CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
JUNE 21, 2022
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Gassville, Arkansas was held on Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at the Gassville Community Center. Mayor Braim led those in attendance in saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag, and Police Chief Mayfield 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, Mayor Jeff Braim, and Recorder-Treasurer Jeff Lewis. Council Member Ralph Bird was absent. Department Heads in attendance were Police Chief Tim Mayfield and Fire Chief Michael Glotzl.
The minutes from the May 17, 2022 regular meeting had been provided to each Council Member. Council Member Lassen moved to approve the minutes as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member Seaman. There were no additions or corrections asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be passed.
The financial report for the month of May, 2022 was presented to the City Council. Council Member McFarland moved to approve the financial report as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. No additions or corrections were asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith 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 May, 2022. The report was accepted into the record without objection.
Fire Chief Glotzl gave the fire department report for the month of May, 2022. This report was also accepted into the record without objection. In addition to the regular report, Chief Glotzl stated that the self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)has been flow tested and issues resolved. Three probationary volunteer firefighters have been fully accepted into the rank and file of the fire department. There are now 17 firefighters plus the Fire Chief.
Chief Glotzl asked the City Council for authorization to remove some fire hose manufactured in 1981 from fire department service, indicating that the water department would like to have it. Council Member Adkins moved to authorize this transfer, which motion was seconded by Council Member Lassen. Upon calling for the vote, Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be passed.
Continuing with fire department information, Chief Glotzl stated that the new part time firefighter just graduated from the academy, now has firefighter 2 status, and he is working out well. The Cotter-Gassville Rural Fire District Board of Commissioners met recently. One of the issues they discussed was the KnoxBox idea that has been under discussion for the past few months. According to Chief Glotzl, the rural district's board is not willing at present to purchase the KnoxBox equipment that would be needed to equip their fire vehicles. They are not opposed to the idea, and they would take another look at it later if the program is implemented by Gassville FD and Cotter FD and is successful. The Cotter FD supports the proposal. Mayor Braim suggested that a public meeting be scheduled to allow for area businesses and other interested parties to come and hear a presentation on KnoxBox and see if there is any interest in the community for it.
The Gassville Planning and Zoning Commission did not meet this month, nor did the Cotter-Gassville Joint Sewer Commission, and thus no reports were available from those entities. Council Member Lassen did mention, however, that there is some upcoming property development possible in the area of Casey's General Store.
Mayor Braim gave the building inspection report for the period of May 8th through June 13th. The report was accepted into the record without objection.
Moving on to unfinished business, the City Council took up consideration of Proposed Ordinance 2022-02 related to a rezoning request on its second reading. Council Member Adkins moved to place the proposed ordinance on its second reading by title only. The motion was seconded by Council Member Seaman. The Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried. Thereupon, Recorder-Treasurer Lewis read aloud the title of the proposed ordinance, to-wit:
"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)."
Under new business, Mr. Brian Haas, CPA, presented the City Council with his draft of the 2021 Water/Wastewater Audit. This audit was completed earlier in the year than usual because it is a component of the single federal compliance audit due by June 30th. Mr. Haas noted that the water and sewer rates are in good shape at present, with the city accounts being in the black after operational expenses are deducted.
The next order of business was a request for an additional appropriation in the amount of $16,000 in the water department budget salary line item to accommodate a pay-out of accrued leave and benefits for long-time Water Clerk Wanda Watson, who is retiring at the end of this month. Council Member Lassen moved to appropriate an additional $16,000 from the water fund to water department expense line item #3200 - Salary, for that purpose. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. Mayor Braim called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be passed.
A report was given from a recent meeting of the Gassville Firemen's Pension and Relief Board of Trustees. A copy of the minutes from that meeting were provided to Council Members. One of the items discussed at that meeting was the yearly offer from LOPFI to consolidate the local retirement plan into the state's LOPFI system. Due to the recent losses sustained by the local plan's financial portfolio as a result of the stock market decline, the Board of Trustee decided it would be wise to formally request that the LOPFI system conduct an actuary study on the local plan to determine what the city's financial responsibility would be to LOPFI if the local retirement plan was to consolidate, as well as answering other questions about benefits. The cost for LOPFI to prepare an actuary study would be $700, and the Board of Trustees had requested the City Council appropriate $700 from the general fund to pay for it. After some initial discussion, Council Member Lassen moved to appropriate $700 from the general fund into general fund budget line item #1408 - Transfer to Firemen's Pension Fund, to pay for the LOPFI actuary. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. After further discussion, the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried.
At the end of the agenda, Mayor Braim updated the City Council on various topics, to-wit:
1. As the result of posting a job opening for the Water Clerk position, the Mayor has hired Jamie Peeples for that job. She previously worked at the Northeast Lakeside Water Association and performed many of the same duties there.
2. The state aid overlay paving project on select city streets has been completed except for some clean-up work.
3. The Gassville in the Park city celebration was deemed to have been a success. The Mayor thanked Mark Kapshandy and the committee for their hard work and efforts on the event.
4. The Arkansas Municipal League's Summer Convention was attended by the Mayor and Council Members Lassen and Seaman. It was noted that the paperwork process for the "Back the Blue" supplementary pay for full time law enforcement officers that the General Assembly approved will start on July 5th. It was also noted that Council Members with less than 10 years of service will be required to take mandatory training for 8 hours regarding the water system. This training must be completed by the end of 2022, and it will likely be provided by the Arkansas Rural Water Association. This training was mandated by recent legislation.
5. A progress report on the sewer system expansion project will take place on Thursday at the Community Center. Almost all new hookups have been completed. Some of the old septic tanks still need to be emptied and crushed, as well as some clean-up and landscaping work.
6. On July 11th at 1:00 PM, there will be a bid opening at the Community Center of bids solicited for the second city water well project.
7. City officials have met with the engineer on the Lancaster Park walking trail project. They discussed preliminary designs, land contour issues, and some possible modifications.
8. The Mayor asked the City Council's view on opening back up the Community Center for public use and rentals, as well as possible adjustment to the fees charged. The current rate is $60 per day, part of which is refundable. After some initial discussion, Council Member Adkins moved to open the Community Center back up for public use and rental, only to the citizens of Gassville, at the current fee rate, which can be reviewed later. There was no second for this motion. Council Member Lassen then re-stated part of the motion, being that the Community Center be re-opened for use and rental by citizens of Gassville only, and added that a fee of $100 be charged, $40 of which would be a refundable deposit if the building is cleaned up after use, and $60 of which would be retained by the city. This motion was seconded by Council Member McFarland. After additional discussion, the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Smith voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared passed.
Council Member Smith thanked everyone for the award he received at the Gassville in the Park celebration for his 50 years of volunteer service to the Gassville Fire Department. Former Water and Street Superintendent Tony Flippin was the Grand Marshal in the parade, and he was also recognized for his service. Dianne Roller was recognized as well with a "Community Spirit Award" for her many years of service on the committee and her various other civic activities.
Council Member Adkins asked if there would be any cost for the water system training the Mayor previously spoke about. The Mayor replied that there would not be any cost for the training. Mr. Adkins also asked if information concerning the city's fireworks ordinance can be found on the city's website, and the answer was yes.
Council Member Seaman stated she had been contacted once again by a woman residing on Walnut Street about noise and nuisance issues coming from people living down the street from her, as well as animal complaints.
Finally, it was noted that the filing period for city offices will begin in early August. The office of Mayor (4 year term) and all six Council Member positions (2 year terms) are up for election or re-election this year. Those interested in running for office need to obtain an information packet with instructions and forms from the County Clerk.
There being no further business to come before the City Council, the meeting adjourned at 7:11 PM upon motion of Council Member Seaman, seconded by Council Member Lassen, with all members voting in favor.
Submitted by: /s/ Jeffrey Lewis,
Approved by: /s/ Jeff Braim,