By LANA CLIFTON
Daktronics Sports, a marketing group that develops sponsorship revenues to pay for scoreboards and other scoring equipment, has been approved to begin project evaluation to provide scoreboards for the new fields and sports complexes being built in Bryant.
“It is a win-win situation,” said Ward 2 Alderman Chris Tipton. “They will raise the money … scoreboards are first class,”
The approval was passed during the Bryant City Council meeting held Thursday, Aug. 13, in the city courtroom.[more]
The Finance and Personnel Committee recommended that phase I, discovery and project evaluation, of the agreement with Daktronics be approved. This phase will involve the company’s review of Bryant’s goals, objectives and expectations. Daktronics will also research sponsorships, both existing and potential, and evaluate the project so they can come up with a preliminary plan. At that point, the council will be asked for approval for phase II, project development.
If all four phases of the project go through and are implemented by Daktronics, Bryant would have new scoreboards at no cost to the city. According to Tipton, any money raised by Daktronics over 15 percent plus cost would go to the parks. The plan would involve a three-tier sponsorship structure with area businesses able to contribute to the project in exchange for advertising.
Tipton said, “Sponsorships will go on concession stands, dugouts … this is good for businesses also.”
Mayor Larry Mitchell added that this company is interested in the project partly because “they want a foothold in Arkansas [… Daktroniks] wants to be a part of it as a showcase in Arkansas.”
Council members discussed different aspects of the project such as terms of the ads, sign replacement to maintain a fresh appearance and which type of signage would carry the Bryant logo before unanimously approving phase I.
In other business, the council approved two proposals to provide money for different street department needs.
An amount of $50,000 was approved for general maintenance of existing streets, streetlights and other items falling under the street department’s care. The money usually used for this is tied up in bond loans, which requires additional funds to be released periodically to keep things running. Ed Collins, Alderman for Ward 2, opposed the proposal, which passed with a 7-1 vote, voicing concerns that there was not a detailed list available of how the money would be used.
The second street department proposal was a request for $500,000 to begin Phase II of the street department’s overlay projects. Alderman Ken Green of Ward 3 explained that this would be used in four different areas. He also said the jobs would still be going out for bids after the monies were approved. Alderman Adrian Henley of Ward 3 was the only council member opposed to the proposal.
The city council approved membership in the Arkansas Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (ARWARN).
According to ARWARN, the purpose of the network is “to support and promote statewide emergency preparedness, disaster response, and mutual assistance matters for public and private water and wastewater utilities.”
As a member of ARWARN, Bryant utilities agree to help other cities in the network in times of emergency or disaster. In return, the other cities will help Bryant in the same circumstances. Eight cities in Arkansas are members so far with more expected to join as city council meetings are held around the state. There is no upfront cost to the city and, if Bryant is called upon to help another community, any expenses will be reimbursed.
Alderman Henley opposed the membership.
Two representatives from Jacobs Engineering were guests at the meeting to witness the outcome of the vote to approve them as the firm chosen to prepare list of sources, scope of work and schedule of fees for four major road connection projects. The four projects involve Raymar South, Raymar North, the Prickett Road exit and the Springhill overpass connection.
Public works director Richard Penn informed the council that the four projects required engineering beyond the city staff. He said of the four firms requested to make proposals, Jacobs answered them more completely.
Alderman Green agreed with the need for an engineering firm at this early stage of the project. He said it was “important to have a group like this because we are getting questions. We need someone with technical knowledge.”
Alderman Collins made a motion to table the proposal until the next council meeting. There was no second to the motion.
Alderman Steve Gladden of Ward 4 clarified that there was no agreement of money with this proposal. “What we are doing is to accept this firm to allow them to accept proposals.”
Mayor Mitchell explained further, “There is no commitment to do projects.” He said that the engineering firm would look at routing, environmental factors and access issues involved in the project.
After the discussion, the council approved Jacobs Engineering unanimously.
Three ordinances were also passed at the meeting.
Ordinance 2009-16 was passed to increase various fees and for other purposes to cover water connection costs in cases when the current fees did not cover city costs.
Ordinance 2009-17 was approved to allow implementation of an identity theft program to comply with federal regulations that had to be met by the end of August.
Ordinance 2009-18 is an ordinance established to impose service fees for court costs paid by credit cards and for other purposes.
Other business conducted at the August meeting included approval of a new job description for the city’s system administration position, an approval for a water main extension with a fire hydrant for the Community Park Church and approval of a pre-annexation agreement for the property of Michael Carnahan for the purpose of allowing him to connect to the Owen Creek sewer line.