants to move quickly.

"I know in this city you get a lot of different points of view, and I welcome that," he said. "Diversity is our strength here. So, it's from the diverse voice of the people that we'll come up with solutions with how we're going to spend this money we're getting."

The City Council will have to approve a plan to spend the money.

In other business, the council voted 7-0 to approve certain stormwater regulations for single-lot developments. Council Member Matthew Petty was absent.

The regulations will have developers use a book of standards to implement based on total added impervious surface area. Certain standards will be required for developments adding 1,201 to 6,000 square feet of new impervious surface area. More standards will be required for developments adding 6,001 and more square feet of impervious surface area. Drainage requirements will be reviewed during the building permit process, said Alan Pugh, city staff engineer.

The requirements will apply to single-family homes and duplexes that are not a part of a subdivision designed under the city's current drainage regulations, Pugh said. Those subdivisions are already subject to the city's drainage criteria manual, he said.

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Council action

Fayetteville’s City Council met Tuesday and approved:

Allowing the Fire Department to contract with a software company for data compilation pertaining to fire protection systems for businesses.

Rezoning a single lot southwest of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Wood Avenue for a potential townhome development.

Rezoning about 4 of 22 acres owned by Fayetteville Public Schools near the high school to redevelop portions of the site for school athletic facilities.

Source: Fayetteville

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