State of the City
February 19, 2013
Members of the Maumelle City Council, department heads, city employees and my fellow citizens, as required by Arkansas law, I am pleased to report to you the State of the City of Maumelle.
The year 2012 was a good year for the City of Maumelle. There was a successful bond election; a strategic planning process was initiated; new industries opened and/or started construction and existing industries expanded; residential development continued to grow; and once again, Maumelle was selected as one of Arkansas’ Volunteer Community of the Year.
The successful bond election will allow Maumelle to construct a new fire substation; improve Crystal Hill Road from Maumelle Boulevard to the City limits; and extend Counts Massie to Interstate 40 on the east side of Maumelle. The citizens saw the worth in the three projects and supported them at the polls.
“Maumelle Forward” is the name of the strategic planning process that was initiated in 2012. The first phase involved a survey that was sent to every residence in Maumelle. Four public meetings were held to release the results of the survey and to gather more information during the formation of the strategic plan. A Steering Committee made up of twenty members of City leaders, business owners and citizens also met several times to work on the goals, mission statement and further development of the plan. The completed plan should be ready for presentation to the Planning Commission and City Council by mid-year 2013.
UniFirst Corporation opened a new facility in Maumelle to serve the Central Arkansas area. Dillard’s Inc. opened their Internet Fulfillment Center in April of 2012, and they have exceeded their employment projections in their first year of operation. Medline Industries Inc. has broken ground on a 100,000 square feet medical distribution center in the Maumelle Industrial Park. There is activity in the former Kroger Store, as the facility is being renovated into a climate controlled storage facility – Maumelle U Storage. Quy’s Spa and Salon renovated and updated their facility to create a very pleasant experience for their customers.
Residential development continued to expand in Maumelle with the opening of a new phase in two existing subdivisions. Even though residential permits were down 16% in 2012, we continued to build homes, providing more choices for residents and prospective residents.
The City of Maumelle had an annual operating budget of just under $11,000,000 with general fund reserves of more than $5,640,000. We are well beyond the mandated amount of holding 20% in reserves. Street fund reserves are currently at $3,280,000.
The overall financial condition of Maumelle grew stronger during 2012 due to the retirement of a bond issue. While the overall revenues in the general fund increased by $2,197,041 as compared to 2011, expenses were held below the budgeted expenses and only increased by $612,148, resulting in an increase in the fund balance of $1,584,893 for the year. The street fund balance decreased by $612,148. The Sanitation fund had a $53,057 increase in revenues and an increase of $38,173 in expenses during the past year. There was an increase in the Sanitation fund retained earnings of $124,918 during 2012.
The city sales tax collection was over $2,010,000 last year. The reduction in sales tax revenue is attributed to a rebate that was refunded to a business in the amount of $162,000 relating to large equipment purchases. The county sales tax collection was $3,485,800, which was an increase of $167,884 from the previous year indicating a growing economy.
The City of Maumelle received the Volunteer Community of the Year for 2012. The City has garnered this award 10 times in the past 11 years, which clearly shows that Maumelle citizens are willing to volunteer their time for many worthwhile causes to better our community. We have numerous opportunities for citizens to volunteer: youth coaches, scout leaders, MSWC volunteers, Maumelle Friends of the Animals, Tree Board members, Planning Commissioners, Civil Service Commissioners, Youth Council, AARP, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, church groups and in civic clubs, such as the Civitan Club, Lions Club, Kiwanis Club and Rotary Club. Our citizens are involved and care about what happens within our city. We will continue to promote family events such as Hometown Thanksgiving, the annual Easter egg hunt, the annual kid’s fishing derby and Fourth Fest to bring the community together and to offer opportunities for sharing our wonderful community with guests and visitors.
The Maumelle community is blessed to be supported by a staff that is concerned about the needs and concerns of the citizens. They do their best to provide services that place the upmost importance on the ultimate customers – the citizens of Maumelle. From the Senior Services Department to the Community and Economic Development Department to the Courts Department to the Finance Department, our goal is to serve the citizens in the best and most efficient manner.
We have a wonderful community and a future that is as bright as ever. As we continue on our strategic planning process for our community, we hope to build on the City’s past planning and to continue making Maumelle – “The Best Living in America”. Thank you for allowing me to serve you as the mayor of this wonderful community! The City’s staff and I welcome your comments and suggestions!
City Attorney’s Office
In 2012, there were no cases in active litigation. The City Attorney provided regular legal advice to the Council, the Mayor, and many City employees and commissioners. The City Attorney’s office focused on training and preventative measures. The City Attorney also remained actively involved in the regular operations of the City, providing counsel on most real estate, planning, contractual, or personnel matters. Efforts have been undertaken to locate outdated or inconsistent ordinances and to work with staff to craft more modern provisions for consideration by the Council. The City Attorney's goal has always been to zealously defend or pursue the interests of the City as determined by the Administration and the governing body in such a way as to limit any financial exposure for the City of Maumelle and to achieve the goals of the City at large.
In 2012, the City Attorney’s office prosecuted approximately 1682 criminal offenses, 86 DWI offenses, 978 traffic violations and 61 ordinance violations in Maumelle District Court. Approximately $850,000.00 in fines was assessed after convictions. However, collection of those fines and costs remain a challenge because of the difficult job market. In an effort to make the best use of the resources available, the City Attorney and the District Court have worked together to promote the use of Community Service work in lieu of fines in appropriate cases.
For the most part, 2012 saw business as usual in the City Clerk/Treasurer’s office. The clerk/treasurer and finance director have worked hard to make sure that the clerk’s office and finance department are coordinating their efforts and working together as a team. The appropriate steps have been put in place to make sure this happens. This includes cross training of employees, so that all are able to help when others are in need or out of the office.
The clerk’s office continued to be involved in city-wide purchasing. A large bid for street repairs was let. A new dump truck was bid and purchased. Old police cars were sold, and new cars purchased. Maybe most notably, the City moved to a different cell phone provider, as well as a different janitorial service. These are areas that need constant review to make sure that taxpayer funds are being expended wisely and that the City is receiving the level of service it should. Many citywide contracts are reviewed, if not changed, on an annual basis. As always, we will continue to look at our purchasing strategies and procedures to make sure that we are wise stewards of taxpayer funds and are being as efficient as possible.
In 2012, a new employee was hired in the clerk’s office. The vacancy came when the former intern began working as the Mayor’s executive assistant. This position is important in keeping the clerk’s office from being a one person operation. It is critical that the citizens have someone to interact with when the clerk is not available or is out of the office. This position also works in finance or at reception whenever needed. This has been such a success that, with Council approval, we made this position full time, and this employee now serves as deputy clerk.
In 2012, our department issued 1,273 permits and received revenues of $161,463.00. Revenues were down versus last year because of the large permit fees from the new Dillard’s Internet Fulfillment Center in 2011. Revenues should be strong in 2013 due to new commercial projects such as Villa at River Pointe Apartments, Medline Medical Distribution Center, Maumelle U Storage and Savannah Corner Retail Center.
Maumelle continued to have steady, healthy growth in single family homes despite the recession in housing across the country. The number of permits did slowdown in late 2012, and Fiscal Cliff fears may have played a part. We had 76 new single family home permits issued in 2012. Housing should be strong in 2013 with the opening of new subdivision phases in Country Club of Arkansas, Maumelle Valley Estates, Mountain Terrace and Osage Terrace/Hills.
The enforcement of Maumelle City Codes must be a persistent and uninterrupted effort in order to keep our city a beautiful and desirable place to live. We gave out 2,063 Request for Compliance tags with only 23 citations issued for refusal to comply. The majority of the tags were given out for violations of yard maintenance, garbage cans left at curbs, vehicle parking, signs, boat and trailer storage and yard waste bundling. Fences continue to be an enduring problem, as older fences decay, and as new fences and repairs are made that are out of compliance with City Code. Also, great strides have been made in exterior maintenance of homes that are abandoned or in foreclosure. We continue to compile contact information for mortgage and property maintenance companies that are able to help in this effort.
Stormwater erosion control enforcement continues to be a high priority. Maumelle’s hilly terrain makes sediment control at construction sites a difficult and expensive problem to solve. Two of our building inspectors are now National Stormwater Center Certified for stormwater inspections. In my opinion, our city, in cooperation with our contractors, is one of the best in the state at controlling erosion.
The following are some of the highlights in economic development in Maumelle during 2012 that directly or indirectly related to the Department of Community and Economic Development:
In 2012, Maumelle District Court processed 2,871 criminal, traffic, and ordinance violations, up 226 from 2011. In all, the court collected $229,996.55 in fines and $42,255.00 in probation fees. This is a decrease of $5,648.90 from 2011. The court had a total of 27 civil and small claims cases filed in 2012.
The Court continued to have a large number of defendants pleading hardship and requesting community service work (CSW) in lieu of fines. Many of those requesting CSW have been without work for extended periods of time or only have part-time work.
In cases where community service work was appropriate, the Probation Office has worked with the Senior Wellness Center to provide daily and special events assistance. The workers have also assisted Parks and Recreation with the clean-up of Pyeatte-Mason Cemetery, along with daily cleaning of the District Court building.
The Finance department was notified in 2012 that its comprehensive annual financial report for 2010 was awarded a Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting by the Government Finance Officers Association. This was the sixth consecutive award for the department, and the 2011 annual report was submitted for consideration of a seventh consecutive award.
The Finance department embarked upon a major initiative to collect on past due accounts. As a result of this initiative, we collected $91,367.17 in past due community service fees and sanitation fees. We made some changes in our past due notification process to ensure that citizens are notified in a timely manner regarding past due accounts. This should help to curtail balances from growing as large in the future. We sent $99,245.82 to our City attorney to begin court proceedings and $84,023.06 was sent to an outside collection agency to collect.
The City’s total community service fee, sanitation fees and public works invoice billings for 2012 totaled approximately $1,972,717 (unaudited). The total collections for 2012 totaled approximately $1,934,297 (unaudited) of which $91,367 was for prior year billings. This averages to approximately a 93% collection rate. We want to continue to strive for a larger collection rate, so we can continue to provide great services to the City of Maumelle.
During 2012, the Fire Department again showed an increase in call volume. We responded to 1657 emergency and non-emergency calls for service. This represents a nine percent increase over 2011. There were no civilian or firefighter fire-related fatalities again this year. We did have one civilian fire related injury. Medical calls continue to be the most prevalent call type we respond to (> 70%).
We received official notification that we retained our Class 3 ISO rating in the spring. With voter support, the bond issue for replacing fire station two passed, and work is under way to move this project forward.
Captain Eugene Stacy retired this year, and one firefighter left for another department. Two replacement personnel were hired in the third quarter and sent to the Arkansas Fire Academy for basic training. Firefighters Dylan Anderson and Nathan Crockett began working on shift right after Christmas.
Public education programs in the schools (Pine Forest Elementary School, Academics Plus Charter School and Immaculate Heart of Mary) continue to be a strong effort, as well as our local CERT program. Our personnel continue to aggressively seek out relevant training and educational opportunities, thus improving the quality and value of our services to the community.
We are very appreciative of the support that our citizens and elected officials have for the fire department. In return, we strive to provide “best in class” services to Maumelle.
Human Resources (HR) began the 2012 year with the implementation of a five percent increase in health care insurance premiums. This was a modest increase considering the City was able to maintain the core benefits of the plan without any major adjustments. Other employee benefits – Dental, Long Term Disability, Life and AD&D – saw no increases in their premiums.
The fourth annual Employee Appreciation Day was again an outstanding success. The event was held on August 23rd at Park on the River. The City recognized 23 full-time employees for their service. The Mayor recognized 10 recipients with 5 year certificates; 10 recipients with a 10 year plaque; one recipient with a 15 year plaque; and two recipients with a 20 year acrylic plaque. The recipients were also presented an apparel item selected by them from the EmbroidMe catalog.
On October 18th, we held our annual Health and Benefits Fair. The Fair was held at the Jess Odom Community Center from 9:00am to 1:00pm. We were able, with outstanding assistance from the Legacy Capital Group, to attract 11 exhibitors, who offered a wide range of services for our employees to explore; many also offered door prizes, which were appreciated by our employees.
During the Benefits Fair, Provant Health, at no cost to the employees, provided flu shots to 52 employees, compared to 51 in 2011. Provant Health also provided a “Know Your Numbers Biometric Screenings” for 40 employees, compared to 56 in 2011. The screenings included: Total Cholesterol, HDL Cholesterol, Glucose, Blood Pressure, and Body Composition. Again, these services were provided at no cost to employees.
Human Resources is charged with providing staff support for the Maumelle Civil Service Commission. One of the main responsibilities, in this support role, is to prepare and administer the Commission’s entry level and promotional examinations. This includes providing public notice of entry level police and fire exams and internal notice of promotional exams for police and fire personnel; administering the examinations; scoring the examinations; and preparing the necessary documentation for the Commissioners to certify the test results and the ranking of the candidates. In January 2012, HR administered promotional exams to seven candidates for police corporal and seven candidates for sergeant; also, HR administered promotional exams to seven candidates for fire apparatus engineer and four candidates for captain. In October of 2012, HR tested 38 applicants for entry level police officer and 60 applicants for entry level firefighter.
Also, HR provided staff support to the Maumelle City Council committee charged with reviewing and recommending, where the committee deemed appropriate, salary changes for elected personnel. HR secured survey material and other records requested by the committee, in support of the committee’s efforts to carry out its responsibilities.
The Mission of the Human Resources Department is to help City departments attract, motivate, retain, manage, and develop qualified and productive employees.
The Vision of the Human Resources Department is that each City department will have personnel who are professional, courteous, and motivated in the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities.
Entering the year 2012 was exceptionally exciting for our department. We were presented with the “Volunteer Community of the Year” award again, an honor we have received for the past several years.
With the departure of one of our long running programs, we were able to make changes within our building. Changes included expansion of our fitness oriented facilities, fitness classes and rooms. Improvements to Lake Willastein Park also began in 2012.
The Jess Odom Community Center began its changes by combining our cardio and weight rooms into one. This merger allowed for additional equipment to be added. We purchased new cardio equipment and weight lifting equipment. This merger also allowed for the move of our nursery to a larger room closer to parents, in case of an emergency. This expansion has allowed for more members to join and also for the return of past members.
As we continued to make internal room changes, the change added an extra adult fitness class room. We are now able to hold classes in rooms simultaneously. This has allowed our Adult Fitness Classes to increase. On an average, we have many classes with over 25 students in attendance.
A new floor and fresh paint made a nice change to the south room, which is one of our most utilized meeting rooms. With the move of our nursery room to our old cardio room, we gained an extra meeting room that we were able to create as a board room for many small meetings.
Many of our sports leagues and programs offered have continued to increase in registration numbers. This past year, we were able to add Harry Potter Camp to our many popular summer camps. It was a successful camp and will be brought back for the summer of 2013 to be added among the highly attended camps, such as Survivor, Girly Girl, and CSI Camps.
The area around the amphitheater at Lake Willastein and the Luke Peyton Memorial were two of the locations at Lake Willastein Park that were also improved upon this past summer. The ground work for the irrigation system was installed around both areas. This irrigation system will draw water from the lake to water the grass and trees in the park. After the irrigation system was put in place, the area in front of the amphitheater was leveled with dirt, a curb was created and sod was laid. The fountain at the Luke Peyton Memorial was re-plumbed to utilize the water from the lake. A rock waterfall was added to the current fountain at the memorial.
Snow was a special addition to the holiday season. The snow that arrived on Christmas day was a beautiful sight but created havoc for some. Many trees in the park suffered damage and clean up began immediately to avoid any interference with the use of the facilities.
Other improvements for the upcoming year will include additional parking at Lake Willastein, more sod to be laid at Lake Willastein Park and the continuation of the irrigation system installation. Also, new commercial doors will be installed at the Park at the River facility.
January 2012 began with an updating of the Master Land Use Map and the Master Zoning Map for the City of Maumelle. In March, EPA Region VI awarded the City a grant in excess of $289,000.00, in support of the Maumelle Wetland Management Plan, bringing the EPA total funding of that project to just over $727,000.00. Later in March, the Planning Commission recommended a preliminary development plan for the Villas at River Pointe to the City Council for approval. This development in the Hominy Lane area consists of 204 multi-family dwelling units with a Mediterranean architectural theme and appearance.
June saw the ADEQ once again approve the yearly performance of the Maumelle MS-4 (storm water) team. In August, Maumelle gained a new industrial park partner with the approval of plans for Medline Corporation, a 102,120 square foot facility, housing the medical supply distributor.
August brought two new commercial partners to the City: Savannah Corners, an upscale 3859 square foot lease facility on Tract “C” and Maumelle U Storage, an indoor storage facility in the former Kroger Store on Commerce Drive.
In September, the National Flood Insurance Program coordinator for Arkansas reviewed and approved the floodplain management activities for the City in a community action visit. There were further updates to Maumelle Codes throughout the year, including a clarifying of the Sexually Oriented Business Ordinance and creating definitions for a convenience store and an assisted living facility.
The year 2012 was a relatively uneventful year, which like a smooth airline flight, can be a good thing. An examination of our reported offenses in 2012 as compared to 2011 shows very little change in two of our biggest categories, burglaries and theft from automobiles. In the residential burglary category, we had 44 such offenses reported to the Maumelle Police Department in 2011 compared to 46 in 2012. Interestingly, we had six business burglaries in 2011 and in 2012.
In 2011, we had 114 thefts from automobiles, nearly all from unlocked vehicles. While in 2012, we had 117; again, nearly all of the vehicles were unlocked.
One category that bears mentioning is the noticeable decrease in assaults. In the year 2011, we had a total of 104 assaults, (aggravated assaults, meaning a weapon was involved, and simple assaults) compared to 67 such offenses in 2012. Because a police department’s direct impact on lowering the assault rate is extremely hard to quantify, I don’t have any real explanation for the significant decrease; however, I mention it only because of the disparity in reported crimes.
I would like to note that as I was preparing this report I asked members of the staff to obtain information from the Little Rock and North Little Rock Police Departments. Of note, North Little Rock has seen a 15% increase in residential burglaries, while Little Rock Police reported a 9.4% increase in thefts from automobiles; again, our reported offenses remained basically the same for the reporting periods.
Maumelle High School began its second year, and I feel we are transitioning well. The area schools are not without their issues; however, the presence of a full time School Resource Officer at Maumelle High School has improved the communication and cooperation between the high school and the police department. The relationship between PCSSD staff and members of the Maumelle Police Department remains strong, which I believe is essential to the continued success of the schools. One significant series of events was the number of written bomb threats that were received early in the school year at both Maumelle Middle and Maumelle High. Arrests were made on nearly all of the threats, which in my opinion, led to the cessation of these threats. Detectives, School Resource Officers, and school officials worked extremely well together to identify and arrest suspects.
While on the subject of our schools, I would also like to point out that our School Resource Officers developed and implemented an Explorer Post program involving area high school students who show an interest in law enforcement. The students meet every Thursday and are exposed to different areas and functions of the Maumelle Police Department. Due to the popularity and interest shown in this program, we expect to continue it yearly.
In 2012, there was a fairly dramatic increase in narcotic violation arrests. Overall, the department made 232 narcotic related arrests, compared to 135 in 2011, an increase of some 42%. The Special Investigations Division also saw an increase in the number of arrests, making 101 arrests in 2012, compared to 46 in 2011, an increase of 52%. As one would expect, considering national trends and what we find here in Maumelle, marijuana is the preferred drug of choice, leading to the most arrests (115) and seizures, while pharmaceuticals are second with 39 arrests. Members of the Narcotics section also participated in both of the National Drug Take Back Days, collecting a total of 168 pounds of discarded prescription drugs.
Overall, violent crimes remained low in Maumelle, and this will be the primary focus of our department in 2013. We will continue to partner with the community in an effort to determine ways they can help us serve them better. One of the things we will continue to address is the importance of not leaving expensive or dangerous items in unsecured vehicles.
The year 2012, overall, was a normal, ordinary and productive year; but, unlike others, this year ended with a BANG for the Public Works Department.
Onsite at the Maumelle Transfer Station, we have continued bailing aluminum cans, cardboard and plastic bottles, collected through our recycling program, which in turn generates more revenue and saves time and hauling expenses.
Due to the severe storms and flooding that occurred in the spring of 2011, Public Works was extremely busy throughout the year, working to finish up various projects throughout the City, including repairs and/or replacements of disaster damaged drainage structures. In addition to the repairs and/or replacements, preventative measures were also taken as various ditch clean-outs occurred throughout the City.
We are still operating with 35 plus employees. Public Works provides maintenance for the majority of the City’s common areas along with the 100 plus miles of streets and street rights-of-way and maintains approximately 28 miles of walking paths. Approximately $63,000 worth of in-house street improvements was made throughout the City. Funding in the amount of $100,000 has been approved for in-house street repairs for 2013.
The Sanitation Department, under Public Works, is responsible for the weekly collection of garbage, yard waste, and recyclables. The Department has collected and disposed of approximately 15,110 cubic yards of household waste and 5,050 cubic yards of compacted yard waste from curb-side collection at a cost of approximately $107,793. Although the amounts of waste disposed were very similar in amounts from the previous year, the City saved over $56,000 in disposal costs due to contract renegotiation, which lead to the City switching disposal sites to the City of Little Rock’s Landfill. This also resulted in lower disposal costs for the Transfer Station. The Maumelle Transfer Station collected 5,000 cubic yards of solid waste and 3440 cubic yards of green waste with a disposal cost of approximately $27,770.63. We saved over $20,000 and disposed approximately the same amount of solid waste and twice as much yard waste as in 2011. The Maumelle Transfer Station generated revenue of approximately $22,475 in 2012, which is up from $18,026 from the previous year. Recycling materials accepted and recycled exceeded 34.24 tons.
The 2012 year ended with a BANG for Public Works with the snow/ice storm on Christmas. Some employees worked as many as 50 hours to ensure that roadways were clear for travel.
We are looking forward to a productive year ahead and serving our citizens’ needs even better.
Around Town Shuttle Expansion: An additional day of service was added to the Around Town Shuttle allowing members age 50 plus two days a week for on demand transportation service to grocery shop, bank, visit the library, or even visit friends within the City of Maumelle. An afternoon shuttle was added transporting our members back to their homes mid-afternoon. The service has become very popular for both ambulatory and non-ambulatory seniors. Transportation services recorded over 5,000 one-way trips in 2012, including Around Town Shuttles and Non-Emergency, Medical Transportation.
Our Volunteers Rock! David Hodges, Maumelle Senior Wellness Center (MSWC) volunteer, was honored as a KARK Volunteer of the Month and as a finalist for KARK Volunteer of Year Award. David heads up the Men’s Group at the Center, volunteers as an Around Town Shuttle Driver, and serves as a board member on Counting on Each Other (CEO), a non-profit friends group for the Center. A recognition program for the volunteers debuted mid-year with the goal of identifying and distinguishing our volunteers. The first initiative included name badges for all volunteers who recorded 10 plus hours, beginning June 2012. Senior Service volunteers recorded 7,420 hours of service for the Department for 2012.
Lifelong Learning: Lifelong Learning greatly expanded in 2012 with the assistance of volunteers, staff, and contract instructors. Lifelong Learning programming changed to defined seven week sessions with preview weeks and included American History, Mandarin Chinese, Historical Study of the Bible, Writing, and a variety of computer courses, Conversational Spanish, & video/discussion groups just to name a few courses. Instructors included retired professors, retired preacher, published artists, staff, and volunteers. MSWC Lifelong Learning courses prove learning never ends! The Senior Wellness Center recorded 39,750 visits from members and guests in 2012.
Fitness programs: MSWC members’ fitness interests ranged from arthritis stretching programs and Tai Chi to personal training workout classes and walking programs. The Center offered something for everyone and all fitness levels! Trail Mix, a walking group, mapped city trails and met their goal by walking all of Maumelle’s trails within a seven week session. Classes were also offered for weight loss and chronic health conditions through partnerships with area agencies on aging to provide Stanford University, evidence-based programming. The Arthritis and Stretch classes grew to 70 plus participants per class in 2012! To stretch resources, classes/programs were led by staff, volunteers, and contract instructors. Nominal program and participant fees were passed on to participants for fitness classes and a limited number of scholarships were offered through Counting on Each Other (CEO) to assist low-income seniors.
Facility Improvements: New seating in the Computer Lab and Media Room was purchased through donations received by Counting on Each Other and given to the City. The Computer Lab technology was upgraded with Microsoft Windows Multipoint Server technology, greatly enhancing classes and instruction in the lab. The lakeside door project renovation included adding a mechanism to automate the door and tearing out the concrete area outside the door to slope the entrance into the doorway. Funding for this project was received from the Arkansas State Legislature. The Highway Department gave the Senior Services Department a 2008 Chevy Uplander minivan with ramp mid-year which was utilized for the expanding, Shuttle and Medical Transportation programs. The van had been turned back to the Highway Department from an Arkansas non-profit transportation provider and the City was chosen as a recipient for the vehicle due to growth the transportation program has experienced over the past three years.
Wellness programs: Wellness programs included medical screenings, classes, and services provided through partnerships with local hospitals, medical clinics, non-profits, and the University of Central Arkansas. Members took advantage of monthly monitoring of blood pressure, blood sugar, weight, and medicine monitoring. Arkansas State agencies presented free services available during presentations at the Center. SHIIP assisted members with Medicare Part D Enrollment and CareLink partnered throughout the year, assisting with social work needs. Memory screenings, heart attack risk assessments, vascular screenings, hearing tests, and more were offered free of charge in 2012. Financial assistance was offered through Counting on Each Other to assist low-income seniors’ access to free dental care with local dental clinics and CEO sponsored four individuals’ new hearing-aides.
Utilizing community, non-profit, and for profit partners, the Department of Senior Services continued the department mission in 2012 to assist seniors to age in place within the City of Maumelle by providing transportation, nutrition, socialization, & educational opportunities.
In 2012, Special Projects saw the completion of the Energy Efficiency Community Block Grant. This grant paid for the upgrade of 750 light fixtures to make the units more energy efficient. The grant also allowed the City to upgrade seven HVAC units at City Hall. This will allow the City to use office space that was unavailable due to old, nonfunctioning units. These upgrades are expected to save the City $28,506.22 annually on electric bills. The City received $14,246.43 in incentive money from the CitySmart program for these upgrades.
We are continuing to work on the Transportation Enhancement Grant, which will provide funds to install sidewalks and crosswalks along Club Manor and at the entrance of Lake Willastein Park. This grant, Job #061323, is for $62,000.00 with a 20% match from the City. This project is expected to be completed in early summer 2013.
Work is also continuing on an $84,128.00 grant from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. This grant will build another half mile of wetland trail and a viewing stand to extend the existing wetland trail. The 404 Permit has been received from the Corps of Engineers. We are working to complete the ADEQ Permit. Work is expected to be completed in summer 2013.
The Maumelle pedestrian/bicycle trail, Job # 061301, which will run along Maumelle Boulevard from Arnold Palmer Drive to Crystal Hill Road, will be rebid early in 2013. Work is expected to begin in spring 2013.
Special Projects was also involved in installing an automatic door and replacing a non ADA compliant ramp at the Senior Wellness Center.