MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
April 5, 2016
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas met in regular session on April 5, 2016. Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Alderman Williams offered prayer after which the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. The following answered roll call: Mayor Bryant, Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline, and City Council members: Williams, Echols, Hollowell, Breeding, Twillie, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt.
Alderman Echols made a motion to approve the minutes of March 22, 2016 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Mr. Gaines stated that M & T Construction Company paved the civic center parking lot. He said all equipment was working fine and the civic center is looking good.
Mayor Bryant stated that Code Enforcement Officer Vaughn could not be present but she left a list of 13- properties that she had started condemnation process on.
Interim Chief Renigar stated there have been a total of 240 service calls year to date, in which 30 were house fires and the other were medical calls. He said one of the fire trucks had a broken cable and it will be fixed tomorrow, all other vehicles are up and running.
Mr. Renigar stated, to report on the fire sub-station, that he sent a letter to Mayor Bryant requesting him to get a timeframe for the completion on the inside and also on the concrete work; the answer should be back by Friday.
Alderman Capps asked who did the inspections on the fire station. Mr. Renigar stated he did the majority of the inspections. Alderman Capps asked if he had documentations on the inspections. Mr. Renigar stated he had some of the paperwork and the Architect Mr. Hodges had the other paper work.
Alderman Capps stated he still had issues with the quality of work done on the fire station from the beginning. Alderman Capps stated he also had problems with the inspections that were being done; in his opinion the fire station does not meet specifications.
Alderman Capps told Mayor Bryant he would like for Attorney Cline to research the contract on Murdock Construction and maybe at the next meeting to give the council options on the possibility of terminating the contract or send a 48-hour notice to demand the job and provide a schedule for completion.
Alderman Twillie asked can that process be done.
Alderman Capps then stated he was just asking Attorney Cline to review the contract and let the council know their options.
Park & Recreation
Mr. Taylor stated he did not have a lot to report, but the electricity was turned on at the Southside pool and when the weather permits he would acid to wash it. He then asked permission to bid uniform for the summer ball program.
Alderman Capps made a motion to give Mr. Taylor permission to bid for uniforms for the recreation department. The motion was second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant stated that Mr. Taylor was doing some research on getting light poles replaced because he had one pole to fall. Mr. Taylor said he had already done the research and he was not going back with the old poles but smaller ones. He said he had already replaced lights on field #2 with smaller lights which are more efficient and more wind effective; the other lights should be in next week.
April 5, 2016 Minutes cont.
Mr. Taylor also mentioned that the city is trying to get a grant to help with replacing the lights.
Mayor Bryant said the grant is called an efficient grant and maybe all the light could be changed to LED lights, the switch would allow for more effective lighting and lower energy cost.
Chief Deon Lee stated everything at the police department is going well. He reported that the sworn officers are fully staffed, one position is open in dispatch and two officers are scheduled for academy in May. He stated three officers just graduated academy, Officer Callahan and Samuelson who were present; Officer Dowdy who was on vacation. Chief Lee gave recognition to Officer Samuelson for graduating number 2 academically out of the class of 90 officers. He said the other two officers did well but Samuelson stood out.
Chief Lee reported that the department recently purchased four new cars now waiting for equipment to be installed.
Activities for the month included: the officers had a benefit game, they played Arkansas Department of Corrections guards and raffled off eleven baby car seats. The game was played at Calvary Christian School and vital signs were also taken.
Chief Lee recognized Officer Winfrey, who was present, for officer of the month for March. Chief Lee stated that he had mention to the council that he was working on officer’s training and improvements. He said the officers are required to do 16-hours of training per year to keep their certification but Officer Winfrey had at least 75-hours of training.
Chief Lee announced the prayer walk for Saturday, April 9, 2016, he said the officers will be working to assure the safety of the citizens.
Chief Lee announced that the Forrest City Police Department will be hosting a defensive driving class on April 14, 2016 for city employees at East Arkansas Community College. He said it would not be mandatory for the officers to attend, unless that officer has had an accident within the last year.
Alderman Williams asked Chief Lee how many officers he had since he stated he was fully staffed. Chief Lee said including him there are thirty-three.
Mayor Bryant stated that Mr. Rooks could not be present because he was working on one of the sanitation trucks that lost a screw and it was losing oil. Mayor Bryant said Mr. Rooks was trying to implement something for citywide cleanup. He stated that Mr. Rooks was looking into putting solid waste personnel in a particular Ward for a week to get that Ward cleaned up. Mayor Bryant then said at the next council meeting each Ward would be placed in a hat for the drawing to see which Ward would be first.
Mr. Murdock presented the city council with a monthly report for the Forrest City Water Utility on consumer payments, cutoffs, and locks and pulls for March. Mr. Murdock also presented the council with the city’s newsletter and an article from the treatment plant operator return on investment-continuous training. An article from Entergy on a healthy economy and a healthy environment. A copy of an email letter from Edward Swaim, Water Management Division Chief of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and several other articles.
Mr. Murdock stated that Alderman Capps ask the question at the last meeting, what it net metering. Mr. Murdock stated there is an article in his report explaining in more detail what net metering is, in the event that he did not clearly answer the question.
Alderman Williams asked Mr. Murdock the effect of agricultural irrigation systems on the city’s water well supply.
Mr. Murdock stated that the agricultural irrigation is rampant, uncontrolled, and unmonitored. The irrigation systems are depleting the drinking water supply because the city is drawing from the same aquifer. The issue is that the system does not recharge as fast as the water is being drafted.
Alderman Breeding reminded Mr. Murdock that he supplied the budget committee with a 2013 budget report; he then asked for 2014 and 2015 reports.
Alderman Breeding stated that the budget committee will meet in two week, he then asked Mr. Murdock for a copy of his 2016 proposed budget. He also wanted to know if his budget information is correct in what he was asking for.
April 5, 2016 Minutes cont.
Mayor Bryant asked Mr. Murdock if he was going to ask the council’s permission to bid for the roof on the water building #2 on Rosser Street that is caving in.
Alderman Field made a motion to give Mr. Murdock permission to bid on the roof for water shed #2. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Echols ask Mr. Murdock if he would make a list of any other emergency purchases that are needed right way.
Mr. Murdock stated that the city water has a capital expenditure budget that was submitted to the mayor’s office in November and now it is April. He stated that he continues to emphasize that there are pressing issues and he needs a budget approval to execute the work.
Mayor Bryant stated anything under $20,000 the council can deal with it.
Alderman Echols asked Mr. Murdock would he bring to the next council meeting a list of items, with the description, that are over $20,000 so the council can vote to give him permission to bid; not the budget.
Alderman Breeding ask Mr. Murdock if repairing the ponds were the most pressing issues the city has. Mr. Murdock said yes, that is why he needs his capital expenditure budget passed because $400,000 was put on the budget for the ponds.
Mayor Bryant asked Mr. Murdock to bring to the next council meeting all the information that was asked for from the budget committee.
A Resolution Certifying the Amount of a Clean-up Lien to be filed with St. Francis Tax
Mayor Bryant stated that Mr. Rice is present to answer any questions concerning the resolution.
Attorney Cline said he had two resolutions before him. Mr. Rice said the short resolution with 17-names accepted their green cards. The other resolution with 35-names the people did accept their cards. He said he advertised in the newspaper for those people.
Attorney Cline stated the people that accepted their green cards have a legal obligation.
And on the other property, for the city to fulfill the legal obligations it will cost a considerable amount of money. He said a lien could be place against the property but it might not ever be collected.
Alderman Fields stated that Mr. James Millard said he had a garden on his property and it should not be on the list. Mr. Rice stated he did have a garden on it in the fall, but the city cut the property in the summer.
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution with the seventeen names and table the other resolution with the thirty-five names until later. A Resolution Certifying the Amount of a Clean-up Lien to be Filed with St. Francis Tax Collector Against Certain Real Property in the City of Forrest City, AR Second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Oswalt asked Attorney Cline if there was something the city could do other than cutting the lots and not being able to collect the money.
Attorney Cline stated there are provisions in the ordinances that allows for citations and fines to the owners but then the city will have to fine the owners of the property; which is still a problem.
Housing Authority Re-Appointment
Alderman Capps made a motion to re-appoint Debbie Jackson back to the Forrest City Housing Authority Board. Second by Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Department of Environmental Quality Resolution
Mayor Bryant stated that the Department of Environmental Quality requires a resolution once a year based on the facts that the north landfill did not have financial surety. Attorney Cline read the Department of Environmental Quality Resolution. Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
April 5, 2016 Minutes cont.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Williams made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills totaling $19,752.96. Alderman Capps second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Fields made a motion to approve and pay the Street Fund bills totaling $55,482.60. Alderman Oswalt second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve and pay the Solid Waste fund bills totaling $5,959.42. Alderman Oswalt second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay Water Utility bills in the amount of $13,054.84. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding asked Mayor Bryant to give an update on the aquatic pool and track.
Mayor Bryant stated it is still being designed and should be ready for bid by the end of this month or first of May.
Alderman Capps made a motion to adjourn at 6:48 p.m. Second by Alderman Fields.
Larry Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer