Council Budgets 3% Pay Raise for Employees in 2013; Takes No Stand on Request to Recommend Beer/Wine Permit at Restaurant Contemplating Coming to Beebe

Nov 21st, 2012 | By admin | Category: Top Story

BY LEE “CAT” McLANE

Editor/Publisher

The Beebe City Council met in special session Monday night, Nov. 15 to discuss several matters.

Mayor Mike Robertson told the council that he had been asked to give a letter of recommendation from he and the council for a beer and wine permit application for a proposed new pizza restaurant. The request was from Scott Stevens, of Cabot, who owns several restaurants including the Brick Oven in Cabot.

The council expressed varying views on the request but agreed that the governing body would take no stand on the issue.

In a letter later sent to Mr. Stevens, the mayor said, “The City of Beebe does not have any governing authority over the issuance of alcoholic beverages…” The mayor went on to say, “If it is your desire to locate a restaurant serving beer and wine the authority to do so will be granted by the appropriate state board and not the city.” The mayor went on to say at the council meeting that the city encourages business and welcome growth.

Mayor Robertson told the council that a complaint had been filed on Oct. 29, 2012 with the White County Circuit Court regarding the allocation of Act 833 money - which is given to rural fire departments for equipment. A special judge will be appointed to hear the case. The crux of the complaint is that the wrong formula was used to decide how much money from the Act 833 fund will be allocated to the cities of White County.  The Intergovernmental Cooperation Council, who met March 15, 2012, is made up of all the mayors of the cities of White County were asked whether they wanted to use the census results from the year 2000 or 2010. They voted to use the 2000 census results which gave the smaller cities more money as most of their population has declined over the 10 years from the 2010 census. This gave the cities of Searcy and Beebe less money than they would have had if the “proper” census was used. According to the complaint,  the White County Quorum Court should decide the formula on the current census - not Judge Lincoln and the Intergovernmental Council. The Beebe population was figured using the 2000 census of 7000 whereas the 2010 census shows 9000 population. The monetary amounts would be a few thousand a year - but would continue for years and years - until the next census. White County’s portion of the entire fund is 2.71% (State Fire Protection Premium Tax Funds).

The council was working on the 2013 budget and has allotted for a 3% raise in city employees salaries.