UPDATE: The city council abandoned the ordinance after discussion at Tuesday’s meeting.
JONESBORO, Ark. – Mayor Harold Perrin hopes once the downtown scrap yard moves, it will be the end of an era for junk in Jonesboro.
A new ordinance up for first reading at Tuesday night’s council meeting would make it unlawful for anyone to create a junk,scrap or salvage yard within Jonesboro’s city limits. The ordinance defines a junk or salvage yard as follows:
A junk or salvage yard is hereby defined and considered as a lot or part thereof used for the storage, keeping, or abandonment of junk, including scrap metal or vehicles or machinery parts thereof, or a place of business where used metals, motor vehicle tires, batteries, rags, paper waste materials and/or other used merchandise is accumulated in stacks and piles, either inside or outside of buildings, for the purpose of buying and selling of such items.
Any violation shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $500.00 for each offense. Each day any violation is found constitutes its own offense. The text contains an exception for present junk or salvage yards with a valid business license in Jonesboro. However, it states none shall enlarge operations or facilities without approval from the Planning Commission.
The ordinance, 19:079, says junk yards are locations are breeding grounds for mosquitoes, other insects, and vermin. In addition, it mentions the fire hazard and pollution that come from such locations.
The mayor doesn’t want any more being opened, said City Communications Director Bill Campbell. He said it may have been fine 100 years ago, but as time as shown, Tenenbaum Recycling Group (TRG) is a blight on downtown. The mayor hopes no more are opened that might eventually ruin a potential future neighborhood.
TRG reached an agreement with the mayor’s office last month to, over a period of years, move their downtown location to the eastern industrial area of the city.
The ordinance is up for its first of three required readings Tuesday night.
No other new business is on the agenda. All other old business contains rezoning requests, with one exception: Madden Crab has a second reading for their request for a private club permit at 2406 South Caraway Road.
The city council meets Tuesday at 5:30 PM at the Municipal Center, 300 South Church Street in Jonesboro. It will be streamed online and on the city’s Facebook page.