MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
July 7, 2015
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on July 7, 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, Hollowell, Breeding, Capps, Oswalt, Echols, and Field. Alderman Twillie was absent.
Alderman Williams made a motion to approve the minutes of June 2l, 2015 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Mr. Murdock gave the city council a monthly report for the Forrest City Water Utility then asked if there were any questions regarding the report. Alderman Capps asked the difference in the FEE base rate changes effective January 1, 2014 for backflow testing certification, how does the rates compare to previous years. Mr. Murdock stated those rates are related to rural water rates; the city does not pay for backflow testing. Mr. Murdock said the reason those rates are in the report; someone asked a question regarding the camera truck at the last meeting.
Alderman Breeding stated he was the one that asked the question regarding the camera truck. He said he was told that if the city was a member of the Rural Water Association, which the city is, the city would have the use of the camera truck that is available to all members on as needed basics and the company would get the truck to you in a timely manner.
Mr. Murdock stated in order to have an effective I and I program, the water utility needs a camera truck available every working day at their immediate disposal. He said the rental is available to all members of the association and they are not going to give city water exclusive use of the truck.
Alderman Breeding then asked Mr. Murdock if every city in the state of Arkansas with the population of 15,000 or more has a camera truck. Mr. Murdock stated that was not his statement.
Alderman Breeding stated he was curious to know how many cities have a camera truck.
Mr. Murdock stated he knows that Wynne and West Memphis have the trucks.
Bryant mentioned that the generator for the city water utility had been
Alderman Breeding stated just FYI for the council, he received from Mr. Murdock the credit card statements that were requested but has not finished going over the information; a recommendation will be made at the first meeting in next month.
Chief Reynolds gave handouts on the monthly crime statistics that was requested at the last meeting from June 2014- June 2015 for a comparison. Chief Reynolds stated that these are the national reporting numbers that are sent in to the FBI. (See Attached)
Alderman Capps questioned the drug violations and the dollar amount of fines reported to the FBI. Chief Reynold stated the crime has to be classified as a felony.
Public Works Director Rooks stated that they just recently got the chipper truck out of the shop. Leaves tonnage 39.16, leaf machine tonnage 62.13 tons, garbage 101 tons, there are an abundance of limbs they are working on cleaning up. He said they sometimes have problems with the citizens hiring contractors to cut their limbs and not carrying them off. Mr. Rook also stated that the city is in the process of hiring new personnel.
Alderman Breeding asked if the residents put old furniture out beside the bin who is responsible for hauling it off.
July 7, 2015 Minutes cont.
Mayor Bryant stated the apartment owner is responsible. Mayor Bryant stated he tried to address this issue a while ago but the council never made a decision. He said if the city is going to pick up old furniture from apartment complexes a set rate fee would be charged by cubic feet.
Alderman Breeding asked if the property owners want to hire someone to haul off the debris, who they should contact. He then said he was looking at an ordinance and there is supposed to be a list of companies approved by the city.
Mayor Bryant stated there is an ordinance, but the citizens want report when someone is breaking the law.
Park & Recreation
Recreation Director Kenneth Taylor stated that the Southside Pool was open and running very well.
He stated there is an issue with the lights at the Senior Citizen entrance but Entergy assured him that they would fix the lights tomorrow. He stated that city pride is doing well; they started with 60-children a few days later there are 150. He stated that Multi-Purpose membership attendance is up to 425. He stated all the exercise equipment is working fine and now they are getting ready for soccer.
Mr. Gaines stated that everything at the civic center is running well. He is waiting for the Jonesboro Door Company to deliver the doors for the building. He stated he had spoken with Mayor Bryant concerning a new piano or organ for the civic center.
Code Officer Muqtasid stated that she had updates for five major construction projects, Burger King hopes to open by the end of July, Power House Warehouse hopes to be completed by mid-August, Antique Rose hopes there store will be ready by the end of July, Hampton Inn hopes to be completed by August or September, and AT&T renovation is unknown at this time.
Under new construction there is a 42-room motel they have already begun the dirt work, and a permit has been pulled for a new apartment building with 48 units.
New Business to open last month was Kipp’s Charter School. And there are approximately thirteen properties on the agenda tonight for condemnation.
Chief Ruffin was absent.
Committee President Dr. Stuart Towns reported that the committee met with the architects and they would be giving them the final ideas by next week. He stated the committee had a group to go out and visit two sites that have pools and tracks similar to what Forrest City is trying to do.
He said the group visited Paragould and Pocahontas facilities and will probably visit Heber Springs and Tunica Mississippi. He said their first focus is the aquatic center and therapeutic pool out at the Bryant Center. The hospital has given the committee information about how they could use a therapeutic pool for therapy, lifeguard training, and EMS training. The committee thinks the hospital would be an asset to incorporate and work with the hospital. The application has been completed to file a 501C-3 status so they can do some fund raising, Mr. Towns said they have begun to identify some fund raising sources, individuals as well as foundations and primarily government agencies. He said they want to continue the mind set of building for tomorrow not for today and looking ahead 5, 10, 15, or 20 years down the road of what Forrest City and St. Francis County could look like. Mr. Towns then asked Alderman Fields to share the story that was told to her at Paragould.
Alderman Fields stated she spoke with the director of the center in Paragould, and she said there was a young man in that community who has become the poster child for the benefits of the facility. This young man was paralyzed and could not speak. His mother started taking him to the therapeutic pool on the day it open and he has been going every day since. Today the young man has function of his limbs, he can walk, and he can talk, is married and has a child and a job. Alderman Field said this story is a good analogy to promote the aquatic pool; she said if the pool can help people who do not have movement of their limbs it is well worth having.
July 7, 2015 Minutes cont.
Alderman Capps stated he would like to sponsor the ordinance that Attorney Cline read a few meetings ago but he wanted to make a change in Section 3 where it states said fee is due by July 1st of each year to September 1st before the ordinance is read.
Attorney Cline stated he was told at the Arkansas Municipal League that there had been a change in when an ordinance goes into effect; he thought the new law states a 60-day waiting period instead of 30-days.
Alderman Capps then said change the ordinance effective date to October 1st of each year.
Attorney Cline read for the 1st reading An Ordinance To Permit, License and Regulate The Operation of Coin Or Token Operated Amusement Games Which Allow Players To Win Anything Of Value For Their Success; To Establish A Privilege Tax; To Establish A License Fee And Fix Penalties For Violation. Sponsor by Alderman Capps.
Alderman Oswalt asked if the ordinance pertains to the businesses that have video games and the claw machines.
Alderman Capps said those type of machine is considered as non-cash prizes.
Request Permission to Bid Condemn Structures #15 & #16
Code Enforcement Muqtasid stated she was requesting permission to bid condemn structures located at 105 E. Midway Bid #15- Jimmy Boyd. She said Mr. Boyd has been working on that property well over five years. Bid #16 is a list of houses where the property owners have torn down the houses but never cleaned up the property.
Attorney Cline asked Ms. Muqtasid if Bid #15 & 16 had already been condemn. Ms. Muqtasid said yes. Attorney Cline asked if she was asking permission to bid for clean-up or to demolish the structures. She said clean-up.
Alderman Oswalt made the motion to grant permission to bid structure #15. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Oswalt made the motion to grant permission to bid structures #16. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Request Permission to File a Lien
Attorney Cline stated a resolution is needed to file the lien. Mayor Bryant stated it will be taken care of at the next meeting.
Condemnation Bid Opening
Mayor Bryant asked if there were any bids in the audience, there were none. Mayor Bryant stated there is one bid from Perdew Construction for property #1- 116 E. Elise Street in the amount of $3,500 and property #2- 728 Village Street in the amount of $4,800.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $61,659.43. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to approve and pay Street Fund bills in the amount of $8187.18. Second by Alderman Williams.
July 7, 2015 Minutes cont.
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to approve and pay Solid Waste Fund bills in the amount of $13,788.64. Second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Capps made a motion to adjourn at 6:55 p.m. Second by Alderman Fields.
Larry Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer