The president of the Crossett Parks and Recreation Commission announced Monday that the steps to start construction on the first phase of the city pool renovations are already in motion.

Commission President Shelly Carter announced at the Crossett City Council’s meeting that a bid had been accepted and phase one of the pool project would begin soon.

Carter said that including the recent Blue and You grant award, the Crossett Swim Again organization had $192,000 in the bank.

That money — combined with in-kind services from the city and other construction companies — and a $250,000 grant received from the state last year would fund the project.

Councilwoman Crystal Marshall said that Public Works Director Jeff Harrison had been working with the Parks and Recreation Commission on what in-kind services and equipment the city could provide to complete the project.

Phase one includes pool upgrades and two multi-use courts.

“We hope the first phase will be completed during the summer, but that depends on the weather,” Carter said.

The pool has been closed since the summer of 2016 because of the needed upgrades.

During the same meeting, Mayor Scott McCormick said that the city did well financially in 2018 and he attributed that to the city council and department heads’ monthly financial meetings, which led to spending money “more wisely.”

“We’ve got more money to start 2019 than we’ve had in several years,” McCormick said.

The mayor also announced that the city recently received notice that Crossett was awarded $241,500 by the Arkansas State Aid Street Committee.

The money will be used to overlay areas of Ninth Avenue, Beech Street and Cedar Street. McCormick said the areas that will be paved include the portion of Ninth Avenue from Main Street to Cedar, the portion of Cedar Street from Ninth Avenue to U.S. Highway 82 and the portion of Beech Street from Sixth Avenue to U.S. Highway 82.

State Law requires that the Arkansas Department of Transportation oversee the construction contract for the city street project. The award letter states, “Before advertising for construction bids, ARDOT will mail you a copy of the construction plans with a sample resolution for your City Council to pass supporting the project.”

In other news:

-The council renewed the American Legion Post 111’s lease on the city-owned building located at 807 Main St.

-The council approved a request to vacate property that was given to the city by what used to be known as the Crossett Company. The land, which is approximately 3,000 square feet, is located beside Thad Douglas’ property. Douglas was unaware that he didn’t own the land until he tried to add on to his building on Alabama Street.

When the issue first arose, Douglas contacted the city council and reached an agreement that he would have the land surveyed if the city would give him the land. Douglas said that he later learned that there was a specific clause in the agreement stating that the land reverted back to the Crossett Company or its successors should the city vacate it. Douglas worked out an agreement with Weyerhauser, the successors, and the city approved his request to vacate the property.

-Parks and Recreation Larry Cantley gave a report on the status of the Crossett Sports Complex. Cantley said the weather had delayed some of the regular winter maintenance, but other than that things were going smoothly.

Cantley also reported that the baseball and softball leagues had changed leadership and that changes were being made because of those changes. Cantley likewise reviewed for the council the tournaments he expects the complex will host. Councilwoman Lynn Rodgers questioned the contracts with each league and tournament director and said they should be reviewed to be sure that all entities are benfiting.

Rodgers said she wanted to be sure the city was exploring all avenues of revenue.

-The council discussed its annual organization items and meeting times and decided to keep everything the same except for the finance meeting.

The council will meet at 6 p.m. the third Monday of every month, Rodgers will sit in for the mayor should he need to miss a council meeting, and the finance meeting will remain the second Monday with a new time of 4:30 p.m. instead of 4 p.m.

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