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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.

Unfinished Business
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.

Utility Update
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.

Southern Paramedics
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.”


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 Jeffers.

Gordon McCoy, Mayor

Derene Cochran, Clerk-Treasurer


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