CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
MAY 17, 2022
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Gassville, Arkansas was held on Tuesday, May 17, 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 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. Council Member Ernest Adkins was absent. Department Heads in attendance were Police Chief Tim Mayfield, Fire Chief Michael Glotzl, and Water and Street Superintendent Michael Dewey.
The minutes from the April 19, 2022 regular meeting had been provided to each Council Member. Council Member Bird moved to approve the minutes as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member McFarland. There were no additions or corrections asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members 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 April, 2022 was presented to the City Council. Council Member Lassen moved to approve the financial report as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member Seaman. No additions or corrections were asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried.
Police Chief Mayfield then presented the police department report for the month of April, 2022. The report was accepted into the record without objection. He reported that the newly created full time police officer position has still not been filled but that a new part time officer, Ben Burnett, has been hired.
Fire Chief Glotzl presented the fire department report for the month of April, 2022. It was accepted into the record without objection as well. Council Member Bird asked about the status of the KnoxBox proposition. Chief Glotzl replied that the Cotter City Council has given its nod of approval, but that the Cotter-Gassville Rural Board of Commissioners is still considering it. Mayor Braim noted that the fire department building is in the process of being painted.
Mayor Braim gave the building inspection report for the period of April 10th through May 9th. It too was accepted into the record without objection.
The Parks Committee had met since the last City Council meeting. The committee discussed the concession stand, use of the ball field at the city park, supplies, and replacement of lights. The T-ball league started yesterday, and weekend softball tournaments were also mentioned. Mayor Braim read a proclamation he had issued in support of Arbor Day, which was April 29th. The city planted a pin oak tree at the city park for Arbor Day.
Council Member Seaman gave a report from the Cotter-Gassville Joint Sewer Commission, which had last met on May 12th. Tim Mays, the project engineer for the "phase II" renovation project of the collection system along the White River trail at Cotter attended the meeting. A representative from Hog Wild Septic Systems also attended, requesting permission to dump sewage at the wastewater treatment facility. This activity had previously been suspended. Operations at the facility were reported to be normal, however there is a leak somewhere on the property that has yet to be located but will be addressed and repaired. The facility coped well with the recent heavy rainfall. A five year inspection by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is upcoming. With respect to the phase II renovation project, it was reported that a new application with additional paperwork and documentation has been submitted to the Arkansas Department of Health. The cities are still working on obtaining the remaining utility easements for the Peitz and Hurst properties. A soil test investigation had to be performed by GTS, Inc. in the area of the lift stations, which cost $3,475.00. This cannot be paid out of depreciation funds, but can come from the CSLC budget and then be reimbursed later.
Council Member Lassen gave a report from the Gassville Planning and Zoning Commission, which last met on May 9th. The only item of business was to conduct a public hearing on a rezoning request submitted by Mr. Jonathan Spivey. Mr. Spivey requested property located at 248 Highway 126 be re-zoned from Commercial C-2 to Residential R-2 in order to renovate the building there into a tri-plex apartment building. No members of the public appeared to speak either for or against the matter, whereupon the commission voted 3 to 0 to recommend that the City Council approve the re-zoning request.
There was no unfinished business to come before the City Council.
Under new business, the City Council took up consideration of Proposed Ordinance 2022-02, the ordinance to re-zone the property as mentioned above, on its first reading. Council Member McFarland moved to place the proposed ordinance on its first reading. This motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. Mayor Braim called for the vote. Council Members McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried. Thereupon, Recorder-Treasurer Lewis read aloud the proposed ordinance in its entirety, entitled:
"ORDINANCE NO. 2022-02. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE NO. 98-08 WITH REFERENCE TO ZONING WITHIN THE CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS RELATIVE TO CHANGING AN AREA ZONED COMMERCIAL (C-2) TO RESIDENTIAL (R-2).
The proposed ordinance will be on the agenda for its second reading at the June meeting.
The next order of business was discussion of the use of the ball field at the city park and the concession stand for the summer league. The city does not have personnel to operate the concession stand. The fire department was offered the opportunity to run the concession stand but declined because of not having enough volunteers. The Cotter School also declined. Mayor Braim asked if the City Council would want to outsource concession stand operations to other entities who could use it as a fundraising mechanism for their organization. After considerable discussion on the topic, Council Member McFarland moved to authorize the Mayor to offer concession stand operations at the city park to outside groups or organizations that might be interested. This motion was seconded by Council Member Lassen. After further discussion, the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried. Discussion continued with respect as to whether or not to charge those entities a fee for use of the concession stand. By consensus, the City Council decided to levy a charge of $25.00 per day of use to help offset the costs of electricity and other expenses. The Mayor will promulgate any additional regulations that might be needed, such as for responsibility for clean-up.
Mayor Braim updated the City Council on various issues, to-wit:
1. The city will see an increase in health insurance premiums for city employees beginning in July. The Arkansas Municipal League's Municipal Health Benefit Fund changed the city's class from Class 6 to Class 7, which will result in an additional expense of $40 per month per employee.
2. The BKD accounting firm that is conducting the federal compliance audit has been paid $2,500.00 from ARPA funds as a first payment.
3. A bid advertisement packet for the second city water well project is being finalized and will hopefully be finished in June.
4. The Mayor, Council Member Lassen, and Council Member Seaman attended a Leadership 101 workshop hosted by the Arkansas Municipal League.
5. There will not be a sewer system expansion progress meeting this month. The next progress report meeting will be in June. There are 21 hook-ups remaining before the project is complete.
6. Overlay work on selected city streets using state aid street funds is expected to commence soon. ATLAS was awarded the contract by the state. City streets to receive overlays with state aid funds will be Houser Ave., Buford Cutoff, N. Johnson St., and the city's portion of Baxter CR 710. Cedar Ln. was not included in the project and will instead be overlayed using budgeted city street funds.
7. An issue with concrete work and drainage was discovered at the new subdivision being put in on Hwy 126. City officials made it clear to the builders that if the issue is not corrected the city will not accept those roadways into the city street system. They agreed to re-do the concrete work to abate the drainage issue.
8. The Board of Trustees of the Gassville Firemen's Pension and Relief Fund will meet on May 25th at 6:00 PM.
9. The Gassville In The Park celebration will be Saturday, June 4th. Tony Flippin will be the Grand Marshal in the parade.
10. A meeting of the Water and Sewer Committee will be scheduled for June.
11. The Arkansas Municipal League's Summer Convention will be held from June 15th through June 17th.
Council Member Seaman asked about the status of revisions to the city ordinance concerning condemnation of hazardous properties that was discussed at the last meeting. Mayor Braim stated that the City Attorney is working on proposed revisions to the ordinance at this time.
Mayor Braim then asked the City Council to go into Executive Session to discuss personnel issues. Council Member Bird moved to enter Executive Session for that purpose. The motion was seconded by Council Member McFarland. Upon calling for the vote, Council Members McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays. The motion was declared to be carried, and the Executive Session commenced at 7:05 PM.
The City Council returned from Executive Session and resumed Regular Session at 7:38 PM. The City Council made the following decisions, and learned the following announcement, as a result of the discussions in Executive Session:
A. Council Member Bird moved to pay a $100.00 per week stipend to Robert Benke to take care of the city ball field for the summer, which will come from the General Fund. This motion was seconded by Council Member Lassen. Council Members McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be passed.
B. Council Member McFarland moved to hired Jesse Peglar part time to catch up on mowing for 32 hours per week, beginning next week at current wages, and for a period two (2) weeks. These payments will come from the Street Fund. This motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. Council Members McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, Smith, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be passed.
C. Mayor Braim read a letter from long time employee Wanda Watson, the Water Department Clerk, dated May 16, 2022, indicating that she will be retiring on June 30, 2022. The Mayor will open the position internally first, then advertise later if necessary.
Finally, prior to adjournment, it was noted that CPA Brian Haas will be providing a water/sewer audit report for the next meeting and a reminder that for the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend, and later for Labor Day weekend, there will be no city permit or fee required to hold a yard sale.
The meeting then adjourned at 7:48 PM upon motion of Council Member Bird, seconded by Council Member McFarland, with all members voting in favor.
Submitted by: Jeffrey Lewis,
Approved by: Jeff Braim,