Members of the Van Buren City Council voted Monday night to reduce the city’s planning jurisdiction from five miles to one mile.

The city is now in line with legislation passed earlier this year by the Arkansas Legislature, noted Van Buren City Planner Joe Hurst.

"It is already state law," Hurst said. "This just makes it official."

In reducing the jurisdiction, he said the city’s planning department sought natural boundaries and tried not to dissect property by using streets, section lines and natural boundaries.

Mayor Bob Freeman said the planning jurisdiction is important to the city as it grows.

"This will make any future annexation easier," Freeman said. "We don’t want substandard streets and other problems in the jurisdiction."

The council also voted 5-0 to:

• Appoint Dustin Booth to the Van Buren Levee Board.

• Give full-time, non-elected city employees with one year of service a $100 Christmas bonus.

• Remove a mobile video camera formerly used by the police department which is beyond repair from the fixed assets list.

• Rezone from Residential 2 to Residential 3 property at 2403 Dora Road. The owner, Serenity Construction LCC, plans to build duplexes on the .72 acre.

Freeman also set a Dec. 2 meeting to consider the 2014 budget.