CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
APRIL 19, 2022
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Gassville, Arkansas was held on Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at the Gassville Community Center. Mayor Braim led those in attendance in saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and he offered a word of prayer. The meeting was then called to order at 6:00 PM by Mayor Jeff Braim, Presiding Officer.
Upon the calling of the roll, those in attendance were Council Member Ernest Adkins, Council Member Tim McFarland, Council Member Anita Seaman, Council Member Naomi Lassen, Council Member Kenneth Smith, Council Member Ralph Bird, Mayor Jeff Braim, and Recorder-Treasurer Jeff Lewis. Department Heads in attendance were Police Chief Tim Mayfield and Fire Chief Michael Glotzl.
The minutes from the March 15, 2022 regular meeting had been provided to each Council Member. Council Member Adkins moved to approve the minutes as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. There were no additions or corrections asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be passed.
The financial report for the month of March, 2022 was presented to the City Council. Council Member Bird moved to approve the financial report as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. Before calling for a vote to approve, the Mayor asked the City Council to approve the creation of a new expense line item in the budget to be entitled "RTP grant expenses". The City recently was awarded a $50,000 recreational trails grant from the Arkansas Department of Transportation. This is a reimbursement type grant, and the city is beginning to incur expenses related to this project. Council Member Adkins moved to approve the creation of the new budget expense line item as requested. This motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. Upon calling for the vote, Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
Mayor Braim then called for a vote on the original motion to approve the March financial report. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried and the report to be approved.
Police Chief Mayfield then presented the police department report for the month of March, 2022. The report was accepted into the record without objection.
Fire Chief Glotzl presented the fire department report for the month of March, 2022. It was accepted into the record without objection as well. Mayor Braim noted that the Public Safety Committee had met earlier today. Minutes from that meeting had been distributed to each City Council Member. Council Member Lassen moved to approve the minutes from the Public Safety Committee as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. Upon calling for the vote, Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion to approve. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried. The Public Safety Committee meeting had been requested by Chief Glotzl in order that he could present a "Fleet Analysis" review of current fire department apparatus and future needs of the fire department with respect to vehicle replacements and mission requirements. Chief Glotzl explained to the City Council that the fire department currently has what he described as an "aging suppression-focused fleet" of vehicles, while the fire suppression role of the department has been surpassed now by emergency medical calls and service calls as evidenced by recorded statistics. Chief Glotzl believes it would be prudent for the department to acquire "multi-vocational" fire apparatus vehicle to replace at least some of the aging suppression fleet of pumper trucks. Chief Glotzl had prepared documentation for the City Council with respect to potential replacement costs for both new and used vehicles. It was noted that there is only approximately $40,000 currently in the Fire Department Truck Savings Fund #9816074, with only $5,000 having been appropriated in the 2022 budget to be added to that fund. Council Member Bird suggested increasing the amount of money being earmarked for the fire truck replacement fund, and he moved that in addition to the $5,000 already approved in the 2022 budget for that purpose that an appropriation of an additional $5,000 be made from the General Fund to transfer into the Fire Department Truck Savings Fund #9816074. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. The Mayor called for discussion, then for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried. The City Council agreed to look further for additional means by which to increase the truck replacement fund in the coming years.
Fire Chief Glotzl also gave a brief report with respect to the "KnoxBox" program that had first been talked about at the March meeting. A KnoxBox is an armored box secured to or near a building that would hold spare keys, gate codes, and the like that emergency responders could access in order to gain entry to a building in emergency situations without breaking down doors or causing damage to property. This would be something that the property owner would have to purchase and install if it was wanted. The program would be voluntary.
Mayor Braim gave the building inspection report for the period of March 7th through April 10th. It was accepted into the record without objection. The Mayor noted that city employee Shane Marler has completed his HVAC inspection training and certification and is currently working on obtaining his electrical inspection certification.
Council Member Seaman gave a report on behalf of the Cotter-Gassville Joint Sewer Commission, which met last Thursday. Despite the recent substantial rainfall, operations at the Wastewater Treatment Facility are normal. One small overflow occurred and was reported to ADEQ. Tractor repairs are complete. Mr. Robert Kemp has been hired as a new line crew employee. With respect to the above ground collection system along the walking trail at Cotter, it was noted that seven new trouble spots have been discovered. There are already eight clamps in use along this line. Preliminary design work on the renovation and replacement of that line has been completed. The Cotter City Attorney, Roger Morgan, is now working on obtaining the necessary easements. It will be 2023 before any actual work is expected to commence on that project. The current cost estimate is $3,242,000.
Council Member Lassen reported that the Planning and Zoning Commission did meet, however the two people who were scheduled to appear on rezoning requests did not show up. There was no other business taken up.
There was no unfinished business on the agenda.
Under new business, Attorney Kerry Chism was in attendance to speak with respect to condemnation proceedings for unsafe or nuisance properties. Mr. Chism was substituting for City Attorney Ronald Kincade. Mr. Chism stated he had reviewed City Ordinance No. 2004-13 and compared the language of the ordinance to the current version of the Arkansas Code dealing with condemnation proceedings. Mr. Chism indicated that the language in Section 8 of Ordinance No. 2004-13 is based upon language in the Arkansas Code that existed prior to 2017 when the General Assembly modified the procedures. He advised that the ordinance needs to be amended to mirror current language found in ACA 14-54-903 and ACA 14-54-904. Mr. Chism explained to the City Council the steps that would have to be taken under the law in order to declare a property to be unsafe and a public hazard. He also explained steps that the city could then take to be able to condemn and take action to remedy the unsafe or hazardous conditions. Under these procedures, any costs incurred by the city when taking steps to remedy these situations, up to a maximum statutory limit, would attach as a priority lien on the property, which would be valid for up to 10 years.
The next item under new business was the consideration of two bids that had been received under the state bid process for the purchase of a new backhoe. Mayor Braim stated that two bids had been received, as follows:
Riggs Cat and Equipment Sales - $117,801.14, less trade-in value of $50,000.00
Final cost with tax would be $78,108.74 (Caterpillar backhoe)
Potter Equipment Company - $110,000.00, less trade-in value of $71,000.00
Final cost with tax would be $41,660.00 (Case backhoe)
Currently there has only been $30,000.00 budgeted in 2022 for this purchase. There was a great deal of discussion as to the pros and cons of each of the backhoe options, including with operational and maintenance issues the city has experienced with the older Case backhoe that will be used for a trade-in. After discussion, the City Council decided to purchase the new Case backhoe from Potter Equipment Company. Council Member Adkins then moved the following new appropriations into the 2022 budget to allow for sufficient funds to make the purchase, which motion was seconded by Council Member Bird:
$6,500.00 appropriated from the Water Capital Improvement Fund #3323847 to Water Operation and Maintenance budget expense line item #3572 - New Backhoe.
$6,500.00 appropriated from the Street Capital Improvement Fund to Street Fund budget expense line item #2568 - New Backhoe.
Mayor Braim called for any further discussion, then for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
The Mayor then asked the City Council to make an additional appropriation in the budget for repairs to the sewer lift station in the area of Azalea Ct. and explained the problems and issues being encountered at that location. Council Member Lassen moved to appropriate $3,000.00 from the Sewer Savings Fund #3323854 to Sewer Operation and Maintenance budget expense line item #7122 - Lift Station Repairs, for that purpose. This motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. Mayor Braim called for discussion, then for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
Mayor Braim then updated the City Council on various issues, to-wit:
1. He provided City Council with copies of the engineering agreement for the recreational trails grand and the agreement for the federal compliance audit of ARPA funds.
2. The Arkansas Department of Health has approved the plans for the second city well, with some stipulations. Coordination with the engineer and the grants administrator is underway.
3. Several street projects are currently underway, as is pouring the foundation for the new pavilion at the city park.
4. The required yearly report to the U. S. Department of the Treasury has been made for the ARPA funds.
5. The Gassville Fire Department Pension and Relief Board will meet on Wednesday, May 25th, at 6:00 PM.
6. It was noted that some residences in Gassville do not have the 9-1-1 address displayed as required by law. The Mayor and Police Chief Mayfield stressed how important it is to have the proper and correct 9-1-1 street address clearly posted and visible for emergency responders to be able to find the correct residence.
7. Mr. Dale Ebersviller sent a letter to the City Council asking for permission to place a couple of picnic tables outside his mobile food vendor stand. Council Member Smith moved to allow that, which motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. The Mayor called for discussion, then for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays. The motion was declared to be carried.
Council Member McFarland asked about the scheduling for the ball field at the city park. The Mayor replied that officials from the Cotter School will be at his office tomorrow morning to discuss the scheduling of the field.
Council Member Adkins asked if anything further has been done or discussed regarding the matter of people having chickens inside the city limits. The Mayor answered no. Since there are no such city regulations at present then people are permitted to have chickens without limitation. The Mayor will check with other municipalities in the area to see what their regulations are.
Council Member Seaman stated she is still being contacted in regards to the neighbor dispute on Walnut Street, with her caller indicating that the issues she keeps reporting are still occurring. This matter was discussed in more detail at the last meeting.
Prior to adjournment, samples of the new Christmas banners were shown to the City Council. The meeting then adjourned at 7:45 PM upon motion of Council Member Bird, seconded by Council Member Lassen, with all members voting in favor.
Submitted by: /s/ Jeffrey Lewis,
Approved by: /s/ Jeff Braim,