Council approves purchase, hears opposition to alcohol | News

JONESBORO — City Council members voted Tuesday to take immediate action on a measure to purchase a tractor for maintenance of the city’s park system, suspending rules and waiving the formal tender .

The board approved a $39,999 contract with Cox Implement Co. to purchase a used 2021 Massey Ferguson 2860 EA tractor and attachments.

It has been rare in recent years for the council to approve an order on first reading.

In other cases, three proposed orders that would approve private club restaurant liquor licenses have been heard.

Resident James Elwyn Hinds, who spoke out against the approval of Umai Sushi and Grill, which would operate from Suite B at 1841 E. Highland Drive two weeks earlier, returned on Tuesday to criticize the review of two more recent requests.

While speaking out against one request specifically, Hinds said his comments applied to the two most recent requests.

“It’s amazing…how the number of requests for liquor outlets here in our dry county keeps growing,” Hinds said. “And there are a few things you need to consider. The first is, let me mention quality of life. One of the effects of alcohol is that it damages the taste buds. We had a number of restaurants in this town that served great food. Now they only serve alcohol; they put out food that is not the quality we had in our restaurants. And so we don’t get the good quality restaurants that we used to have.

Hinds also said he believed the growing number of establishments serving alcohol had contributed to the rising crime rate.

“The truth is, alcohol is more harmful than most of the illegal drugs we fight,” Hinds said.

Law 1112 of 2017 requires applicants for liquor service establishments in dry counties to receive city council approval before submitting a formal application to the state liquor control division.

XET Concepts, doing business as Unwind Cafe, would be located at 2816 Creek Drive, off Red Wolf Boulevard.

Jaime King is named president of XET Concepts. Chad King is vice president and Emily Ann Calvert is secretary/treasurer, according to the application. The club has 110 members. The application indicates that the non-profit organization would support the foster family community.

Sunflower Social Club, doing business as Poppy’s Beach Grill & Event Center, would be located at 2915 Kazi Drive.

Ken Yarbrough is appointed Chairman and Secretary of the Board of Directors. Jonathan Yarbrough is Vice President and Zach Gartman is Treasurer. The club lists a list of 146 members.

Council will hear second readings of the most recent applications on March 1. A vote on whether to approve Umai Sushi and Grill’s application is scheduled for the same date.

Council also heard second readings of two rezoning proposals.

Caliarka Petro, LLC is seeking to rezone 27.76 acres at 5712 CW Post Road from I-1 for limited industrial use to C-3 for general commercial use. The lot is on the corner of Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

Caliarka plans to develop a TA Express truck stop, depending on demand.

In the other proposal, Mike Cameron is seeking to rezone 2.35 acres at 1510 and 1604 Woodsprings Road from the C-4 commercial district to the planned residential PD-RS.

Cameron proposes to build 11 townhouses on the property, located near Woodsprings Pharmacy.

Council members heard first readings of proposed ordinances which:

Waiving the tender and approving a $49,500 contract with First Step Pavement Management to provide an inventory of city-maintained hard-paved roads and sidewalks to help plan maintenance.

Set new speed limits on a variety of city streets.

Approved resolutions:

Scheduled a public hearing for 5:15 p.m. March 1 on an application to abandon a drainage easement at 1700 Mayfield Drive in the Hill Park business subdivision.

Approval of change orders for contracts for the Craighead Technology Park industrial guide rail expansion project.

Approved the sale of 3,400 square feet of city-owned land at the corner of Main Street and East Johnson Avenue to Watson Ice Co. for $4,148 plus normal closing costs.

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