MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
September 20, 2016
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas met in regular session on September 20, 2016. Mayor Bryant called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m. Alderman Williams 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, Breeding, Fields, Capps and Oswalt. Alderman Twillie was absent.
Alderman Capps made a motion to approve the minutes of the September 6, 2016 regular meeting. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Attorney Cline read for the second reading 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 Breeding asked Mr. Murdock if he had been in contact with anyone from the prison since the first reading of the ordinance. Mr. Murdock stated he had.
Alderman Breeding asked what was their input concerning the ordinance. Mr. Murdock stated the people at the prison have not input, it is whatever the ordinance states.
Alderman Breeding stated he was concerned about the city’s contractual agreement with the federal prison, whether it would allow a rate increase from $1,500 to $5,000 without violating the contract. Alderman Breeding then stated he would like for Attorney Cline to review the contract with the federal prison before the third reading of the ordinance.
Alderman Echols asked Mr. Murdock if he had done research on rates charged in other cities with similar situations. Mr. Murdock stated contracts are unique, and our water rates are not necessarily the same as other municipalities.
Nuisance Abatement and Property Maintenance
Mayor Bryant told council that Attorney Cline gave each council member a nuisance abatement and property maintenance ordinance for them to review and give input to come up with an official ordinance that can be used to clean up the city.
Attorney Cline stated he got the ordinance from the city of North Little Rock. He said it is a starting point; the council can chip away at the ordinance if needed. Attorney Cline stated that he thinks the ordinance is important, because of the issues that keep coming up over and over again. He said it would be good to have one code that has all of the rules and regulations regarding property maintenance. He also stated that the garbage collection is also included in this ordinance for updating because the existing laws date back to 1964.
Mayor Bryant stated he has a booklet from North Little Rock that he picked up at the Municipal League, on pros and cons and problems that they encountered with nuisance abatement. The book talks about how they handle and solved their problems; the council could come by and pick up a copy of the book at his office.
Phone System Upgrade and Filing System
Mayor Bryant stated it was put in the council’s package for upgrades on the telephone system and a new filing system. Mayor Bryant said whatever the city decides, the county would have to concur because they would have to pay half of the expense. The council gave Mayor Bryant permission to contact Judge Hughes on the two item.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Capps made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $28,103.20. Motion second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Echols made a motion to approve and pay the Street Fund bills in the amount of $6,337.20. Motion was second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Fields made a motion to approve and pay the Solid Waste Fund bills in the amount of $56,956.47. Motion was second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay Water Utility bills with the correction of an AT & T bill making a total of $76,855.27. Motion was second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant stated that it was requested by the council that Mr. Murdock and Mr. Hodges be present to answer questions concerning the fire sub-station; neither one could be present. Mayor Bryant stated that both parties said the building is substantially complete as of this coming Friday. He also said Mr. Hodges said there are a few minor things on the yard that need to be removed and cleaned, according to the punch list.
Alderman Capps stated he still had questions concerning the plans and the lot looks deplorable.
Alderman Breeding asked Mayor Bryant if he would request that J.C. Rice or code enforcement to take a look at 309 Old Madison Road to see what could be done about the yard.
Alderman Capps asked Attorney Cline where they stood on the condemnation on the house on N. Forrest Street. Attorney Cline said that there are more people involved in that property other than the people that live there. He said all parties have been sent a legal notice
Alderman Echols made a motion to adjourn at 6:28 p.m. second by Alderman Fields.
Larry Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer