September 4, 2007 - Posted at 10:23 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO-Minus the presence of the Mayor it was business as usual for the Jonesboro City Council.
And a full agenda tackled a lot of issues Tuesday night.
The first was the decision for the city to hire an external auditor to take a closer look at city expenditures, especially since the mayoral election and several new financial officers within the city.
"With those different changes, we felt like it would be good to assess where we stand at this point, by addressing some particular issues that aren't always addressed by the legislative audit," said Ann Williams.
Another item is boosting up the Jonesboro Police Department by adding five part-time police officer positions to the 2007 budget.
"We had two, part-time II positions. The officers that we have in those positions, because of their regular work cycle, haven't been able to work the number of hours we had planned on. So what we decided to do was add some additional positions so we could acquire some more part-time II officers over time," said Chief Mike Yates.
He says this is a simple way to get more for the taxpayers money.
"Basically it's just a cost efficient way to help us support our patrol division," said Yates.
And in a surprise, it was announced that city public works would be meeting with what could be new owners for the Willows Apartments.
After their condemnation several weeks ago, the current owner appears to be selling the complex.
"They are going to sit down and talk with us and maybe discuss issues concerning those apartment complexes, what the standards should be, and what the city expects to happen," said Erick Woodruff, Public Works Director.
And as the rain fell outside, the public works meeting earlier in the day held an update to the Rossland Hills lawsuit.
That suit, which prevented the city from constructing a drainage ditch, has now been dropped at the request of the plaintiffs in the neighborhood.
"It has to be done. It would have been done if this injunction had not been put into place. There is actually a homeowner in that area that has a basement that is flooding every time it rains," said Woodruff.
As far as the Willows Apartments goes, the city's meeting with the potential new owners is on Thursday.
However, public works director Erick Woodruff tells me they will still remain under condemnation unless all codes are met within the 45 day period previously set.