Alcohol farm

Salary increases, booze on council agenda | New

JONESBORO — Better pay for frontline police and firefighters and decisions on liquor proposals are on the agenda at Tuesday’s Jonesboro City Council meeting.

Mayor Harold Copenhaver is proposing to raise the minimum salary for officers from $35,190 a year to $42,000. If approved, 72 of 172 police officers and 34 of 125 firefighters would see their salaries increased to the new minimum.

Salaries for senior officers and firefighters, such as sergeants, lieutenants, captains and battalion chiefs, would increase by 1% under the plan.

For the remainder of this year, the cost of salaries and benefits will add $485,769 to the City’s 2022 operating budget. For a full year, it will cost $850,000.

It would be the first salary increase for entry-level police and firefighters since 2016.

“We strive to recruit the highest quality staff, but we cannot do that without competitive salaries,” Copenhaver told the council’s finance and administration committee on Tuesday.

In other business, the board will hear the final reading and vote on a proposal from Classic Hospitality, doing business as Don Jose, 2200 Wilkins Ave., for a private restaurant club license.

Fernando Mercado is named president of the establishment. Sandra, Alan and Jorge Pena are other managers of the club.

Law 1112 of 2017 requires applicants for liquor service establishments in dry counties to receive city council approval before submitting a formal application to the state liquor control division.

On another liquor issue, Fraternal Order of Eagles Aerie 3354 is seeking to relocate its business location from 2912 Gilmore Drive to 1700 S. Caraway Road. Council will hear the first of three required readings of this proposed ordinance.

Also slated for first reading, an order proposed by the Jonesboro Economic Development Corp. to rezone 237.4 acres on the east side of Nestle Road, north of Deer Lake Road from R-1 single-family residential to I-2 general industrial. The intention is to expand Craighead Technology Park.

Slated for second reading is a proposal to reduce the speed limit on Marjorie Drive to 25 mph.

A resolution to authorize a federal grant application for trail construction is also on the agenda.

Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Center, 300 S. Church St.

The Municipal Public Works Commission will meet at 5 p.m.