The Little Rock City Board will begin consideration Tuesday of resolutions to extend “temporary entertainment districts” in Hillcrest and on South Main Street.
This will continue to allow in Hillcrest sale of drinks in go-cups during the area’s First Thursday shop-and-sip event.
The district is along Kavanaugh, generally between Walnut and Monroe, including some side street blocks. The ordinance will allow drink sales between 4 p.m. and 9 p.m. on April 1, May 6 and June 3.
In SOMA, the ordinance allows dining in a space not directly adjacent to restaurants:
The outdoor seating area is to be used by multiple restaurants in the area and is located within a portion of parking lot at the southeast corner of 13th Street and Main Street. This application sets the time frame for the temporary entertainment district to start March 18, 2021, and run approximately thirteen (13) weeks and end on June 18, 2021. The days and times are Sundays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 11:00 AM until 10:00 PM.
Another item on Tuesday’s consent agenda is an $87,500 contract with a consultant to study staffing in the Little Rock Police Department. Back when Mayor Frank Scott was running for election, he talked about adding 100 officers to the force. Budget/pandemic realities have foreclosed expansions in any city department. The police situation grows complicated politically with the desire of some in the legislature to pass a state law preventing “defunding” police, even if this only means a reallocation of existing spending. Would reducing staff spending on officers amount to defunding, either legally or politically? Can the study safely consider reallocation of spending? If the force needs more sworn officers, could it cut some police spending to offset the cost? (I’d start with cutting the huge cost of providing all-expenses-paid commuter cars to cops who don’t live in Little Rock. But I might also endorse more incentives for officers to live IN Little Rock.)
The Board meeting is at 4 p.m. It will not be to act on these items but to add them to the agenda for the March 16 meeting.