Council to consider Abernathy back pay

By BEVERLY MOORE
The Sentinel-Record 8-5-1979

The Hot Springs City Council will consider an ordinance to grant police Sgt. Thurman Abernathy $14,854.94 in back pay in its 7:30 p.m. meeting Monday at the Municipal Building.

Abernathy was reinstated to the Hot Springs Police Department on July 17 by the Hot Springs Civil Service Commission after the first-degree murder charge that led to his suspension in 1977 had been dropped.

Although he was reinstated at the rank of lieutenant, Abernathy was demoted on July 18 to sergeant for conduct unbecoming an officer by Police Chief Grover Douglas.

Back wages have been assessed by taking the amount of back and longevity pay due Abernathy, at the rank of lieutenant ($23,944.40), and subtracting his earnings during that period ($9,089.46).

Mayor Tom Ellsworth said the back pay was figured from the day he was suspended until he was reinstated on July 17.

Alderman will also vote on whether to appropriate $24,487 that would allow the city to receive $57,138 in State Aid Street System funds.

The total of $81,625 would be used to resurface portions of Higdon Ferry Road (from Lakeshore Drive to Section Line Road), Glade Street ( from Mount Ida to Cliff), Mote and Lowery (from Malvern to Shady Grove), and Shady Grove Road (from Belding to Golf Links).

Ellsworth received a letter from Arkansas Highway Department Director Henry Gray on July 23 that stated the city would receive the $57,138 for its 1979 State Aid Street System funding.

The council’s Public Works Committee approved the street program set up to use the funds in its Wednesday meeting.

City Engineer Jay Bryant said the state funds were anticipated and included in the city’s budget of $390,000 for the street improvement projects.

He said the streets would receive a two inch overlay of hot-mix asphalt.

A new airport zoning ordinance and a map will also be considered by the council members. The City Planning Commission at its July 12 meeting, approved the proposal.

Airport Manager Ralph Disheroon said the new ordinance is necessary due to the recent runway extensions and because the airport has bought 47 acres around the field.

The proposed ordinance and map have been approved by the Federal Aviation Administration and were required by that agency because the qork and land purchase made the old documents outdated.

“The ordinance basically protects the airport from persons building tall buildings or other structures at the end of the runway that would pose dangers not only to them but also to air traffic,” Disheroon said.

Another ordinance before the council would amend the city’s Flood Damage Prevention Code.

The proposal includes new Department of Housing and Urban Development requirements passed since the city law was adopted in 1978.

Two appointments to the Hot Springs Airport commission and one to the Hot Springs Civil Service Commission have been brought by Ellsworth to the council for approval.

Ellsworth has chosen F.L. “Hugh” Beasley Jr. and retires U.S. Air Force Col. William Pisaruck to serve on the airport commission and Andy Hudson for the civil service commission slot.

Hudson, 108 Leslie Drive, is a professional photographer, and if approved by the council, will serve on the commission until April 1985.

Beasley, 208 Trivista, is a local investment manager and would be a member of the airport commission, if approved until July 1, 1984.

Col. Pisaruck, 103 Blue Ridge Drive, is retired after serving 31 years in the U.S. Air Force. His commission term would run until July 1, 1982. He is replacing Don Crawford, who resigned from his post.

The Hot Springs Planning Commission has introduced several proposed ordinances for Monday meeting. They are:

— An ordinance amending the zoning code by rezoning lot 6 block 161 of the Hot Springs Reservation from an R-4 medium density residential zone, to a C-TR, or a commercial transitional zone.

The Commission recommended this rezoning only if the residence is used for answering service and insurance offices.

— Rezoning has been requested for a 1.4 acre tract of land at the intersection of Wright Lane and Higdon Ferry Road that would make it a planned district. The property is currently a R-4 medium density residential zone.

The large residence on that property is planned for use as a mortuary and an addition to the building will also be made.

— Another proposed ordinance would modify the requirements of the zoning code that pertain to shopping center identification signs and business identification signs in a C-3 shopping center zone.

— The Good Shepherd property on Malvern Road will also be before the council for rezoning from a R-4 medium density residential zone, and C-4 neighborhood commercial, to a planned district.

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