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Burn ban partially lifted; city calls special board meeting

by Staff reports | March 31, 2020 at 12:33 p.m.
The logos for Garland County and the city of Hot Springs. - Submitted photos

The county judge on Tuesday reduced the scope of a countywide burn put into place on March 18, and Hot Springs Mayor Pat McCabe called a special meeting of the Hot Springs Board of Directors for Tuesday afternoon.

Burn ban partially lifted

County Judge Darryl Mahoney on Tuesday issued an executive order that reduces the scope of a countywide burn ban put into place on March 18 as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, leaving it in place around COVID-19 evaluation centers.

The burn ban, amended on March 25, cited the presence of smoke in the air, which can exacerbate respiratory problems and creates a hazardous and dangerous condition for the public and health care providers in dealing with the COVID-19 outbreak.

Tuesday's executive order said air-quality conditions have improved and the Arkansas

Department of Transportation has requested that the burn ban be lifted.

Beginning at 6 a.m. Wednesday, the burn ban will only apply to a one-mile circumference around COVID-19 evaluation centers located at:

■ Hamilton West Family Medicine, 1629 Airport Road.

■ Fountain Lake Family Medicine, 4517 Park Ave.

■ CHI St. Vincent Medical Building, 4419 Highway 7 north, Hot Springs Village.

■ CHI St. Vincent Convenient Care, 100 McGowan Court.

■ National Park Medical Center, 1910 Malvern Ave.

Special meeting called

McCabe called a special meeting of the Hot Springs Board of Directors for 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, at City Hall, 133 Convention Blvd., to consider Ordinance No. O-20-19, which amends Title 2 of the Hot Springs Code to define the word “present” to include “attendance by electronic means;” adopting temporary board procedures; declaring an emergency; and for other purposes.

Following presidential guidelines on social distancing, the city permitted no more than 10 people inside the Hot Springs Board of Directors’ chambers during the board’s March 17 business meeting. Only the seven city directors, city manager, city attorney and city clerk were in the chambers. The public was invited to watch a livestream of the meeting in the foyer.

An Arkansas Department of Health directive issued last week limited indoor public and private gatherings to 10 people. It doesn’t apply to businesses, manufacturers, construction companies, places of worship or city and county governing bodies.

The board will also hold a public hearing on issuance of City Wastewater Revenue Bonds, Taxable Refunding Series 2020A and Construction Series 2020B, for the purpose of financing all or a portion of the costs of acquiring, constructing and equipping betterments and improvements to the City’s Wastewater system and refunding the City’s Wastewater Revenue Bonds, Series 2013.

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