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Council approves sign ordinance, resolutions

The Clinton City Council approved a new ordinance to regulate signs and passed two resolutions related to the water system at its meeting last week.

The sign ordinance, 2013-05, says that business signs in the city limits must be comparable to professional grade quality, must be approved by city officials before a permit is issued, and lists permit fees for the signs. Prices for sign permits range from $50 to more than $300, and there is a $25 charge if the zoning official has to visit a business that has installed a sign without a permit.

The council passed the ordinance unanimously.

The council also approved a resolution entering into an agreement with the White River Planning and Development District to administer a $1.4 million grant the city has received to help with upgrades to the water system.

A resolution to enter into an agreement with McClelland Engineers for the project also was approved, 5-1. Councilwoman Wendy Russ voted against the resolution. She said during debate that she still wanted to hear from Schneider Electric and the role it might play in the project.

A resolution regarding a loan to the water department from Arkansas Natural Resource Commission was tabled Thursday night, but was approved at a special meeting Monday. Mayor Roger Rorie said the commission is offering the city a low-interest $3.8 million loan. Rorie said Thursday that the payment should be close to the same amount of a 2012 bond issue. Rorie explained after Monday’s meeting that the bond issue he was referring to was paid off in 2012.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Water Department Manager Isaac Keeling said water loss for Clinton from April 11-May 10 was 30 percent and the plant is running at 84.5 percent efficiency. He said earthquakes are causing some lines to leak and chemical costs were up for the month. The council approved up to $6,000 to move a water line on Kip Lane that is currently buried with an electrical cable and a gas line.

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