MINUTES OF THE REGULAR MEETING
FORREST CITY CITY COUNCIL
FORREST CITY, ARKANSAS
September 6, 2011
The City Council of Forrest City, Arkansas, met in regular session
on September 6, 2011. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 p.m.
Alderman Twillie opened the meeting in prayer. The following answered
roll call: Mayor Bryant, Clerk Cochran, Attorney Cline, and City
Council Members: Peacock, Jeffers, Hollowell, Breeding Twillie,
Fields, Capps, and Oswalt.
Alderman Fields made a motion to approve the August 16, 20ll minutes.
Second by Alderman Jeffers. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant stated there was none.
Substantial Damage Ordinance No 1519
Attorney Cline read for the third reading An Ordinance Amending
Ordinance No. 1519; Defining “Substantial Damage”’
And For Other Purposes; and Declaring an Emergency. Sponsored by
Alderman Oswalt. Alderman Capps made a motion to adopt the ordinance.
Second by Alderman Peacock. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Court Automation Equipment System
Judge Steve Routon was present and he presented the council with
a proposal to purchase a court automation equipment system. Mayor
Bryant said he had discussed the equipment purchase with Mrs. Rhodes
and indirectly with Judge Routon. Mayor Bryant also said he did
not have a problem with purchasing the system, but only one bid
was presented. He also said he wanted the records to show that the
system was approved by the city council for the sake of the state
auditors. Judge Routon stated he was asking for approval from the
council to purchase a digital courtroom recording system that cost
$5,566.31. He also said the reason the court needed the system was,
because the Supreme Court of Arkansas created 25 fulltime state
district courts across the state. He also said they were included
in the 25 and the Supreme Court wants all 25 district courts to
install a digital courtroom recording system. He contacted the administrative
office of the courts in Little Rock and asked what were the new
guidelines and who in Arkansas would they recommend to set up the
system. The administrative office of the courts recommended R. B.
Causey Co., Inc. of Little Rock, AR because they had already put
in over twenty judicial court systems in the circuit courts and
it was suggested by the Supreme Court that they use the same type
of system. Judge Routon said he and Mrs. Rhodes went to Little Rock
and met with the R.B. Causey Company; their sales person set the
system up and showed the both of them how it worked. Judge Routon
also said it would not cost the city any money. The district court
has money in their court automation fund account and he was asking
for the authority to spend the money from that account. After further
discussion, Alderman Oswalt made a motion to allow Mayor Bryant
and District Court Judge Steve Routon to purchase the equipment
from R. B. Causey Company, Inc. Second by Alderman Fields. Roll
Call: Alderman Peacock, Hollowell, Breeding, Jeffers, Twillie, Fields,
Capps, and Oswalt All Ayes.
Police Uniforms Reimbursement
Alderman Peacock stated it was brought to his attention that the
police patrolmen were going to be required to change their uniforms.
He also said if it was that important, the city should pay for the
uniforms; a financial burden should not be put on the patrolmen.
Alderman Peacock said he was aware of the uniform allowance and
once the uniforms were purchased the uniforms would have to be maintained.
Alderman Twillie asked why the uniforms were being replaced. Mayor
Bryant said ragtag uniforms. Some of the officers have been taking
the $50.00 per month and not maintaining their uniforms. Alderman
Capps asked if it was the supervisor’s responsibility to make
sure that the officers were dressed to code. Mayor Bryant said it
was the supervisor who has asked the officers to purchase at least
one uniform by October l, 2011. The cost to purchase the uniform
is about $88.00 per uniform, and if the city was going to reimburse
the officers, the city would be looking at an average of 30 officers,
which would cost around $2,700 for one uniform per officer. Mayor
Bryant also said each officer receives $600.00 per year for uniform
allowance. Alderman Capps asked would the new uniform be the same
kind of uniform the officer are wearing now. Mayor Bryant said it
would be a slight change in the uniforms. Alderman Fields asked
how many uniforms the officers are required to have. Mayor Bryant
said he expects at least three. Alderman Oswalt asked if the police
committee could meet with Chief Reynolds and then the chief and
the police committee could come back to the city council and make
some recommendations. Mayor Bryant said the police chief can come
before the council and tell the council what he wants to do in his
own words. After further discussion Mayor Bryant said he would setup
a meeting for the police committee and the police chief.
Mayor Bryant stated that Code Enforcement Muqtasid has submitted
a list of condemned houses. He also said he has stated before that
the county would reimburse the city dollar for dollar up to $100,000
for condemnations. Mayor Bryant said he wanted to get started on
the condemn properties so by December it would be taken care of.
He also said the Brickey’s prison crew was going to start
tearing down some houses on Thursday, September 15th; the only expense
the city would occur is feeding the prisoners. Alderman Hollowell
asked how many days would the property owners have to tear down
the house after the resolution is passed. Alderman Oswalt said 120
days after the resolution passed and a building permit purchased.
Attorney Cline read a Resolution Providing For The Condemnation
And Removal Of Structure; Finding A Nuisance; Providing Lien On
The Property; And For Other Purposes. Alderman Oswalt made a motion
to adopt the resolution. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call:
Redistricting of Senate District 16
Alderman Peacock stated in looking at the map of the city he did
not think the redistricting of district 16 looked or seemed right.
He said Forrest City, St. Francis County, and the surrounding areas
were going to be left out. Alderman Peacock said he spoke with the
governor and the attorney general and they were ok with the redistricting.
He was hoping the council could look into the issue and the bottom
line is he thinks the issue needs to be challenged in court. Alderman
Twillie said if anyway possible, he thinks the city needs to participate
in resolving the issue; it is a dire situation. It is a situation
where the city’s resources could be split as well as the voting
power. Alderman Twillie also said if something can not be done as
a city, then the individuals should fight for this situation; it
is an injustice. Mayor Bryant said it is a travesty the way Forrest
City was butchered, it was changed a little to bring in a small
segment. He also said that Forrest City and the courts were in two
different senate districts, the city hall was brought in, but the
police, the fire department, and all of the schools were left out.
He also said he would support the effort to go to court. But Attorney
Cline would have more knowledge on the situation. He also said the
council could research and look at it, he did not think it was much
the council could other than possibly passing a resolution at the
next council meeting, stating the city’s disdain with the
redistricting. Alderman Peacock said the situation needs to be looked
into to see if the City of Forrest City could legally challenge
it. Alderman Oswalt said the city is already split between two representatives
and it’s going to stay that way but now they are going to
split the city between two senators; he feel they are drawing the
lines to favor certain people. Alderman Peacock asked Attorney Cline
if he would look into the situation and get back with the council.
Attorney Cline said he doubts that this would be an area that he
would be capable of giving an opinion on, he thinks the council
would have to get someone with more expertise in election laws and
even constitution laws as it relates to redistricting issues. Alderman
Oswalt asked if city funds could be used for this issue. Attorney
Cline said going back to the old law books, most cases that involve
voting and election issues - you have to have standing; it has to
be brought by an effective voter or an effective candidate not by
an entity or some organization. He also said the city would not
have a standing to participate in a lawsuit and he doubts that the
city would have the ability to fund a lawsuit. Mayor Bryant said
his first suggestion would be for Attorney Cline to send a letter
to the Arkansas Municipal League to see if the league could give
the city some guidance and from that point the council could dictate
where to go. Alderman Peacock asked Attorney Cline if he would have
the information by the next meeting. Attorney Cline said he would
contact someone at the league and see what kind response he could
Forrest City Water Commissioner
Alderman Breeding informed the council that Water Commissioner Rujay
Burks had pass away; he said he would like to thank Mr. Burks‘s
family for his services to the community in the pass years. This
loss has created an open position on the water commission in Alderman
Breeding’s and Alderman Oswalt’s ward. Alderman Breeding
also said the position has been discussed and the two of them had
talked with two or three people that they thought would be good
to serve in that capacity; Alderman Breeding recommended to the
council that Glenn Shepherd be appointed to the Forrest City Water
Commission. Second by Alderman Oswalt. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Bidders were as follows from individuals: Forrest City Ready Mix
Inc., Billy Steverson, Triple G Excavating Inc., Perdew Construction,
and Herbert Stratton. (See Attached Bids) Mayor Bryant said he would
give the bids to the code enforcement officer to go through to make
sure that the company met the bid spec, have insurance and all the
qualification needed for the bid proposals. Alderman Twillie said
will the city make sure all debris is cleaned up before final payment.
Mayor Bryant said the company will not get paid until the property
is entirely cleaned up.
GENERAL FUND BILLS
Alderman Hollowell made a motion to pay general fund bills totaling
$17,234.81. Second by Alderman Capps. Roll Call: All Ayes.
STREET FUND BILLS
Alderman Oswalt made a motion to pay street fund bills totaling
$4,418.40. Second by Alderman Twillie. Roll Call: All Ayes.
Mayor Bryant set a meeting for the boundary line on the wards for
Tuesday, September 13, 2011 at 6:00 p.m.
Mayor Bryant announced that he and Alderman Twillie would be going
to the Arkansas Municipal League for a budget meeting on Wednesday,
September 14, 2011; after the league’s meeting he would schedule
a budget meeting with the council.
Mayor Bryant announced that there are a lot of dogs in Forrest
City but only 23 people have purchased dog tags. He also said if
someone has a dog and it is not licensed, appropriate action would
be taken; there is no point in the city having laws and people are
not obeying the law.
Alderman Twillie made a motion to adjourn at 7:10 p.m. Second by
Larry S. Bryant, Mayor
Derene Cochran, Clerk-Treasurer