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March 23, 2016

Pea Ridge continues to grow, the Census Bureau has our estimated population of 5,117 as of July 2014. Our location, residential development, business environment and schools continue to attract new residents.

The list below is highlights of 2015.

• Sales tax from 2014 to 2015 increased 17 percent for city, down from 22 percent the previous year, and 9.89 percent, up from 4.44 percent the previous year, for county sales tax.

Street Dept.

• Replaced over 200 street signs using replacement program to meet new MUTCD standards which began in 2014

• Worked with Benton County Road department for street overlays saving the city thousands of dollars

• Drainage plan which has all culverts and stream beds inventoried

• Completed a drainage improvement on Hayden Road with help from AHTD that resolved a long standing issue

• Annual MS4 permit completed and accepted along with training for all employees completed

• Added new signage at the city park, added mulch to play areas and planning a disk golf park at the Baker Hayes Park

• Received approval from the State Aid Street Committee to overlay North and South Harvey Wakefield, John W. Montgomery and Green streets

• Implemented our own salt brine apparatus for winter storms, will allow post and pretreatments

• Signed agreement to work with the AHTD to be paid for snow and ice removal on state highways through town

Parks

• Added new signage at the city park

• Added mulch to play areas

• Planning a disk golf park at the Baker Hayes Park

Water Dept.

• Completed the initial phase of sewer line extension on the south end of Weston Street

• Working with engineers for improvements to waste water treatment plant

• Initial planning of water line extensions for Ark. Hwy. 72 west

Fire/Ambulance

• Continued service improvements

• Responded to: 699 emergency calls, two natural disaster calls, 34 service calls, 510 EMS calls, 15 hazardous conditions (No Fire) calls, 63 good intent calls, 50 fire calls and 23 false alarm calls.

• Breakdown of transports: Of the 510 EMS calls, 127 patients went to Northwest Medical Center, 204 Went to Mercy Medical Center, and 153 either were no transports or transported by another EMS provider.

• The Fire Department logged 1,426.50 Hours of training from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.

• There were 64 business inspections performed by Chief Baggett, totaling 32 hours of inspections.

Police Dept.

• A multi-state, multi-agency investigation was able to be closed due to the quick response of three Pea Ridge officers, resulting in several arrests in Pea Ridge by those officers.

• S 13th officer was hired, allowing a second SRO in the schools.

• We continued to improve the department with the purchase of high quality sights for our weapons.

• Several policies were re-written and improved to better reflect current local and state laws.

• The average length of experience for officers increased dramatically with the hiring of several new seasoned officers.

• New training goals were put into place.

• The amount of firearms qualifications and training were doubled.

• Multiple firearms instructors were added to the department either by training and certification or the hiring of new officers that were already certified.

• A very old and outdated dog ordinance and contract was updated to reflect new laws and ordinances.

• A new procedure was added to the department to help improve the rate of return/adoption of found dogs.

• In 2015, there were a total of 347 animal calls, which include dogs at large, owners claiming dogs, dogs being adopted, and other animal complaints.

• A police clerk was added to the department.

• The uniform and department patch were redesigned to better reflect the city.

• Several patrol cars were re-striped to replace old striping and to present the new patrol car markings which also better reflect the city and make patrol cars more easily identifiable.

• In 2015, there were 494 arrests with 80 of those being felony arrests.

• We responded to 139 alarm calls, 14 animal bites, 27 assault/battery calls, 25 suicide attempts/threats, 19 breaking or entering calls, 26 burglary calls, 229 civil calls, 146 disturbances, 47 harassment calls, 43 motorist assists, 141 accidents with 4 of those with entrapment and 30 with injuries, 49 noise complaints, 133 reckless drivers, 24 runaways, 104 thefts, 228 misdemeanor warrants were served and 74 welfare checks were done. There were a over 5,167 calls for service logged which generated 1,334 cases.

Library

• Began plans to complete the remodel of the other half of the library building

Building Official /Inspections

• Permits issued in 2015: Residential 39; Residential value, $5,085,921; Permit fees collected, $22,076.50; Commercial, 2; Commercial value, $850,000; Permit fees, $2,496; and Misc. Permits: 25 Remodel/additions, 32 electrical, 24 mechanical, 46 plumbing;

• Construction value for 2015 -- $5,935,921

• Permit fees collected -- $29,563

• Began the planning of the new City Hall / School administration building

• Passed the bond funding for the building in December

•••

Editor's note: The "State of the City" was written by and presented to the City Council by Mayor Jackie Crabtree.

Editorial on 03/02/2016

Print Headline: Pea Ridge continues to grow

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