MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
December 1, 2015
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on December 1, 2015. Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Alderman Fields offered prayer after which the Pledge of Allegiance was recited. The following answered roll call: Mayor Bryant, City Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline and City Council members: Twillie, Williams, Echols, Fields, Hollowell, Capps, Breeding, and Oswalt.
Alderman Fields made a motion to approve the November 19, 2015 regular meeting minutes. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
CITY COUNCIL REPORTS
Budget Committee: Mayor Bryant scheduled a budget committee meeting for Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at 6:00 pm.
Personnel Committee: Alderman Oswalt stated that they did not have a report.
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Due to the absence of Mr. Jimmy Gains, Civic Center Manager, there was no report.
Ms. Connie Muqtasid gave progress report on the following:
New Business approved for Occupancy
Tri-County Farmers Association, formerly Old Pepsi building located at 1142 Eldridge Road
Buddy’s Home Furniture, formerly Home Zone located at 825 N. Washington
Derrick Mullins Flea Market on 111 S. Division
JD Auto Sales on 403 W. Broadway
Status of Commercial Major Renovation projects
Boars Head Wellness Center is 99% completed.
Under New Construction
Motel on Barrow Hill Rd. is 70% completed
The Meadows Building 48 apartment units to include a club house on Dawson Rd. began site work last week.
Fire Chief Johnny Ruffin reported the number of the types of incidents regarding the actions taken by the fire department from the month of November. There were 66 medical assists, 13 fires, 5 service calls, 2 good intent calls, 5 hazardous calls, 23 false alarm calls. Total number of actions taken 114.
Alderman Capps asked Chief Ruffin for an update on the fire sub-station. Chief Ruffin stated that he went by the sub-station site that morning and observed the work being done on the building. Capps expressed concerns regarding not been giving picture from Dave Hodges of the construction process. Also, Alderman Capps stated that he was not satisfied with the answers he received on the questions he submitted in September. Alderman Capps asked if a project manager was on site and who was he. Chief Ruffin stated that it was an overseer on site and his name is Delamar Fraction. Alderman Capps stated that he has asked Mr. Murdock to give him something in writing that the work that has been done to this point has been done according to the specs and to the plans. Alderman Capps asked Chief Ruffin if he would help him with that he would appreciate it. Chief Ruffin stated that he would get with Mr. Hodges and see what they can do.
Park & Recreation
Recreation Director Kenneth Taylor reported that they will be starting the basketball city league a week before Christmas. The membership at the Larry Bryant Wellness Multipurpose Center is up.
December 1, 2015 Minutes cont.
Police Chief Deon Lee gave a report for November 2015 on the following:
Personnel Staffing: One opening in dispatch with one resignation pending, one opening in patrol and one resignation pending for bookkeeping.
Equipment: No equipment issues, new server is currently being installed, and working on getting the phone system upgraded.
Activities: Calls for service for the month of November totaled 1703 calls, two armed robberies—one at Tobacco Super Store at N. Washington and one at SuperMart at Division and Cook St.
Chief Lee also stated that on December 23, 2015 at 7:30 p.m. at the Forrest City Civic Center they will be having their Police Recognition Banquet guest speaker Marshall Wright.
Public Works Department
Mr. George Rooks reported that for the month of November, everything came out good, everything is up and running. He stated that this weekend, if weather permits, the compost site will be open Saturday. Mr. Rooks stated that the new side-arm sanitation truck has been worked into the route and is working beautifully.
Forrest City Water Utility
Mr. Calvin Murdock, Manager of the FCWU, passed out a package to the council. The package included FCWU customer payments for October, cut offs/lock & pulls for October, articles on “Synopsis of Changes in the Finalized Clean Power Plan” and “P3s-Public-Private Partnerships increasingly necessary but require careful consideration”, pictures of water pump station, newsletter for December and October 2015 financial statement on file in the mayor’s office. Mr. Murdock briefly gave a highlight of the following articles in the packet: An article on “Synopsis of Changes in the Finalized Clean Power Plan” which will impact the production of energy all over the country specifically it will relate to us because we have relied heavily on coal fire generation for our power supply. Also, an article on “P3s-Public-Private Partnerships increasingly necessary but require careful consideration”. It is a method that is used across the country in some instances there is a 30 percent direct tax rebate for investors in for alternative energy, because the city is a not for profit entity the city could not take advantage of the tax rebate but private developers can. Mr. Murdock stated that he wanted the council to be aware and preview the information and at future meetings, if they have any questions regarding the information, he would make himself available to attempt to answer those questions.
Forrest City Area Wellness and Athletic Consortium (FCAWAC)
Dr. Stuart Towns reported that on November 13, 2015 FCAWAC met with Baldwin and Shell and ETC, the architect, in Little Rock at the ETC office then later at the Baldwin and Shell office. They asked Baldwin and Shell for some fundraising brochures and other materials, like PowerPoint that they can use in their fundraising efforts. They have been working on that for FCAWA. ETC has dispensed some graphic materials to Baldwin & Shell for the PowerPoints and other fundraising ideas. Dr. Towns state that he had a meeting with Rick Crawford, our United States Congressman, at his Jonesboro office receiving input from him and his staff regarding possible federal sources of funding and other sources of funding as well. One of Congressman Crawford’s staff members is working with them closely and who has been in contact with them several times since the first meeting. As soon as we get the information that we need we will be moving forward. Mr. Towns reported that they have been contacted by two different sources. “We have gotten $11,000.00 in our budget that we raised from two different sources who committed $11, 0000 to our project, and both of them have hinted that they may be willing to do more.” Dr. Towns stated that they want to start the fundraising drive as soon as they get the final figures for the additional work that we are requesting on the swimming pool and the track. “We have asked ETC for the information and as soon we get it, we will be ready to get into our real fundraising efforts.” Mayor Bryant asked if there were any questions. Alderman Breeding stated that he thinks that there should be a separation from the city council. “I have been on the FCAWAC since the beginning, in order for that separation to exits, the members of the city council should not be a part of your committee. My decision is to resign from the FCAWAC effective immediately. I hope you would take this as my public statement of that fact. If you want a formal letter in writing, I would happily provide you with one.” Dr. Town stated that he was not sure if they would need one but he appreciated the input that Alderman Breeding had given them in the period of time that the committee has been formed. Alderman Hollowell
December 1, 2015 Minutes cont.
asked Dr. Towns if he felt that it would be best to be on your own. Dr. Towns responded, “Yes”. Dr. Towns stated the he agreed with Alderman Breeding.
Attorney Cline read for the 3rd reading An Ordinance To Adopt Arkansas Mechanical Code, 2010 Edition; Amending Ordinance No. 1823; Providing Procedure For Obtaining Permit; And Setting Fees; And For Other Purposes. Sponsored by Alderman Fields.
Alderman Fields made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Second by Alderman Hollowell.
Mayor Bryant asked for discussion. Alderman Oswalt asked Code Enforcement Office Muqtasid what current code the city was under right now. Alderman Oswalt also asked if the home owner was to work on their plumbing or electrical do we have a fee that would require an inspection. CEO Muqtasid stated that they are required to purchase a permit and is subject to inspection. After further discussion, Roll Call: Alderman Hollowell, Williams, Breeding, Capps, Oswalt, Fields, Twillie, and Echols. All Ayes.
Attorney Cline read for the 2nd reading An Ordinance Approving Contract With Beavers & Cline for Reimbursement for Office Supplies and Expense For City Attorney sponsored by Alderman Oswalt.
Alderman Fields made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the third reading. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes. Attorney Cline read the ordinance for the third reading, Roll Call: All Ayes. Alderman Fields made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: Alderman Hollowell, Williams, Breeding, Capps, Oswalt, Fields, Twillie, and Echols. All Ayes.
Resolution for 2016 Budget
Mayor Bryant stated that the Resolution will be presented at the next meeting.
Mayor’s Baldwin & Shell Contract Veto
Mayor Bryant stated that he vetoed the Baldwin & Shell contract based on the fact that he didn’t understand the reasoning behind spending an extra $200,000.00. Alderman Ozaree Twillie asked Mayor Bryant should they give FCAWAC a little more time since they just got their 501c3 to raise funds. Mayor Bryant said that the 501c3 did not have anything to do with raising funds. All they have to do is bring funds to the clerk and the clerk would set up an account.
Alderman Echols stated that she had a problem with the mayor’s letter vetoing the contract and that the contract came before the council at the last regular meeting and the council voted to approve the contract. Alderman Echols said, “You were present and you didn’t give us any indication that you were totally against it and so within a two week period of time, you vetoed what we approved. I really need more of an explanation.” Mayor Bryant responded by saying, “I did it within the five day time period that is required by the law.”
Alderman Williams asked the Mayor, “Were you not involved in any part of this discussion.” Mayor Bryant stated that he had gotten the contract that night. Alderman Williams asked if the mayor was in on any planning of what they were doing. Mayor Bryant stated no, that he was not on the front end involved in it. Mayor Bryant also said, “If the council wishes to spend extra money that we already don’t have, and I don’t know where it will come from, I don’t know if even legally we can use bond money to pay over and beyond”
Alderman Breeding asked a question to the Mayor, “If we can legally use bond money to pay ETC 10 percent contract fee, why can we not use the same bond money to pay Baldwin & Shell.” Mayor Bryant responded by saying, “Because most architectural fees fall up under the guidelines in the law.” Mayor Bryant continued by saying, “We go from 10 percent to 15.75, it was the principle, vetoed basically on principle and if the council wishes to override it, that’s your prerogative. I’m done with it. I’m not here to belabor it. I just wanted to let it be known, and it is known, and the council will have to override. It wouldn’t be the first time.”
Alderman Echols made a motion to override, rescind, and cancel the mayor’s veto. Second by Alderman Twillie. Mayor Bryant asked for further discussion. Alderman Breeding asked the City Clerk if there were any reason why the city could not legally employ Baldwin and Shell to be the construction manager for this project out of the funds. The question could be answered by the
December 1, 2015 Minutes cont.
Clerk or the City Attorney. Attorney Cline answered by stating that he was not aware of any. The question would have to be answered by the bond council. After further discussion, Roll Call: Williams, Echols Breeding, Twillie, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt, All Ayes. Alderman Hollowell voted No.
Approval of Contract to Purchase Land from N & S Properties LLC for $36,000
Attorney Cline read A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PURCHASE OF REAL PROPERTY FROM N & S PROPERTIES, LLC. Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Fields. After discussion, Roll Call: All Ayes.
Legislative Audit Comments
Mayor Bryant stated that he will read the Legislative Audit at the next meeting.
Civic Center Commission Appointments
Mayor Bryant stated that they are still waiting on the person.
A Resolution to Re-Send Resolution #970
Attorney Cline read A RESOLUTION TO RESCIND RESOLUTION NO. 970, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES. Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
A & P Appointment
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to appoint Alderman Louise Fields to the A & P Commission. Second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes
Elect Mayor ProTem
Alderman Capps made a motion to elect Alderman Chris Oswalt as Mayor ProTem in the absence of the Mayor. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay the general fund bills totaling $12,853.63. Alderman Echols second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Williams made a motion to approve and pay Street Fund Bills in the amount of $2,050.58. Alderman Hollowell second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to approve and pay Solid Waste Fund Bills in the amount of $6,038.57. Alderman Twillie second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay F. C. Water Utility Bills in the amount of $39,403.95. Alderman Capps second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Echols made a motion to adjourn at 7:00 p.m.
Larry S. Bryant, Mayor
Donna Mannings, Records Clerk