MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
October 4, 2016
The City Council of Forrest City,
Arkansas met in regular session on
called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.
Alderman Twillie offered prayer after which Alderman Capps led the Pledge of Allegiance.The following answered roll call: Mayor Bryant,
Attorney Cline, and City Council members: Williams, Echols, Breeding, Twillie, Fields, Capps and Oswalt. Alderman Hollowell was absent.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 13, 2016 special called meeting. Second by Alderman Williams. A correction was made to the September 13 th special called meeting and September 20th regular meeting that Alderman Oswalt was not present at either meeting. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 20, 2016 regular meeting. Second by Alderman Capps.Roll Call: All Ayes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Alderman Capps stated at the last meeting he requested that Mr. Hodges and Mr. Reginald Murdock appear before the city council to answer questions. Interim Chief Renigar stated he notified both parties and neither could be present. Alderman Capps asked Mayor Bryant, since neither could be at the last council meeting, were they asked to be present to attend this meeting, or do you just consider it a done deal?
Mayor Bryant stated he did not notify Mr. Hodges and Mr. Murdock to be present.
Alderman Capps then said that Chief Renigar stated he sent a notice to both parties and they responded back to you, Mayor Bryant.
Mayor Bryant said they responded by e-mail. Alderman Capps then asked if there were some discussion on getting them to come before the council. Mayor Bryant said no.
Alderman Capps stated that the tax payers’ money is being spent, and he has a problem with the architect and contractor not having the courtesy to come before the council and answer questions.
Mayor Bryant stated you cannot force people to do what you want them to do. Alderman Capps stated if you don’t pay them you can. Mayor Bryant stated they have not been paid and if you would let me do my job the city can move forward. Alderman Capps stated, “If you are doing your job, that building was delivered June 2015 and it is not completed yet.”
Mayor Bryant stated that he has apologized several times that the building did not get done in a timely manner; there were more people involved that did not get some things done. But there will be consequences for certain parties as a result.
Alderman Capps then stated he still has invested interest in liquidating damage charges on the contract. Mayor Bryant stated he does to, but let him do his part and he will deal with it.
Attorney Cline stated that at the last meeting, Alderman Breeding asked him to look at the prison’s contract to see if it would be a problem; he did that. He also stated that he met with Mr. Calvin Murdock and looked at the contract. He said there is a provision clause in the contract that states the Federal Bureau of Prison will pay the rate that is established by law or by ordinance.
Attorney Cline stated he thought it would be a good idea to add to the ordinance the clause “Provided however, the monthly customer charge shall be subject to agreement of the Bureau of Prisons to modify the existing monthly customer charge”. He said this clause will honor the contract and cover the city.
Alderman Fields made a motion to amend the ordinance. Alderman Twillie second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline read for the first reading by title and sections only An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance NO. 1868; Establishing Charges For Water And Wastewater Services; And For Other Purposes; And Declaring An Emergency sponsored by Alderman Fields. Alderman Fields made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the second reading. Alderman Capps second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline read the ordinance for the second reading by title and sections.
Alderman Capps made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the third reading. Alderman Fields second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline read the ordinance for the third reading by title and sections.
Alderman Fields made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Alderman Echols second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breading made a motion to adopt the emergency clause. Alderman Fields second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes.
A Vote to Move Forward With the Aquatic Pool
Mayor Bryant stated all plans are in and he then asked for a vote to move forward with the aquatic pool. Alderman Twillie stated at the last meeting, the architect and the contractor said they would come back and report to the city council. She thought it would be a good idea to hear the report from the architect and contractor before the council votes.
Mayor Bryant stated the council needs to move forward. He said the council has hired an engineering firm that has done pools before and a contract maintenance group that has not done pools and they are asking the engineering firm how to do x, y, and z. He also stated the council has hired people who don’t know anything about pools charging the city 5.5 percent fees to oversee a project they don’t know anything about. He stated if it is the decision of the council to have these people to come back again, so be it.
Alderman Echols stated that she agreed with Alderman Twillie. Alderman Echols said that Alderman Breeding requested that the group come back to the council with a presentation in a timely manner; and they have not.
Alderman Breeding stated if the entities have not reported back to the council by the next council meeting, he thinks the council should move forward on what the citizens have voted for.
Mayor Bryant stated the problem with the whole project, to this day, is that he has not had any communication with Baldwin & Shell as to what they are doing and how they are doing in regards to the city project. He said it seems as though everybody except the person that signs on the dotted line is privy; if those companies are working for the city, then they need to go through administration.
Alderman Williams asked Mayor Bryant, if he had asked for information, would they not have corresponded with him. Mayor Bryant stated that at the special called meeting, he directed them to communicate only with him; yet no communication has occurred.
Alderman Capps asked if the contract had been signed with Baldwin & Shell.
Mayor Bryant stated that the council voted unanimously to make him sign a contract, in a council meeting, that the city did not need.
Alderman Oswalt stated he has asked Sandra Wright with the election commission to give him a copy of the language set by the voters that specifies a therapeutic pool, swimming pool, and running track. He stated his biggest concern is with the IRS. Alderman Oswalt also stated the council has not gotten around to discussing the administration building; he said those are two major projects and the council needs to move forward.
Alderman Williams stated that the architect and contractor are working on the project and to move forward without allowing each one to come back and make a presentation would be wrong. He stated that there are other people in the city trying to raise more money. One more week is not going to put the city any further behind than we already are.
Mayor Bryant stated he would send letters tomorrow requesting their presence at the next council meeting to provide the final update.
Nuisance Abatement and Property Maintenance
Mayor Bryant ask the council it they had time to look over the ordinance and if they were ready to discuss it. Council members agreed that more time was needed.
Request to Purchase District Court Office Desks
Judge Steve Routon, Kevin Lewey along with District Court Clerk Helen Rhodes were present requesting a new filing system from Southwest Solution Group in the amount of $28,750. Judge Routon told city council that the money would come from the Court Automation fund. Judge Routon also stated that the filing system would be on state contract and state law requires the council to approve the expense. He said something has to be done, they have run out of filing space and boxes are stacked everywhere.
Mayor Bryant stated if the system is on state contract under cooperative agreement with the state, then it does not have to be bid.
Attorney Cline asked if the county would be responsible for one half of the purchase. Mayor Bryant stated the county would not, if would come from Court Automation fund. Mayor Bryant asked Kevin if he knew of any other cities that has that filing system. Kevin stated he did not know of any cities, but universities throughout the state and libraries that did. He said he could get the council a list of some of the entities if needed. He also stated that the system would de-clutter the office and they would have at least 50 percent more room to grow.
Alderman Oswalt stated if the system is purchased, how long would it take the district court to outgrow the system. Mrs. Rhodes stated that the new filing system would add an additional 50 percent of filing space for the district court office. She said it would take approximately 20 years to run out of space once the new system is installed in the vault.
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to grant permission to purchase the filing system under state contract. Alderman Fields second the motion. Roll Call: All Ayes
Library Board Replacement
Mayor Bryant stated the council was not ready to replace the library board position; it needs to be replaced with someone from Ward 2.
County Mileage Rate
Mayor Bryant told council he would like for them to look at the mileage rate after he gives them a preliminary budget for 2017.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $16,976.67. Motion second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay the Street Fund bills in the amount of $3,829.12. Motion was second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay the Solid Waste Fund bills in the amount of $11,621.79. Motion was second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve and pay Water Utility bills in the amount of $12,761.29. Motion was second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant announced that he would be out of the office next week to have a heart procedure.
Alderman Oswalt asked for a personnel committee meeting next Thursday at 6:00 p.m.
Alderman Echols made a motion to adjourn at 6:31 p.m. second by Alderman Capps.
Larry Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer