MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
October 19, 2010
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session
on October 19, 2010. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.
Alderman Peacock opened the meeting in prayer. The following answered
roll call: Mayor McCoy, Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline, and City
Council Members: Peacock, Jeffers, Hollowell, Shepherd, Capps, Oswalt,
Fields, and Twillie.
Alderman Shepherd made a motion to approve the minutes of the previous
meeting. Seconded by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Alderman Hollowell asked the council to have their nominees for
the recreation committee ready for the next council meeting.
Cable TV Franchise
Mayor McCoy acknowledged Greg Fender, of Local Government Services
of Dahlonega, GA to discuss the cable franchise agreement. Mr. Fender
stated he and the legal team had worked hard to put together a proposal
that he thought the council would consider approving. Mr. Fender
presented some highlights to the proposed contract. First, he said,
the new contract would be in place for 15-year. The document covers
a lot of areas and provisions that are not in the current contract.
For example, the proposed contract incorporates minimum federal
customer service standards. The franchise fees for compensation
for the use of the public rights-a-way would not change from the
3.5 percent, it would be paid on total gross revenues instead of
subscriber revenues only. The 3.5 percent would also include revenues
from advertising and home shopping commission and it should bring
an estimated $5,000 more yearly. In addition, after December 31,
2011, the city could change the franchise fees from 3.5 to 5 percent.
Mr. Fender said the way the agreement is structured; the city would
be paid quarterly instead of annually. He also said the city should
focus on a strong ordinance in case the contract is sold; if the
contract was sold, the document would go with what ever company
that is in place. The city has the right to do an audit of the cable
operator and if found that the city has been under paid, the company
would have to reimburse the city for all reasonable cost for the
audit. The new contract would provide a dedicated channel for the
city’s exclusive use. There is a grant proposal in the document
upon execution of the agreement of $5,000 and six months later an
additional $5,000 would be provided to help purchase the equipment
for the dedicated channel.
Alderman Oswalt commented if the council decides to raise the
rate from 3 to 5 percent, the additional l.5 percent would be passed
on to the consumers and would not affect the cable company. Mr.
Fender said the cable company should pass on the cost of the rent
to use the right-a-way to the customers; it would only be pennies.
Alderman Peacock stated he understood the city being in control
of the city’s channel, but would there be issues with FCC
broadcasting. Mr. Fender said the city could not do commercials;
it is a public educational governmental type access channel. Alderman
Capps asked if late payment fees are a part of the gross revenue.
Mr. Fender said that late payments are part of the gross revenue.
Alderman Twillie asked Mr. Fender to list six things that would
make the 15-year a better contract. Mr. Fender stated
1. Locked in with the authority of the right-a-way without having
the state government to take it away.
2. A dedicated channel for local governmental use.
3. Receiving a capital grant to help pay for operation for the
4. Transmission links.
5. Flexibility to change franchise fee during that period.
6. Special testing requirements for proof of performance test.
Alderman Twillie then said he would like to see a 10-year and
a 15-year package put together for comparison. Mr. Fender said he
could do that.
Alderman Oswalt asked if land was annexed into the city, would
there be a problem getting cable to the homes that were spread apart.
Mr. Fender said if the cable service extended out to the farthest
home then the density requirement in there, then the cable company
would be required to provide services to those homes Likewise, the
cable company is not obligated to provide service to those homes
that do not met the density requirements. Alderman Shepherd asked
if there is a provision in the contract for annual performance review.
Mr. Fender said the council could do an audit at anytime.
After further discussion, Alderman Shepherd made a motion to accept
the recommendations in the contract and put it on the agenda for
the next meeting. Seconded by Alderman Twillie. Alderman Peacock
stated he still had some issues with the 15-year contract and the
cost of operating the local channel. Mr. Fender said, “Under
federal law you cannot negotiate for them to provide cost to operate
it, you can only negotiate for a capital equipment grant to buy
the equipment but it is up to the city to operate the channel.”
Roll Call: Alderman Peacock, Hollowell, Shepherd, Twillie, Fields,
Capps, Jeffers, and Oswalt. All Ayes.
Mayor McCoy stated that the 2010 bonus figures for the employees
had been put together, he asked the council to look at the figures
so they could make a decision before Thanksgiving.
Civic Center Parking Lot
Alderman Hollowell stated that Mayor McCoy looked at the civic center
parking lot and he wants to repave the back and front parts of the
parking lot. Mayor McCoy said he and Alderman Twillie looked at
the parking lot and they realized that the parking lot needed overlaying.
He also said that M & T Paving had given a quote of $75,000
for a two inch overlay. Mayor McCoy also said the city could cut
back to 1½ inch overlay to save some money. Alderman Twillie
asked for a comparison based on traffic and weight, the number of
year the l½ and the 2-inch overlay would last; then he could
make a decision. Alderman Peacock said the 2-inch would hold up
longer. Alderman Peacock asked if the asphalt should be bid out.
Mayor McCoy stated that was part of the contract that already had
a per ton bid price. After more discussion Alderman Shepherd made
a motion to give Mayor McCoy permission to have the civic center
parking lot overlaid. Seconded by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call:
Alderman Peacock, Hollowell, Shepherd, Twillie, Fields, Capps, Jeffers.
All Ayes. Alderman Oswalt voted No.
STREET FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to pay street fund bills totaling
$823.72. Seconded by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Shepherd made a motion to pay general fund bills totaling
$25,475.09. Seconded by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor McCoy announced that the city received a 100% grant for $44,250
to purchase a new tractor and a 15 ft cutter for the street department.
Mayor McCoy announced that November 2, council meeting was moved
to November 9, 2010
Budget meeting scheduled for November 8, 2010 at 6:00 p.m.
Mayor McCoy gave the council figurers for the bonuses to take into
Mayor McCoy announced on November 9, 2010 the Federal prison will
be having a CRB meeting to discuss the addition to the prison; invitations
will be sent to all council members.
Mayor McCoy announced that 77 cities across the state of Arkansas
have been approved to receive $807,000 grant money to replace the
old traffic lights with energy efficient LED lights.
Harvest Fest October 31, 2010 time 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to adjourn at 7:25 p.m. Seconded
by Alderman Fields.
Gordon McCoy, Mayor
Derene Cochran, Clerk-Treasurer