Little Rock board approves new ward boundaries, discusses possible money for Terry House - Arkansas Times

With no debate, the Little Rock Board of Directors approved new ward boundaries at its Tuesday meeting.
Here’s the new map vs. the old boundaries. The changes were required because of the census results.
The board was poised to approve the $222 million 2022 city budget, but Mayor Frank Scott Jr. said the vote would happen at a later date. It has to be approved by the end of the year, so that leaves only the Dec. 21 regular board meeting or a special called meeting.
Ward 1 Director Virgil Miller said many of his constituents had asked if the city could allocate money to go toward repair of the historic Terry House on Seventh Street. Albert Pike built the home in 1840. It was later the residence of Adolphine Fletcher Terry, who hosted Women’s Emergency Committee to Open Our Schools meetings in the aftermath of the Central High crisis. The Terry family deeded the house to the city in 1964, specifying that it be used by the Arkansas Arts Center (now the Arkansas Museum of Fine Arts) and only for “the advancement of cultural, artistic or educational interests in the community.” But in recent years, the museum hasn’t used the Terry House and neither it nor the city has maintained it.
In October, members of the Terry family sued the city of Little Rock, the Museum of Fine Arts and its foundation, alleging that they had violated the terms of the deed and asking that the property revert back to the family. Meanwhile, the Coalition of Little Rock Neighborhoods has pushed the city to spend money to repair the house.
Scott and Finance Director Sara Lenahan said that stronger than expected sales tax results and other revenue-positive news had the city poised to devote $500,000 toward Terry House repairs. Scott said that money would hopefully be matched by private donors. Repair costs have been estimated at $1.3 million. Scott said there would also likely be dedicated money added to the budget for targeted community development, a special focus on high poverty areas in wards 1, 2, 6 and 7.
The board spent a lot of time, amid budget talks, discussing job postings for part-time constituent relations positions in the mayor’s office of executive administration, which the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette’s Joseph Flaherty reported on Tuesday. The positions are meant to help with the flood of phone calls the mayor’s office receives from citizens, Scott said. Several directors wondered why 311 wasn’t handling the complaints. Director Doris Wright said she wanted to know if one of her constituents was calling the mayor’s office. She said she was concerned that the city was duplicating services and making city hall top heavy.
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