Malvern City Council meeting

The Malvern City Council held its regular monthly meeting Monday evening at the new Malvern Police Department, located at 110 N. Main St. in Malvern. The beautiful boarding room inside the newly renovated facility is the City Council’s new permanent Chambers.

Present were Mayor Brenda Weldon; City Attorney, Cecilia Ashcraft; City Clerk/Treasurer, Kim Taber; and 2023 Malvern City Council members Sam Bryant, William Wilson, Lynn Davis, J. Wayne Reynolds, Peggy Lusinger, Mathew Keenan, Michael Smith, and David Cross.

After approving the minutes from last month’s regular meeting on Dec. 12, 2022, as well as all department reports, Mayor Weldon opened the floor to old business. The only item of old business on the agenda was the third and final reading by title only of the “An Ordinance Adopting the 2022 Amended and Revised Rules and Regulations of the Civil Service Commission—City of Malvern.”

“Just to remind you, it has been approved by the police chief, fire chief, and our Civil Service, because the old rules and regulations probably were at least 20, 25 years old,” Mayor Weldon said.

Under new business, a resolution amending Resolution 10-2022 and the city’s 2023 Budget for Police and Street departments was introduced. Weldon said before they moved on, she wanted to address a typing error which left off a measure giving her permission to sign the 911 contract, and she wanted to address that oversight first. Weldon asked for a motion and second, which she promptly received, to give the mayor permission to sign a contract with the county for 911 services.

The Council then moved to the resolution amending Resolution 10-2022 and the budget, which included an additional $90,000 to meet the demands of the 911 contract put before them, as well as funds to pay a temporary position at the Street Department. the resolution reads, in part:

“WHEREAS, it is necessary that the City Council amend Resolution 10-2022 and the 2023 budget for the City of Malvern to appropriate funds to the Malvern Police Department budget in the General Fund for the city’s portion of operating the Hot Spring County 911 system.

“WHEREAS, the City, in the year 2022, opened an account titled “Malvern Oak Ridge Cemetery Investment Fund, authorized by Ordinance No. 2015-12 for the purpose of collecting money from the sale of lots in the Oak Ridge Cemetery annex, with the funds to be invested and used for perpetual upkeep of the cemetery,  and     

“WHEREAS, unforeseen expenses have been added to the Street Department Budget,”

City Attorney Cecilia Ashcraft read the relevant lines from the measure, which included amended amounts falling under the following General Fund categories of expenditure:

Street Fund—$2,036,272.18

Police—$2,034, 740.12

Malvern Oak Ridge Cemetery Investment Fund—$0

“At the time, there’s no money in the cemetery, but we will start putting the lots—we’ve been using the funds to pay for the upkeep of the lots, just to let all of you know, so it will be a brand new account starting January 1st,” Weldon informed the attendees.

The amendment to cover the increased expense of 911 services has been a troubling issue, as city and county officials go back and forth to determine exactly how much each municipality should be responsible for.

Read the full story in Wednesday's Jan. 11 newspaper edition.

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