BY MELANIE BUCK –
A new bed and breakfast was approved by the Mena City Council at their regular monthly meeting on February 9, 2016. The bed and breakfast approved is located on Reine Street and will add to a growing number of B&B’s offered in Mena.
Council members also approved a low bid of $511,337 from Township Builders out of Little Rock for the completion of the Downtown Streetscape project. The project will see the completion of modern and decorative sidewalks on Mena Street from Maple to Sherwood. Some years ago, the project began to replace the sidewalks of Mena Street with decorative pavers as part of the Downtown Streetscape Project. However, as Mayor George McKee put it, “we’ve had 3 one-hundred year floods and an ice storm” which have caused delays with completing the project, along with FEMA taking almost five years to release the funding.
The final step before the work begins is waiting on approval from the state. Because the sidewalks line a state highway, the project has to be approved and overseen by the state. Mayor McKee hopes to see the project begin by early spring. “We will be glad to get it all finished,” said McKee.
In department head reports, Fire Chief John Puckett said the Mena Fire Department worked 13 incidents in January, had seven stand-bys at the airport, one grass fire, one structure fire, and one gas leak.
Mena Regional Health System CEO, Jay Quebedeaux, said the hospital admitted 176 patients, had 729 emergency department visits, delivered 30 babies, had 1,526 clinic visits, and performed 81 surgeries in January.
Mena Chief of Police Brandon Martin reported his department as making 32 arrests in January and working 18 accidents.
Mena A&P Commissioner Terri Neugent said a new policy has gone into effect to help with tax collections from lodging and food service establishments after having trouble collecting from several businesses.
The council also approved the appointment of Kathy Adams to the Mena Depot Commission and the re-appointment of Steve Rook to the Mena Water Commission.
The next meeting of Mena City Council is set for 6 p.m. on March 8th, at Mena City Hall.