MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
May 17, 2011
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session
on May 17, 2011. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m. Alderman
Fields opened the meeting in prayer. The following answered roll
call: Mayor Bryant, Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline, and City Council
Members: Peacock, Hollowell, Jeffers, Fields, Capps, and Oswalt.
Alderman Breeding and Twillie were absent.
Alderman Capps made a motion to approve the minutes from the May
3, 2011 meeting. Second by Alderman Peacock with the necessary corrections
in the last paragraph of arcade/gambling machines, Mayor Bryant
said he would follow the council’s guidance and would handle
it as a police matter. Rather than he would let the council make
a decision at a later date or wait until the first of the year.
Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant stated there was none.
Forrest City Water Rate Ordinance
Attorney Cline read for the third reading An Ordinance to Amend
Ordinance NO. 1781; And For Other purposes; And Declaring An Emergency.
Sponsored by Alderman Capps. Forrest City Water Utility Director
James Beazley presented handouts to the council on information previously
requested by the council. Mr. Beazley explained cash flow and projected
capital expenditures from 2010 – 2014.
Mr. Beazley also explained if the projected budget new rates were
not approved the Forrest City Water Utility would deplete its reserves
by 2013. Alderman Capps asked if a new waterline was replaced or
repaired, how it would be separated from O&M cost or capital
expenditure. Mr. Beazley said if a new line is needed for a large
area, it would be put under capital expenditure. If a line is repaired
or small piece replaced it would fall under O& M cost. Alderman
Oswalt asked why the increase was not asked for in 2008 or 2009.
Mr. Beazley stated the increase would go so far and city water would
have to come back for another increase. Alderman Fields asked when
the current bond expires in 2012; could the water utility refloat
the bond issue? Mr. Beazley stated the bond would have to be repaid
plus a lot of interest. Mayor Bryant said, “I am looking at
the projections all the way to 2014, and I’ll do a quick estimate
of about $3.6 million on all repairs, the committee, and everything;
$988,000, the $970,000, the $915,000 and the $650,000. Then I see
down at the bottom a new water treatment plant, $8 to 12 million,
is that something that we’re going to be faced with in the
near future because of the TCE problem? If we have a TCE problem,
have we identified where it is coming from and gone after the people
who have polluted our water?” Mr. Beazley stated ADEQ is working
on the problem. Mayor Bryant asked if that was the only well that
was being affected by TCE problems. Mr. Beazley said there are six
wells, two are clear and three are not pumping and hopefully the
changes that will be made could alleviate the problems. Alderman
Hollowell asked what the projected amount was for out-of-town increases.
Mr. Beazley said $330,000 per year. After further discussion Alderman
Capps made a motion that ordinance 1781 be adopted. Motion failed
due to lack of second.
Attorney Cline read for a third reading An Ordinance To Amend Ordinance
NO. 1782 To Approve Modification Of Water Purchase And Service Contracts
For The Town Of Caldwell, The Town Of Widener, The St. Francis Rural
Water Association And The Town Of Palestine; And Declaring An Emergency.
Sponsored by Alderman Capps. Ordinance died due to lack of a motion.
Attorney Cline stated he had been working with the DRAA on several
issues. He also said Forrest City and Wynne passed ordinances but
to his understanding St. Francis County and Cross County have been
considering ordinances that were never passed. To his understanding
the counties were in the process of getting the ordinances up to
date. He also said he and Mayor Bryant were working on getting the
residency issue resolved. He said he still has not been able to
resolve the reporting issue. Attorney Cline said he bought it to
the board’s attention on several occasions that they were
obligated to report to the mayor and city council; no reports have
been received just finger pointing back and forth. Mayor Bryant
said Attorney Cline wrote the Delta Regional Airport Authority a
letter and he would write them another letter. Mayor Bryant said
Attorney Cline requested information in a letter to the DRAA Authority
and in return the authority FOI the council. Mayor Bryant also said
he had not been in contact with anyone to be FOI and everything
done through the council is on record. Alderman Capps asked if the
committee members have received any minutes since the beginning
of the DRAA. Mayor Bryant said the DRAA is suppose to give the council
and mayor a written monthly report from the day the authority came
to the council and sold the city council on forming the authority
and that was part of the ordinance. Mayor Bryant also said the information
he has received was, the committee is handed minutes when they get
to the meeting and they are being asked to pass the minutes. Attorney
Cline said he was told by the authority that they were trying to
get a website going so they can put the minutes online. Mayor Bryant
said city council does not have copies of minutes from the airport
board from the last five or six years. Attorney Cline said Alderman
Oswalt asked the question at the last meeting, how did the board
get a ninth member. Attorney Cline said what he found out was several
years ago someone decided that having an even number member board
was not a good idea. Someone decided that the county judges would
get together and appointed a ninth board member. Attorney Cline
said the authority understands the problem and they would address
it back to an eight member board.
Cassandra Maggett with the St. Francis County Domestic Violence
Coalition addressed the council. Ms. Maggett thanked the council
for their past support and updated the council on the services provided
by the coalition. Ms. Maggett said resources are available for victims
of St. Francis County and the coalition has been doing really good
that services have been expanded to Lee County. Ms. Maggett also
told the council if they wanted to attend the coalition meetings,
the meetings were every second Wednesday at 1:00 p.m. of each month
at the Mid-South Health System located at 4451 N. Washington St.,
Forrest City, AR.
STREET FUND BILLS
Alderman Jeffers made a motion to pay street fund bills totaling
$7,710.53. Second by Alderman Fields. Roll Call: All Ayes.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Capps made a motion to pay general fund bills totaling
$39,508.59. Second by Alderman Hollowell. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant acknowledged Mr. & Mrs. Blount of Marianna Funeral
Home. Mayor Bryant said he was giving the Blount’s the opportunity
to give the council some input on an accident involving the city’s
vehicle and their vehicle. Mr. Blount stated they own People’s
Funeral Home located at 1900 S. Washington in Forrest City. On May
7, 2011 his vehicle was sitting still in front of that address when
a white Dodge pickup plowed into the rear of their hearse as they
were getting ready to attend a funeral. Mr. Blount also said he
has gotten two estimates from businesses in Forrest City and those
estimates show that the vehicle is a total lost. He also said the
vehicle that rear ended the hearse turned around and almost made
it back to the ballpark where the vehicle supposedly had been stolen
from. He said the city’s insurance company denied the claim
due to City of Forrest City reporting the vehicle stolen. Mr. Blount
said he was pleading with the council to help him in this situation.
Alderman Peacock asked Mayor Bryant had he, the city attorney, and
the Blount’s been in communication concerning the issue. Mayor
Bryant said he had spoken with the Blount’s and the Municipal
League. Mayor Bryant also said the city’s policy with the
Municipal League has a limitation; a figure is needed to see if
the carrier will be able to cover the vehicle, because the law states
a city should have at least $25,000 in liability. He also said the
city had a policy in the past, if it was a tort case; the city would
pay up to $250.00 toward the deductible. Mayor Bryant said he does
not have a price for the damages; he was waiting for estimates or
what a replacement would cost if one can be found.
Mayor Bryant said the matter is under investigation and information
had been sent to the Arkansas State Crime Lab.
Mayor Bryant asked the council for their approval to spend up to
$9,200 on Forrest City Fire Rescue One, the head gasket and head
needed to be replaced. Alderman Fields made a motion to allow Mayor
Bryant spend up to $9,200 to repair Forrest City Fire Rescue One.
Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All Ayes. Alderman Oswalt
suggested proposing an ordinance in case another situation came
up. Mayor Bryant said he would asked Attorney Cline to draft two
ordinances, one ordinance waving bid requirements and the other
ordinance raising the mayor’s spending power up to $10,000.00.
Mayor Bryant also said he would find out when repairs was due to
be paid on Fire Rescue One and if necessary the council would have
a special call meeting to take care of the matter.
Alderman Jeffers made a motion to adjourn at 7:15 p.m. Second by
Larry S. Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, Clerk-Treasurer