CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
JULY 19, 2022
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Gassville, Arkansas was held on Tuesday, July 19, 2022 at the Gassville Community Center. Mayor Braim led those in attendance in saying the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag and in offering 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 Ralph Bird, Mayor Jeff Braim, and Recorder-Treasurer Jeff Lewis. Council Member Kenneth Smith was absent. Department Heads in attendance were Police Chief Tim Mayfield, Water and Street Superintendent Michael Dewey, and Fire Chief Michael Glotzl.
The minutes from the June 15, 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 Adkins. There were no additions or corrections asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, 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 June, 2022 was presented to the City Council. Council Member Seaman moved to approve the financial report as presented. This motion was seconded by Council Member McFarland. No additions or corrections were asked for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, 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 June, 2022. The report was accepted into the record without objection.
Fire Chief Glotzl gave the fire department report for the month of June, 2022. This report was also accepted into the record without objection. Chief Glotzl also asked City Council for approval to remove an article of equipment from inventory, being a 2008 Dell Computer, inventory #0289, which is no longer useable and has been replaced. Council Member Bird moved to authorize inventory item #0289 from the fixed asset inventory list. This motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. Mayor Braim called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
The Gassville Planning and Zoning Commission did not meet during June.
The report from the Cotter-Gassville Joint Sewer Commission was given by Council Member Seaman. The Commission met July 14th. She reported that the Wastewater Treatment Facility had passed ADEQ inspection and the plant permit will be renewed. A new gear box ordered last November is still unavailable. There is a current job opening at the treatment plant. Council Member Seaman went on to report that all new connections to the sewer system in Red Apple Acres have been completed. There remains a substantial amount of clean-up and fencing work to be done. With respect to the collection system along the Cotter walking trail, she advised that regular inspections are being made of the above-ground pipes and clamps. Finally, she reported that the new truck that has been on back-order for years will still be available at the agreed-upon selling price. Some 2021 model trucks are starting now to finally arrive at the Landers dealership.
The building inspection report for the period of June 13th through July 10th was given by Mayor Braim. There was no activity during the reporting period, but he did note that a new self-help housing project on Bayless Court is about to get underway soon, and that all city permits for that project have been obtained.
Mayor Braim announced that the bid opening for the second water well project was held on July 11th. Council Members were provided with written minutes and details of the bid opening. The only bid received for the well drilling process itself was from Midwest Hydro Drilling and Service for $397,452. Midwest Hydro Drilling and Washington Pump and Drilling were the only two companies to bid for the pump installation, with Midwest's bid being $97,835 and Washington's being $77,905. The only bid received for the electrical and generator work came from Crawford Electric for $138,550. These bids will be valid for 60 days. The project engineer and city officials will be working with the bidders to determine if city work crews can potentially do some of the work in order to lower costs. The city does not have enough ARPA funds for the entire project. The expense for the electrical and generator work will have to be budgeted in the 2023 city operating budget. Also, Mayor Braim stated that Arkansas Rural Water will be conducting a new rate study that will take into account debt service and depreciation expenses. Council Member Adkins moved to approve the minutes from the bid opening session as presented. The motion was seconded by Council Member Lassen. Upon calling for the vote, Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
Moving on to unfinished business on the agenda, the City Council took up consideration of Proposed Ordinance 2022-02, a re-zoning ordinance, on its third reading. Council Member Seaman moved to place the proposed ordinance on its third and final reading by title only. This motion was seconded by Council Member McFarland. Mayor Braim called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Bird 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, 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)."
Council Member McFarland then moved to adopt the proposed ordinance as read. This motion was seconded by Council Member Seaman. After discussion, Mayor Braim called for the vote. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays. The Mayor declared the motion passed and Ordinance No. 2022-02 to be adopted.
Moving on to new business, the City Council took up consideration of Proposed Resolution No. 2022-05 related to the "Back The Blue" legislation, Act 224 of 2022, passed by the Arkansas General Assembly. Council Member Adkins moved to have the proposed resolution read aloud. This motion was seconded by Council Member Lassen. Upon calling for the vote, Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried. Thereupon, Recorder-Treasurer Lewis read aloud the proposed resolution in its entirety, entitled:
"RESOLUTION NO. 2022-05. A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE CITY OF GASSVILLE 2022 FISCAL YEAR ADOPTED BUDGET FOR THE PURPOSE OF RECEIVING AND EXPENDING THE $5,000 STIPEND FOR ELIGIBLE FULL-TIME LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS."
Upon the reading of the proposed resolution, Mayor Braim called for a vote to adopt. Council Members Adkins, McFarland, Seaman, Lassen, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried and Resolution No. 2022-05 to be adopted.
With respect to the sewer system expansion project, Mayor Braim reported that the next progress meeting will be held on Thursday, July 28th in the Council Chambers. He termed this to be a "substantial completion meeting for the project". He reported that all new customer connections have been completed. Clean-up work and fencing is underway. The contractor has until the end of October to complete the work. The city will now have to begin paying back the USDA loan that was used for part of the project costs. Final loan documents are to be signed, and the necessary bank accounts for debt service and depreciation accounts will be opened.
The issue of fireworks in the city limits was next on the agenda. A resident, Mrs. Silzell, addressed the City Council with respect to the issue. She presented the Council with a petition containing 20 signatures of residents who would like to see the discharge of fireworks prohibited inside the city or at least significantly curtailed. Mrs. Silzell read a prepared statement, noting that the city's existing ordinance regulating fireworks was passed in 1998 and claiming that the city police are not enforcing the provisions of that ordinance. Police Chief Mayfield responded that the police department did not receive any fireworks complaints this year during the allowable period of use in question, only after the permitted period of use had lapsed. He also stated that the prosecuting attorney has advised in the past that only a warning should be issued to someone on the first offense for violating that ordinance, and not a citation to appear. Mayor Brain stated he received several calls from the public about the situation with fireworks in the city. Council Members discussed some potential changes to the ordinance, including shortening the number of days that fireworks can be discharged in the city and also increasing fines for violations. Another suggestion was for the city to perhaps host an organized fireworks display on city property rather than allow individual use. Mayor Braim, Police Chief Mayfield, and the City Attorney will review possible amendments to the ordinance and bring it back before the City Council for further consideration.
Mayor Braim then updated the City Council on various topics, to-wit:
1. On Thursday, July 21st, at 1:00 PM there will be a joint work session meeting between the City Council and the Board of Trustees of the Firemen's Pension and Relief Board to hear a proposal to consolidate the local pension plan with the state's LOPFI system. Mr. David Clark, the Executive Director of LOPFI, will be on hand to answer questions.
2. The federal single compliance audit should be completed by the end of this month.
3. The Arkansas Division of Legislative Audit is expected to soon begin its audit process for Gassville for 2021. They provided the city with a list of records and documents they will need to have access to.
Council Member Bird commented that he would like to see the city look into obtaining a grant to install a "splash pad" at the city park for summer use and would also like to see some additional landscaping and decoration in the parks. He also asked for an update on the installation of the new park pavilion. Superintendent Dewey replied that no date is available for the installation according to the installer.
Council Member Bird then moved to adjourn, which motion was seconded by Council Member McFarland, with all members voting in favor. The meeting adjourned at 7:14 PM.
Submitted by: /s/ Jeffrey Lewis,
Approved by: /s/ Jeff Braim,