The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on March 3, 2015. 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, Echols, Breeding, Capps, Twillie, and Oswalt. Alderman Fields came in at 6:03 p.m.
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve the minutes from the Special Call meeting on January 20, 2015 and the February 3, 2015 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.
REPORT OF COMMITTEES
Alderman Twillie reported that the budget /personnel committee met three or four weeks ago and discussed several items. Alderman Twillie stated he was not ready to make a report on the budget meeting tonight. He asked if the budget committee alone with Mayor Bryant and Glynis Ross could meet Monday, March 9, 2015 at 5:30 p.m.; the committee agreed.
Alderman Oswalt stated he would contact Ms. Ross tomorrow and choose a date for another personnel committee meeting.
DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS
Fire Chief Johnny Ruffin said their department has one employee attending the fire academy and has interviewed others for a vacant position. He said the recent retirement of Captain Marvin Dale left a position open, which has been filled by former Lieutenant Jeff Simpson. Mr. Simpson's vacated lieutenant's position has been filled by Shane Dallas.
The fire department's equipment is in good shape with the exception of the Ladder 1 truck, which is currently being repaired.
Mr. Murdock gave handouts on 2014 accomplishments, 2015 goals, and 2015 challenges. Alderman Breeding asked what the most pressing matters are before the water department. Mr. Murdock said he felt the most pressing issues are replacing Pump 2 and hiring additional employees for water and sewer treatment. Alderman Breeding then asked if the conditions at the sewer ponds are a pressing need. Mr. Murdock said that is a concern. He said he presented the council with costs for those repairs, but right now they are in a position where they have been pumping some of that water off of the ponds.
Civic Center Manager Jimmy Gaines told the council that several events had taken place recently at the facility including the Ducks Unlimited banquet and it was a success. Mr. Gaines said he is currently working on bids to replace the east and south exterior doors and work is needed on the roof.
Director Kenneth Taylor told the council at the last meeting he mentioned that he was in need of exercise equipment at the Larry Bryant Center. He presented the council with a spec sheet from Second Chance Fitness for six treadmills, one Pinnacle alternative trainer full commercial, one sports art upper body/recumbent bike. The equipment comes with lifetime motors, 5 years parts, and 3 years labor warranty. Mr. Taylor said the equipment at the center is nine years old and the
March 3, 2015 Minutes cont.
equipment parts are wearing out. A response is due to Second Chance Fitness by end of next week concerning next steps. Alderman Capps asked what Mr. Taylor will do with the old equipment. Mr. Taylor stated Second Chance Fitness will take it as a trade in or the City can auction it off. Attorney Cline stated the new equipment would have to be bided out due to the price of the new equipment.
Alderman Capps made a motion to allow Mayor Bryant to bid for Multi-Purpose Center exercise equipment. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Police Chief Reynolds reported to the council, the department currently has 30 officers and is performing background checks on several applicants. Chief Reynolds stated the department had added tablet computers to patrol units. He thanked Mayor Bryant for his help in adding body cameras for department personnel, which were added last year.
Alderman Twillie asked if the department had a post exiting policy in place that allows officers and staff who leave the department to express why they are leaving. Chief Reynolds stated that city hall keeps the results of the exiting interview records. He stated each individual that leaves goes through an exit interview process.
Alderman Twillie asked Attorney Cline who is privy to the records. Attorney Cline stated some personnel records are open to review, other records are not. Attorney Cline then stated if your question is whether the police department can use the records to better the department, the answer is yes.
Public Works Department
Assistant Public Works Director George Rooks stated things are going better in the department. The morale has gotten better. Alderman Twillie asked if the department had specific equipment needs. Mr. Rooks said he would present the council with a list of equipment needed at the next meeting with specifications.
Code Enforcement Officer Muqtasid stated she is in the process of adopting various codes. She stated she has five code books that need to be adopted. Officer Muqtasid gave the update on the progress being made to clear debris on North Washington Street after last month's fire. She also stated work should start soon to clear a burned out structure on Trenton Road. Alderman Oswalt asked Officer Muqtasid about the city's policy regarding boarded buildings. Officer Muqtasid replied the city's codes need to be more specific and she plans to present the council with amended codes and prices for permits at a later date. She stated there are many houses in Forrest City, and she is the only person working in code enforcement. She currently does not have the capacity to assess every house. She has decided to go in and prioritize the houses in the worst condition and put those houses on the top of the list for condemning.
There were none.
Resolution to Amend Personnel Policy Handbook Bereavement
Alderman Oswalt stated he would like for the personnel committee to look over the policy at the next meeting before passing.
Bid Opening for 502 Court Street
Mayor Bryant said there is one bid from Perdew Construction Co, Inc. for $20,000.00.
Attorney Cline read for the second reading An Ordinance Waving the Requirement of Competitive Bidding; Declaring An Exceptional Circumstance; Authorizing Expenditure Of Seventy-Five Thousand Dollars For Purchase Of Real Property And Declaring An Emergency sponsored by Alderman Twillie.
March 3, 2015 Minutes cont.
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the third reading. Second by Alderman Fields. Alderman Breeding asked if the money to purchase the property will come from the General Fund and not special tax.
Mayor Bryant said at the present time yes. Alderman Breeding said there is no designated purpose for the property. Mayor Bryant said the city will have the property when the council decides what function it would be use for.
Roll Call: Hollowell, Echols, Capps, Fields, Twillie All Ayes. Alderman Williams, Breeding, and Oswalt said No. Motion did not pass.
Attorney Cline asked if there was anyone in the audience who wants to speak on the matter for property located on 508 E. Scott Street. Code Enforcement Officer Muqtasid said Ms. Black was notified by certified mail and she did sign for it, but there has been no additional correspondence.
Attorney Cline read A Resolution Certifying The Amount Of A Clean-Up Lien To Be Filed With The St. Francis County Tax Collector Against Certain Real Property Located At 508 E Scott Street In The City Of Forrest City, Arkansas, And Other Purposes. Alderman Oswalt made the motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline asked if there was anyone present with concerns on the property located at 920 Center Street; there were none.
Attorney Cline read A Resolution Certifying The Amount Of A Clean-Up Lien To Be Filed With The St. Francis County Tax Collector Against Certain Real Property Located At 920 Center Street In The City Of Forrest City, Arkansas, And Other Purposes. Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Echols.
Roll Call: All Ayes.
Permission to Seek Condemnation Bids for
Mayor Bryant asked permission to seek bids for condemnations for 321 W. Elise Street and 812 N. Rosser. Alderman Oswalt made the motion. Second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes
Permission to Purchase Vehicles and Equipment
Mayor Bryant requested permission to seek bids for the recreation department vehicle; a 3-ton extended cab truck. Alderman Twillie asked to see the spec on the vehicle. Mayor Bryant stated he had a copy that can be viewed by Alderman Twillie.
Mayor Bryant told council that they had given him permission to purchase a garbage truck; it can be purchased through state contract and it does not have to be bided.
Permission to Re-bid the Tornado Warning System
Mayor Bryant stated the reason he is asking to re-bid on the tornado warning system is that there was a problem in the original advertisement. Alderman Oswalt made a motion to allow Mayor Bryant to re-bid the tornado warning system. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Permission to Seek bids for Civic Center Roof
Mayor Bryant asked permission to seek bids for the civic center roof. Alderman Oswalt asked if he was asking for a complete roof or to do repairs. Mayor Bryant said A & P has given the city around $85,000 to help pay for the roof. Alderman Oswalt made the motion to allow Mayor Bryant to bid for a civic center roof. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Permission to Bid Street Overlay
Mayor Bryant asked permission to bid for street overlay. Alderman Twillie made the motion Second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Resolution Authorizing the Mayor to Enter Into Contract Of Obligation With Arkansas Department Of Environmental Quality (ADEQ)
March 3, 2015 Minutes cont.
Attorney Cline stated the resolution has something to do with the compost facility. In lieu of the city having to incur the cost of buying a bond, the state allows municipalities to enter into a contract of obligation. To clean up the landfill in the event of its closing while promising to cover the costs associated with closing the facility.
Alderman Twillie asked if ADEQ would take care of the closing if it came to that. Attorney Cline said he did not think ADEQ would do the closing, but ADEQ requires that the owner of the permit has the ability to take care of the cost. Attorney Cline read A Resolution Authorizing The Mayor To Enter Into Contract Of Obligation With Arkansas Department Of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) Alderman Twillie made the motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Resolution Amending the 2014 Budget
Attorney Cline read Amending Resolution #948 And Amending The 2014 Budget Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Twillie.
Alderman Twillie said the last time he looked over the budget he ran across a lot of mistakes and things that the committee did not recommend. That was the reason he wanted to have another budget meeting to correct some issues.
Mayor Bryant stated the resolution is amending what was actually spent in 2014. He said the state auditors tells us that a list of expenditures and income accrued in 2014 but paid for or received in 2015 has to be included in the amendment. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline stated this is a statue that the state auditor brought to the attention of the city. The ordinance designates the District Court Clerk's Office as the party primarily responsible for collecting city fines set by the courts. Attorney Cline read An Ordinance Designating District Court Clerk's Office as Department Primarily Responsible For Collection Of Fines Assessed In The District Court Of St. Francis County, Arkansas; And Declaring An Emergency sponsored by Alderman Twillie.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the second reading. Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline read the ordinance by title only for the second reading. Alderman Twillie made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the third reading. Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Attorney Cline read the ordinance by title only for the third reading. Alderman Twillie made a motion to adopt the ordinance. Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to adopt the emergency clause. Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All Ayes.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $31,678.85. Second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes.
STREET FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay Street Fund bills in the amount of $4,244.10 Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
SOLID WASTE FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay Solid Waste Fund bills in the amount of $8,090.87. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
March 3, 2015 Minutes cont.
Mayor Bryant stated while attending the Municipal League Executive Board meeting, an announcement was made recommending certain bills that needed to be passed. He stated if any of the council members wanted to contact their representatives, he had the bills for their review.
Mayor Bryant stated he gave handouts on the capital fixed asset list. The list consists of assets that will be deleted by each department. The state auditors said that the council has to review each item. Alderman Twillie made a motion to accept the capital fixed asset list. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to adjourn at 7:20 p.m.