MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
March 1, 2016
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on March 1, 2016. Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Alderman Twillie 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, Twillie, and Capps. Alderman Fields came in at 6:17 p.m. and Alderman Echols and Oswalt were absent.
Alderman Capps made a motion to approve the minutes of February 16, 2016 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
F.C. Planning Commission
Brent Ponder was present requesting that a portion of his property located at 3895 Hwy 1 North be re-zoned from Industrial to Commercial so he could build a home; which was approved by the Forrest City Planning Commission on February 23, 2016.
Attorney Cline stated that an ordinance is needed to rezone the property. Mr. Ponder told Attorney Cline he would get him all the information needed to do the ordinance.
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Mayor Bryant stated Mr. Gaines could not be present due to the election being held at the civic center.
Code Enforcement Officer Muqtasid was absent.
Mayor Bryant stated that Chief Ruffin had an event; he could not be present.
Alderman Capps stated he still had questions and concerns about the construction on the fire sub-station. He stated the construction started in April 2015 with a 180-day contract, which should have ended in October 2015. He also stated that there is a $200.00 per day damage charge that he thinks the city needs to start collecting or deducting, however it needs to be handled.
Alderman Capps stated after meeting with Mayor Bryant, Mr. Hodges, and Mr. Murdock to discuss some of the issues, Mr. Murdock informed (Alderman Capps) him that he was not allowed back on the site to do inspections. Alderman Capps then replied that he was going to bring in and pay for a private inspector.
Mayor Bryant stated that the April deadline date did not count, due to the dirt work not being completed, but it is still over the 180 days. Mayor Bryant stated the $200.00 per day penalty would be taken care of on the end of the project.
Alderman Capps also stated if the department heads could not be present for the monthly meeting, he/she should send a representative to come or submit a letter updating the council.
Park & Recreation
Mayor Bryant stated Mr. Taylor has something going on at the complex and could not be present.
Chief Deon Lee was absent due to illness.
March l, 2016 Minutes cont.
Mayor Bryant stated that Mr. Rooks could not be present due to a family matter. Mr. Rooks sent a letter stating that the compost site will be open Saturday, March 5, 2016; if it is not raining. Also, the sanitation department is on schedule and all equipment is up and running.
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 February. Mr. Murdock also presented the council with a newsletter from Woodruff Electric talking about increasing their wholesale rates which would impact the city.
He also stated he wanted to keep the council abreast on what is going on in the rest of the world with regards to solar development. He then presented the council with an article from North Carolina who is currently leading the south in the development of solar systems.
Mr. Murdock stated he and the mayor were on a conference call last Friday with an Arkansas Public Service Commission Engineer and the director of public service to talk about net metering and petition. He said he thought it was a positive conversation and more information was requested. Mr. Murdock plans to give the council enough good information to review so they can make a very informed decision with regards to the city moving forward with the project.
Mayor Bryant stated the procedural rules would be put off until the next meeting since all council members are not present. Alderman Capps made a motion to table the matter until the next meeting. Second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Commissions and Other Appointments
Mayor Bryant stated he would like to appoint Linda Watson to replace Joan Digaetano on the Forrest City Civic Center Commission. Alderman Fields made a motion to accept Mayor Bryant’s recommendation to put Linda Watson on the civic center commission. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant stated the A & P Commission is still short one commissioner and the Forrest City Planning Commission needs to be straighten out.
Alderman Hollowell pointed out that the A & P Commission would need to submit a name to the council for approval.
Resolution to Amend the 2015 Budget
Mayor Bryant stated he would like to have a budget committee meeting next Tuesday, March 8, 2016 at 6:00 p.m.
A Resolution to Adopt the Forrest City Water Utility Operating Budget for 2016
Alderman Breeding asked if the city water utility budget could be discussed at the next budget meeting, since the city water budget has not been discussed.
Attorney Cline stated he received a letter from the Arkansas Municipal League regarding the current lawsuit concerning a revised offer from the complainant on the settlement. He said formal action needs to be taken by the city council. The first offer is $100,000 plus re-instatement. Alderman Breeding made a motion to reject the first offer. Second by Alderman Capps.
Attorney Cline stated the Municipal League attorney said if the first offer gets rejected, then she has a recommendation for a counter offer.
Roll Call: Alderman William, Hollowell, Capps, Breeding, and Fields All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie said No.
March l, 2016 Minutes cont.
Attorney Cline stated the recommended counter offer is $75,000 with no re-instatement.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to accept the counter offer. Second by Alderman Capps.
Alderman William, Hollowell, Capps, Breeding, and Fields All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie said No.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills totaling $27,177.87. Alderman Breeding second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve and pay the Street Fund bills totaling $2,582.96. Alderman Capps second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve and pay the Solid Waste fund bills totaling $3,369.54. Alderman Fields second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Fields made a motion to approve and pay Water Utility bills in the amount of $113,065.35. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to adjourn at 6:29 p.m. Second by Alderman Fields.
Larry Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer