Tuesday, August 20, 2013

TOP STORY >> Cabot City Council votes to add security to court

Leader staff writer

The Cabot City Council passed a resolution Monday night to spend $47,000 to begin making the district court located in the city annex more secure.

Mayor Bill Cypert assured the council before the vote that the purchase of cameras and locks for the building is only the first phase of the plan.

The metal detectors they requested during an agenda meeting earlier this month will be part of the second phase, he said.

Aldermen Ed Long and Ann Gilliam also said during that meeting two weeks ago that purses and other bags are no longer allowed in circuit court in Lonoke, so they shouldn’t allowed in the Cabot courtroom. Cypert said Monday that a ban on bags could be included in the second phase.

n The mayor and council also recognized Jay Lallu, owner of Cabot Days Inn, for allowing the parks department to use his swimming pool for an exercise class that had been held at the community center pool, which was closed for repairs.

Lallu is a member of the Cabot Advertising and Promotions Commission. He said after the meeting that he asked during a commission meeting where the classes would be held when the community center pool was closed and was told that they would have to be canceled.

Lallu said it was not a large inconvenience for his guests to have the pool unavailable from 9 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Monday through Friday. He has updated his website to alert potential guests of the change. And he offers an extended checkout time in case any children feel like they missed time they should have had in the pool.

The arrangement has worked well for the month or so it has been in place, he said, and he sees no reason why it won’t continue to work until the pool reopens sometime in the winter.

On most days, 20 to 25 park patrons are in the pool, Lallu said. He is glad they are able to continue their exercise class because many are elderly and exercising on a floor would be more difficult.

The donation of his pool was officially recognized as a “Random Act of Kindness,” a recognition program started when state Sen. Eddie Joe Williams (R-Cabot) was mayor.

The seven-year-old community center will be undergoing repair for the rest of the year. The center was damaged by a faulty dehumidification system. Repairs will cost about $700,000. The cost has been divided between the city, the parks department and the A&P Commission.

The city’s contribution of $250,000 has left the city a budget with little wiggle room. n The mayor mentioned last month that he is looking for a new location for Central Fire Station, which is across from city hall on Pine Street and is the oldest station in operation.

He said after the council meeting Monday that he is in negotiations for a location but is not ready to announce which site at this time. However, money to purchase the property will be in the budget for 2014.

• The council passed a resolution recognizing Billye Everett for her service as director of the Cabot Chamber of Commerce.

• The council passed a resolution amending the city budget to hire an additional code officer. The city will pay $10,667 for the rest of the year for salary and benefits and $23,000 for a new vehicle.

• The council passed an ordinance accepting the annexation of a parcel of land on Hwy. 5 known as the Troutman/ Grisham Annexation.

The annexation includes a mobile home park commercial property and the right-of way of Hwy. 5 and Rockwood Road that joins the property.