City of Forrest City
Minutes for April

City Council Minutes of May

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL

FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS

May 19, 2015

The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on May 19, 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, Echols, Hollowell, Twillie, Breeding, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt.

Alderman Williams made a motion to approve the minutes of May 5, 2015 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES

Mayor Bryant stated that Public Works Director Rook passed out spec on the equipment requested for their review.

DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS

None

PUBLIC COMMENTS

There were none

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Ordinance Raising Mayor’s Spending Authority Per State Law to $20,000.00

Attorney Cline Read for the third reading An Ordinance To Amend Purchases Ordinance (Ordinance NO. 1863), To Define Publication Requirements In Competitive Bidding; And For Other Purposes; And Declaring An Emergency sponsored by Alderman Hollowell.

Alderman Hollowell made the motion to adopt the ordinance. Second by Alderman Fields.

Alderman Twillie stated as he said in a previous meeting, he did not see the need to raise the spending limit for a city this small. He stated his number one thought process is that the council meets every fifteen days and any purchases could be taken care of in the meetings. He stated it could be raised for city water utility if needed. He also stated that there has not been that type of emergency to spend $20,000.00.

Alderman Williams asked Mayor Bryant if he has had difficulty with getting certain things accomplished due to his limited spending.

Mayor Bryant stated he could not purchase small equipment without going through the bidding process; equipment prices has gone up since the 90’s. He stated he could not negotiate bid prices.

Alderman Echols stated that she would like to be informed prior to voting. She stated that she liked the idea of the department heads making their presentations, which give the council time to go over the information before voting.

Roll Call: Alderman Hollowell, Breeding, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt all Ayes.

Alderman Williams, Echols, and Twillie all No.

Alderman Fields made a motion to adopt the emergency clause. Second by Alderman Hollowell.

Roll Call: Alderman Hollowell, Breeding, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt all Ayes.

Alderman Williams, Echols, and Twillie all No.

Coin Operated Machine Ordinance

Alderman Capps stated he had spoken with Attorney Mark Hays and he gave him a copy of the ordinance, he then asked Attorney Cline to explain the conversation with Attorney Hayes.

Attorney Cline stated that the legal staff at the Arkansas Municipal League is looking at the ordinance. He said he received some correspondence from Mark Hayes today. Attorney Hayes said he had looked at the ordinance and he asked the council to give him more time to go over the ordinance.

Alderman Capps suggested if the council had any ideas or changes concerning the ordinance for them to get with Attorney Cline to pass it on to legal counsel at the Arkansas Municipal League.

NEW BUSINESS

Attorney Cline read A Resolution Approving Sick Time, And Vacation Time For Derene Cochran Accrued Prior to Becoming Elected City Clerk/Treasurer Alderman Oswalt made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Fields. Alderman Twillie asked why the resolution is surfacing. Attorney Cline stated that the state auditors had comments concerning the sick and vacation time for the clerk; it has been the understanding that the sick and vacation time was there prior to the clerk becoming elected but never put in writing. Alderman Capps asked attorney Cline to repeat the numbers. Attorney Cline stated 480 sick hours and 4-weeks of vacation. Roll Call: Ayes.

Attorney Cline stated the $350.00 expense was a line item in the budget prior to him becoming the city attorney on January 1, 2003; it is another state auditor question. Attorney Cline then read A Resolution Approving Contract With Beavers & Cline For Office Supplies and Expense For City Attorney. Alderman Twillie made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: Ayes.

Alderman Oswalt questioned whether the city could file a complaint with the Legislative Audit Division regarding some of the recent findings. He stated this auditor has been coming for three years and some of these issues have not come up before; like Mayor Bryant said the records have been kept the same way for years.

Mayor Bryant stated there have been other issues during the 2013 audit; he said he was turned over to the prosecuting attorney for care center rent when he paid it himself.

GENERAL FUND BILLS

Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $22,759.43. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.

STREET FUND BILLS

Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve and pay Street Fund bills in the amount of $9,841.80. Second by Alderman Oswalt. 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 $36,470.49. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Bryant announced that there is one bid for street stripping from Traf-Mark Inc. Collierville, TN he then asked if there were any bids in the audience. Painted 4” line $0.18, 8” line $0.40, 12” line $4.00, 4” broken line $0.20, single head arrows $65.00, combo arrows $95.00, painted only $95.00, RxR legend complete $350.00, paint 24” line $5.00, painted “school crossing $275.00. The basic minimum dollar per call is $2,500.00

Alderman Twillie made a motion to adjourn at 6:28 p.m.

_______________________

Larry Bryant, Mayor

______________________________

Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer

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City Council Minutes of May

MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING

FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL

FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS

May 5, 2015

The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session on May 5, 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, Echols, Hollowell, Twillie, Breeding, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt.

Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve the minutes of April 21, 2015 regular meeting. Motion second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes.

REPORT OF COMMITTEES

Budget

Alderman Twillie stated that the budget committee met two times and there were some action items taken. He then read A Resolution for Amending 2015 Budget to Increase The Pay Rate For 4 – Positions in The Public Works Department. Alderman Echols made a motion to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.

Alderman Twillie stated the second budget meeting was held April 28, 2015 at 6:00 p.m. he went over the minutes that were taken during the meeting. (See attached). Mayor Bryant stated the three solid waste vehicles will be purchased through state contract. Mayor Bryant also stated that some of the equipment is used, but he had to get with Attorney Cline to make sure that the language is correct in the ordinance to purchase the equipment. Alderman Twillie made a motion to accept the recommendations from the budget committee. Second by Alderman Echols. Roll Call: Alderman Williams, Echols, Hollowell, Twillie, Breeding, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt All Ayes.

Personnel Committee

Alderman Oswalt stated there is nothing on personnel but there is a cleanup motion, that the auditors are requesting and it deals with the bonuses that were paid in 2014. Alderman Oswalt then made a motion to pay bonuses for 2014, $1,000.00 for all fulltime employees and elected officials, $500.00 for part-time employees, and pro rate employees with less than one year of employment. The motion was second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: Alderman Williams, Echols, Twillie, Breeding, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt All Ayes. Alderman Hollowell said No.

DEPARTMENT HEADS REPORTS

Park & Recreation

Recreation Director Kenneth Taylor stated that they are working on the plumbing at the Southside Pool. He said his goal is to acid wash and have water in the pool by next week.

He stated the multi-purpose center has 460 actual members at this time. Since the building has been open, there have been 9,926 people to go through the doors.

So far there are 25 baseball and softball teams and his starting date goal is May 30, 2015.

Alderman Twillie stated that one of the recommendations made by the budget committee was to give three coaches per team gate passes. Mr. Taylor then stated that there would be games going on both fields, softball and baseball; he then asked if a family member would have to pay to go into both games. Alderman Twillie stated a stamp would be nice to cover coming into the ball park; then the games would be covered on both fields.

Mayor Bryant stated the council would let Mr. Taylor work out the mechanism at the ballpark and get back to the council.

Mayor Bryant asked Mr. Taylor if he was able to get the uniforms. Mr. Taylor said he did with no problem from Wynne Sports World.

Water Department

Mr. Murdock wanted the council to be aware of Act 186 of 2015 is a sea change in Arkansas’s Freedom of Information Act. Mayor Bryant stated the information should have been brought to him in order for him to contact Arkansas Municipal League since they are the city’s legal counsel.

Fire Department

Chief Ruffin gave an incident type report from January l, 2015 through April 14, 2015. He stated #1 Total fires 48, #2 Overpressure rapture that means excessive heat, scorch burns with no fire total 1, #3 Rescue & emergency medical service incidents total-275, #4 Hazardous conditions, no fires total-13, #5 Service calls, smoke or odor removal total 2, #6 Good intent calls, smoke scare, odor of smoke total 10. #7 False alarms and false calls total 26, #9 Special incident types, citizen complaints total 2. Total incident count 377.

Civic Center

Mr. Gaines stated that the civic center rentals are in line with last year’s rentals. From January 2015 through April 2015 there were 267 and the total from January through April 2014 was 276 rentals. He stated the civic center contract is month-to-month until July 31, 2015 because Mr. & Mrs. Duckworth are retiring July 31, 2015. All equipment is working well.

Public Works

Mr. Rooks stated from the first of April through May there were 52 tons of leaves deposited at the landfill, 57 tons of chips ground and deposited at the landfill, three quarter of the city’s potholes were covered, 100 plus tires were taken to Nearco and they are still waiting on equipment purchases and a few more personnel.

Police Department

Chief Reynolds reported statistic. He said in crime reporting that goes to the FBI, what they consider major or violent crimes reported on a monthly basis consist of homicides, faceable rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, larceny, and vehicle thefts. He stated there were 140 accumulative total crimes: 1-forceable rape, 5-robberties, 46-assaults, 25-burglaries, 59-thefts, and 5-motor vehicle thefts. He said when the crimes are investigated, some are bogus, but the crimes still have to be reported. After investigating what is considered legitimate crimes, the number comes down to about one third. He then mentioned that Mayor Bryant pushed for the body cameras which the officers are now wearing. Alderman Twillie asked how many officers are on nightshift duty. Chief Reynolds stated he tries to have at least four officers on duty.

Alderman Oswalt asked if the body cameras are on at all times. Chief Reynold stated no, a protocol is created when there is a need for faceable action. Mayor Bryant stated the protocol is when the officer gets out of the car to come in contact with a citizen, the camera is then turn on. Mayor Bryant stated that the cameras are to protect the officers and the citizens.

Attorney Cline asked how long the tapes are saved. Chief Reynold stated indefinitely.

Alderman Capps asked Chief Reynolds to respond to Alderman Twillie concerning the passing of the gaming machines ordinance. That the city did not need any more laws on the books when the present laws are not being enforced. Chief Reynold stated he agreed with Alderman Capps, he thinks it is a good proposal and yes the police department will be able to enforce the law.

Mayor Bryant asked Chief Reynolds to read the ordinance then give some input to Alderman Capps and Twillie.

Code Enforcement

Ms. Muqtasid stated there were two discrepancies from the last meeting. It was stated that 117 E. Day Street was still standing. She stated she has pictures showing that the house was torn down and also the house next to it was torn down by the property owner. She said she has pictures showing that 1057 N. Izard was renovated and occupied. Property on 1002 N. Izard, an assessment was made at the request of Alderman Capps and the property does not meet the condemnation requirement. Property at 500 Laughrun has been reviewed and will be placed on the condemnation list when feasible.

Code Enforcement gave handouts on information requested by Alderman Twillie on the condemnation resolution statistics comparison from other cities in the area. She also gave condemnation statistic averages in the last four years.

After going over her report, she stated if the council had any concerns about any condemnations or issues, she asked for their help by contacting her at the office and giving her advance notice.

Code Enforcement stated she has a recommendation to adopt the new 2010 Mechanical Codes with the new changes to include penalties. (See Attached). Mayor Bryant asked was this presented for tonight for their review and to pass it on the next meeting. Code Enforcement stated yes. Councilman Oswalt has more questions on the property at St Francis and N Izard which was burnt and does not met the condemnation criteria. Code Enforcement explained the difference that both homes were burnt, but the home on St. Francis and N Izard can be rehabilitative. The home on 500 Laughrun is completely dilapidated and destroyed. There is no doubt that this home meets the condemnation criteria. Alderman Oswalt stated the property on St. Francis and N. Izard has been an eye sore for over a year; how long does the neighbors have to look at this eye sore? Code Enforcement stated that she understand his concern. She reminded him, last month that she is in the process of preparing procedures to deal with this issue. She stated that she does not have the capacity to deal with the increasing volume. She stated that she has to be extremely careful in dealing with condemnations because it could cause the city a liability issue. Alderman Capps asked if 1002 N. Izard has ever been on the condemnation list. Code Enforcement replied, no.

Code Enforcement presented a new ordinance to prohibit parking in the grass to be reviewed and discussed at the next meeting.

PUBLIC COMMENTS

There were none.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS

Ordinance Raising Mayor’s Spending Authority Per State Law to $20,000.00

Attorney Cline Read for the second reading An Ordinance To Amend Purchases Ordinance (Ordinance NO. 1863), To Define Publication Requirements In Competitive Bidding; And For Other Purposes; And Declaring An Emergency sponsored by Alderman Hollowell.

Coin Operated Machines Ordinance

Attorney Cline read for the first reading Coin Operated Machines Ordinance sponsored by Alderman Capps. Alderman Capps made a motion to suspend the rules and read the ordinance for the second reading by title only. Second by Alderman Williams.

Alderman Oswalt asked Alderman Capps who is responsible for paying the privileged tax, the business owner or owner of the machines. Alderman Capps stated the business owner is responsible for paying the privileged tax.

Alderman Twillie stated the city will have a problem with the way the ordinance is written.

He said he would like to see three things in the ordinance changed. The mayor may deny a person who tries to get licenses due to cause; he said that is a gray area. Alderman Capps stated that is why he put that phase in, if that person is suspended for cause, then it is appealed to the city council and then it goes to Chancery Court.

Alderman Twillie then stated another area he has a problem with, the business is penalized if it wants four machines.

Alderman Echols stated that the ordinance is very lengthy; she then asked how the city will make the business establishments aware of the ordinance.

Alderman Capps stated he took information from one ordinance and the state law and merged the information together to make the ordinance.

Alderman Williams questioned the ordinance for more understanding.

Alderman Capps stated to bring Alderman Williams up-to-date; He explained the state law states a business can have the machines. The machines have to be listed on personal property tax; a $5.00 state stamp has to be placed on each machine, and sales tax has to be paid on the money from the machines.

Alderman Breeding stated if the city is going to pass the ordinance, he feels it should be a flat rate per each machine and it has to be enforced on a local level.

Alderman Fields asked if the machines are illegal, by passing an ordinance will that make it legal; she said just get rid of the machines.

Alderman Breeding said it is not illegal to have the machines, it is illegal how the machines are being used. He stated the city is trying to make the machines less affordable for those businesses by taxing the machines. He said the city is not condoning, they are trying to put a stop to it.

Attorney Cline stated he would not read the ordinance the second time by title because there is a good chance that the ordinance will get challenged. He said he did not want the ordinance to get thrown out because it was not read fully three times. He also stated that he would change Chancery to Circuit court.

Alderman Capps stated the ordinance has been read once and after discussion he would like to amend the ordinance to add the severability clause, change the rate to $1,000.00 per each machine, and change the wording from Chancery to Circuit Court and read it at the next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS

None

GENERAL FUND BILLS

Alderman Oswalt made a motion to approve and pay the General Fund bills in the amount of $43,904.67. Second by Alderman Williams. Roll Call: All Ayes.

STREET FUND BILLS

Alderman Hollowell made a motion to approve and pay Street Fund bills in the amount of $2,687.38. Second by Alderman Breeding. Roll Call: All Ayes.

SOLID WASTE FUND BILLS

Alderman Breeding made a motion to approve and pay Solid Waste Fund bills in the amount of $5,605.02. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Mayor Bryant asked for a budget meeting for May 12, 2015. No meeting was scheduled.

Alderman Fields stated on the behalf of the Forrest City Council they would like to extend sympathy to Mayor Bryant in the loss of his father and to also wish him traveling grace.

Alderman Breeding congratulated the Forrest City Mustang Track Team.

Alderman Breeding requested that the council to go by and look at the one on Short and Izard Street because it has a tree through the roof and the house on Cook Street has a tree on top of the roof. He also asked the council to be aware of the old Forrest Hill Elementary School; it needs to be torn down.

Alderman Twillie made a motion to adjourn at 8:01 p.m.

_______________________

Larry Bryant, Mayor

______________________________

Derene Cochran, City Clerk-Treasurer