By Haley Smith
SMACKOVER — The Smackover City Council was approached by Todd and Ellen McKnight about the possibility of opening a home-based motorcycle shop at their meeting on Monday, Feb. 5.
The McKnights approached the Public Works Director, Benjy Hildebrand, concerning their wish to open a home-based business that would change tires on motorcycles and other small vehicles by appointment and Hildebrand address the council.
Although the couple was not present at the meeting, they sent a proposal with reason to change the zoning around their residence.
The reasons include That they are upstanding citizens, a list of other business and commercial areas around them, what new business could bring to the area and that they would keep their business quiet and uncluttered.
“She did not, or he did not, go through the proper way to get it on the agenda or to have a zoning meeting” said Smackover Mayor, Bobby Neal.
Because of this and their absence from the meeting, the council denied the couple for now.
There were several projects that the city has been working on that the council was given updates on.
The new storm siren project is at a stand-still. The city has received the siren itself but has had troubles working with fireball Electronics on getting the radio system that controls it.
The city will look at using a radio company out of Warren.
Baseball field should be completed soon.
“We’re close to being completed the project. We need to get the roof on and that portion of it will be complete then.” Alderman Chris Long said.
The electrician for the project, Steve Parker, will return once the roof is on and finish all the electric work.
The school has received the netting that will go behind the batters box.
“I would say its about 90 percent done,” Long said.
The construction for the sewer project has been completed and the final walk through should be completed soon.
All pipes had been replaced and most of the pipes have been lined.
There are was two places that have yet to be completed due to environmental conditions. One area will be complete once the ground has had time to dry out and another will be replaced in the summer.
The city spent less than expected for the project.
“We got the OK from the highway department to advertise for a sidewalk to go from the school to the park,” Hildebrand said.
Hildebrand hopes that by the next council meeting that the bids will be in and that he can present them to the Council.
The city was denied by the Highway department for grant money to overlay some of the city streets.
“They still have a lot of applicants that haven't gotten help before.” Neal said.
They will resubmit for the grant the next time the AHD is taking application.
Mayor Neal also gave an update on the Shawn Kemp situation.
Kemp was given a citation by the city to clean up his home because it was hazardous. Kemp works on cars and runs a garage out of his residence.
Neal said he has been to court three times for this “junkyard,” and plead not guilty each time. He has continued to push back a cleanup date, but nothing has happened yet.
He missed his last court date and a warrant for his arrest was issued.
Police picked up Kemp, who plead not guilty in his last court appearance. His next appearance is in April, when another assessment will be made.
Haley Smith is a staff writer for El Dorado News-Times. She may be contacted by phone at 870-862-6611 ext. 121 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow her on facebook and twitter @hsmithEDNT.