City of Forrest City
City Council Minutes for December 15, 2015




December 15, 2015

The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on December 15, 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, Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline, and City Council members: Williams, Echols, Hollowell, Twillie, Fields, Oswalt, and Capps. Alderman Breeding was absent.

Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve the minutes of December 1, 2015 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.


Budget Committee

Mayor Bryant stated the budget committee meet and the report would be referred until the next budget meeting.






Baldwin and Shell Contract

Alderman Capps asked Mayor Bryant the status of Baldwin & Shell contract.

Mayor Bryant stated he was waiting on the contract so he could sign it.

Fire Sub-Station

Alderman Capps requested a meeting with Mayor Bryant, along with Engineer Paul Gunn, Architect Dave Hodges, and Contractor Reginald Murdock to discuss concerns at the Forrest City Fire Department Substation. Alderman Capps stated he would like to review all tests as far back as when the ground work was being prepared. He stated that he was told he could see pictures of the station in phases; but has not been provided with pictures.

Forrest City Area Wellness and Athletic Consortium

Attorney Cline stated there was a discussion at the last meeting about the Consortium separating themselves from the City of Forrest City since the Consortium has now obtained a 501c3 status. Attorney Cline stated he had spoken with FCAWAC Chairman Dr. Stuart Towns and Secretary Frederick Freeman who each recommended the city end its official association with the group.

Attorney Cline said the Consortium members asked how the separation would be accomplished. He stated if it is the will of the council, the appropriate way to separate the city from the Athletic and Wellness Consortium would be with a motion to dissolve the committee.

Alderman Hollowell made a motion to dissolve the Athletic and Wellness Consortium Committee. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.


Legislative Audit Report

Mayor Bryant stated all council person should have received a copy of the State Legislative Audit report ending December 2014. The state auditors want all findings discussed in open session. Mayor Bryant read the report on the financial statement findings as follows: The commentary contained in this section relates to the following officials that held office during 2014: Mayor Larry Bryant, Clerk/Treasurer Derene Cochran, District Court Clerk Helen Rhodes, and Police Chief Edward Reynolds.

December 15, 2015 Minutes cont.

Audit Procedures indicated that the office of District Court Clerk was in substantial compliance with Arkansas fiscal and financial laws.

Noncompliance with state law and accepted accounting practices was noted in the office of Mayor, Clerk/Treasurer, and Police Chief. Noncompliance with accepted accounting practices was noted in the office of District Court Clerk.

Findings as follows:

Mayor’s office – the city disbursed $47,473 to Gunn & Associates for engineering and surveying fees without a contract or approval from city council. Without contract, the auditors were unable to determine if disbursements were properly calculated.

Clerk/Treasurer’s office – funds totaling $600.00 were improperly disbursed to the Forrest City Cemetery, a nonprofit organization, in conflict with Ark. Const. Art. 12-5.

The city paid $4,200 for supplies and services to the City Attorney’s firm without an authorizing ordinance.

Published financial statement did not include the Municipal Judge’s and Clerk’s Retirement Fund, Library Memorial Fund, Police Department Youth Fund, Sales and Use Tax Bond Capital Projects, and Sales and Use Tax Debit Service Funds or a statement of indebtedness, as required by Ark. Code Ann. 14-59-116.

Police Chief’s office – Ticket sales for two city organized boxing events were not deposited. The amount of the revenue could not be determined due to lack of supporting documentation.

The City improperly disbursed expense reimbursements from the Police Department Youth Fund totaling $2.981 as follows:

Officer Michael McGruder unallowable $1,564 undocumented $942

Donations 170

Other 305

Total $2,039

District Court’s office – Documented application recovery plans were not tested to verify their effectiveness. A plan that is not periodically tested and updated with current conditions could prove unreliable in a disaster situation.

The purpose of this report is solely to describe the scope of State Auditors testing of internal control and compliance and the result of that testing. However, pursuant to Ark. Code Ann. 10-4-17, all reports presented to the Legislative Joint Auditing Committee are matter of public record and distribution is not limited.

Capital Fixed Assets

Mayor Bryant stated each council member should have a copy of the capital asset deletion list.

This is one of the state auditor’s requirements, when equipment is no longer in use or destroyed, it should be removed from the capital fixed asset list.

Alderman Oswalt made a motion to accept the capital fixed asset deletion list as presented. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.


Alderman Capps made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $31,817.54. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.


Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay Street Fund bills in the amount of $5,315.38. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.


Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay Solid Waste Fund bills in the amount of $35,336.62. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.

December 15, 2015 Minutes cont.

Forrest City Water Utility

Alderman Fields made a motion to approve and pay Water Utility bills in the amount of $29,726.31. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.


Mayor Bryant announced that the leaf vac machine is in Searcy Arkansas and once the city receives the grant check from East Arkansas Planning and Development, the machine will be delivered.

Mayor Bryant announced the he would set a budget meeting after the holiday.

Alderman Echols made a motion to adjourn at 6:52 p.m. Second by Alderman Fields.


Larry Bryant, Mayor


Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer

Add a Comment

* Fields marked with an asterisk are required.