MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
November 6, 2007
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session
on November 6, 2007. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.
Alderman Capps opened the meeting in prayer. The following answered
roll call: Mayor McCoy, Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline, and City
Council Members: Fields, Hollowell, Jeffers, Oswalt, Capps, Peacock,
and Twillie. Alderman Breeding was absent.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to approve the minutes of the previous
meeting. Second by Alderman Jeffers. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Inmate Work Release Supervisor Program
Interim Chief Duch stated he prepared the research and mailed it
out to all of the council members on the work release program. Duch
also stated he tried to answer all questions that were asked at
the last meeting. Mayor McCoy stated he was going to point out the
questions that Alderman Twillie made reference to. Why was the old
program stopped? Alderman Twillie also questioned the liability
insurance. Interim Chief Duch stated liability insurance is carried
on all the workers on the work release program. Alderman Twillie
stated he read that, it appeared, each worker would be insured up
to $2,500.00. If that was the case, maybe the city needs to get
him or her to sign some kind of waiver.
Interim Chief Duch stated it is strictly a volunteer program. It
is not a chain gang, but it would be a waiver for them to sign before
they start with the crew. Alderman Capps asked when would the program
start? Interim Chief Duch stated he had a couple of applications
to go through; and it would probably a week or two.
Mayor McCoy stated if the council approves the program tonight,
he would like to get started as soon as possible. He wants to start
the city’s beautification; this program should have started
a couple of months ago. Alderman Peacock asked had the city attorney
looked over all the legalities and the insurance to make sure the
city would be okay. Mayor McCoy stated he did not contact the city
attorney, since Interim Chief Duch was doing the legwork. Based
on the contacts and feed back from other counties, he thinks the
city would be pretty much in line with everyone else. Interim Chief
Duch stated there are safety issues that go alone with it; it is
part of the program. Safety equipment will be used, such as reflective
vests, ear protection, and goggles. They will be taught the proper
way to use all equipment. Community service workers are being used
throughout the different departments in the city now. It would be
same; the only difference is they will be using them as a group
doing a specific job.
Alderman Capps asked would the supervisor be a retired certified
officer? Interim Chief Duch stated it could be a retired certified
officer, a reserve officer, or someone with jail experience dealing
with inmates, not definitely a preference on the selection.
Mayor McCoy stated it was announced in the paper there are specific
qualifications that they were looking for. Alderman Twillie asked
Attorney Cline had he looked at the specifications and was he aware
of the situation. Attorney Cline stated just the discussions from
the council meetings. Attorney Cline also said, “Anytime you
take on legal activity you assume some risk. The alternative is
you don’t have to do anything, if you don’t ever do
anything there is no risk.” Alderman Twillie made a motion
to accept the inmate work release program. Second by Alderman Jeffers.
Roll Call: All: Aye.
Mayor McCoy stated he would like to give the council an update on
the utility situation. He spoke with Larry Chisenhall, the attorney
that is reviewing the lease, and he has contacted the three consultants
that sent in the RFQs, two of the consultants are willing to come,
the other one is traveling quite a bit, and he is not able to come.
What Larry needs from the council is to identify a date that all
the council members can agree on and he can let them know when the
council could be available to meet. Alderman Jeffers asked, “Where
are they coming from?” Attorney Cline stated Massachusetts,
Kentucky, and New Mexico. Mayor McCoy stated he wanted to give the
consultants ample time for
travel. Alderman Hollowell asked did Woodruff Electric ever respond
to the letter with the rates from Entergy. Mayor McCoy stated Attorney
Chisenhall received the information that Alderman Hollowell is speaking
about also. He does not want to rely on it. His words were to go
on and get with the consultants and let a neutral party come in
and review the information. Attorney Chisenhall also stated he had
some numbers, and that he could not tell them what was factual or
not about them.
The meeting was set for December 11 or 12th, 2007 at 5:00 p.m.
to meet with the utility consultants.
Mayor McCoy asked Bobby Armstrong, Chief Operating Officer to give
the city council an update on the 911- rotation. Mr. Armstrong stated
October was the first official month on the 911-rotation list, he
did a response time report, and their average response time for
the City of Forrest City is 3 minutes and 34 seconds. The national
average if you look at The American Ambulance Association guidelines,
the ambulance should be on the scene within 8 minutes and 59 seconds.
Mr. Armstrong also stated he feels it is Southern Paramedic’s
commitment to provide the city council with updated reports. He
also stated if the city council has any comments or suggestions
on how they could do a better job; they are open for any suggestions.
Alderman Capps asked how many 911 calls had they responded to.
Mr. Armstrong stated 65 calls and there were no complaints. Mr.
Armstrong stated they would be relocating to l419 North Washington.
A & P Appointments
Mayor McCoy recommended that the council go into executive session
to discuss the A & P appointments. “No action will be
taken while we are in executive session,” said Mayor McCoy.
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to go into executive session at 6:35
p.m. to discussion A & P appointments. Second by Alderman Capps.
Roll Call: All: Aye. The meeting was back in session at 6:55 p.m.
Alderman Twillie stated the A & P Commission met last week and
made a recommendation to the city council recommending Randy Pearson
and Bert Patel to serve on the A & P Commission. Alderman Twillie
made a motion to recommend Randy Pearson and Bert Patel to serve
on the A & P Commission. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll
Call: All: Alderman Peacock, Capps, Oswalt, Jeffers, and Fields
all said no. Alderman Twillie and Hollowell said yes. Alderman Breeding
was absent. Alderman Oswalt stated that he read in the paper that
A & P had voted to accept the agreement and asked if the council
needed to do a formal vote to accept the agreement. Mayor McCoy
stated by signing the agreement, a formal vote is not needed. Alderman
Twillie asked Mayor McCoy if he had received any written communication
from A & P. Mayor McCoy said, “No, everything I received
was from the Attorney Wilson, and it was specific to what we had
talked about during our first meeting.”
Alderman Twillie stated as a result of the meeting, the Chairman
said it would be a follow up written statement. Mayor McCoy said,
“No, he had not.”
STREET FUND BILLS
Alderman Peacock made a motion to pay street fund bills totaling
$12,338.46. Second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All: Ayes.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to pay general fund bills totaling
$47,645.52 Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All: Ayes.
Mayor McCoy informed the council that a police chief had been selected.
He also stated there were four candidates, Mr. Myers from Joplin
Missouri, he did not accept the position. Mr. John Farmer came in
this weekend, from Nebraska, he had a chance to visit with Interim
Chief Duch and look around the community; he accepted the position.
His starting date is January 1, 2008. The Mayor also stated he was
giving Mr. Farmer time to relocate to Forrest City.
Mayor McCoy reminded the council of the November 8, 2007 budget
meeting at 5:00 p.m. at that time each department head will present
their wish list.
Alderman Peacock reminded Mayor McCoy of the city shop meeting
on Thursday, November 8, 2007 at 9 or 10 a.m.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to adjourn 7:00 p.m. Second by Alderman
Gordon McCoy, Mayor
Derene Cochran, Clerk-Treasurer