CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS
MINUTES FOR THE REGULAR CITY COUNCIL MEETING
SEPTEMBER 19, 2023
A regular meeting of the City Council of the City of Gassville, Arkansas was held on Tuesday, September 19, 2023, 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 Kenneth Smith, Council Member Tim McFarland, Council Member Ernest Adkins, Council Member Ralph Bird, Mayor Jeff Braim, and Recorder-Treasurer Jeff Lewis. Council Member Anita Seaman and Council Member Naomi Lassen were absent. Department Heads in attendance were Police Chief Tim Mayfield and Fire Chief Michael Glotzl.
The minutes from the last regular meeting held August 22, 2023 were then up for consideration. Council Member Bird moved to approve those minutes as presented, which motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. No corrections or additions were called for, whereupon the Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Smith, McFarland, Adkins, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
The financial report for the month of August, 2023, was presented for approval. Council Member McFarland moved to approve the August financial report as submitted, which motion was seconded by Council Member Adkins. The motion was then put to a vote. Council Members Smith, McFarland, Adkins, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried.
Chief of Police Mayfield gave the police department report for the month of August, 2023. It was accepted into the record without objection. It was noted that the new Chevrolet Tahoe police vehicle should soon be ready for pickup at Bale Chevrolet in Little Rock. The invoiced cost will be $67,055.75.
Fire Chief Glotzl gave the fire department report for the month of August 2023. It was accepted into the record without objection. The subject of the Knox Box system was broached again. Chief Glotzl stated that a number of businesses in the city have expressed interest in this system. The cost to the fire department to purchase the necessary equipment needed to activate the Knox Box system will be approximately $3,500. Chief Glotzl stated he would make this expenditure from already budgeted Act 833 funds, but he wanted the City Council to first consent to the going forward with the project. The City Council agreed by consensus that the project was a good thing for the city and that Chief Glotzl should proceed with the purchase of the equipment and with the implementation of the system.
The Cotter-Gassville Joint Sewer Commission has not met, nor has the Gassville Planning and Zoning Commission, and thus no reports from those entities were given.
Mayor Braim gave the building inspection report for the period of August 19th through September 19th. It, too, was accepted into the record without objection.
Under unfinished business, CPA Brian Haas was on the agenda to discuss the 2022 audit for the water and sewer department, but he could not attend. The discussion was thus deferred to a later meeting.
Proposed Ordinance No. 2023-07 relating to advertising billboard regulations had been read the first time at the last meeting in August. However, some alterations to the language in the proposed ordinance had been requested, and therefore the revised ordinance was up for consideration again on a new first reading. Council Member McFarland moved to place the revised proposed ordinance on its first reading, which motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. Mayor Braim called for the vote. Council Members Smith, McFarland, Adkins, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried. Thereupon, Recorder-Treasurer Lewis read aloud the revised version of the proposed ordinance in its entirety, entitled:
"ORDINANCE NO. 2023-07. AN ORDINANCE AMENDING ORDINANCE 2004-10 TO LIMIT THE NUMBER OF OFF PREMISE ADVERTISING BILLBOARDS IN THE CITY OF GASSVILLE, ARKANSAS AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES."
Council Member McFarland then moved to suspend the rules and place the proposed ordinance on its second reading by title only, which motion was seconded by Council Member Smith. The Mayor called for the vote. Council Members Smith, McFarland, Adkins, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the Mayor declared the motion carried. Thereupon, Recorder-Treasurer Lewis read aloud the title of the proposed ordinance.
A third reading of the proposed ordinance will take place at the October regular meeting.
Under new business, Mayor Braim asked the City Council to approve a request to the Baxter County Quorum Court to levy the usual five (5) mill property tax to be assessed in 2023 and collected in 2024. He has prepared a letter that will be sent to County Judge Litty to inform the Quorum Court of this action. Council Member Adkins moved that the Mayor send said letter to the County Judge asking for the levy of the five (5) mill property tax as specified. This motion was seconded by Council Member Bird. Mayor Braim called for discussion, then for the vote. Council Members Smith, McFarland, Adkins, and Bird voted for the motion. There were no nays, and the motion was declared to be carried.
Mayor Braim then updated the City Council on various matters, to-wit:
1. He read a letter from the Arkansas Secretary of State indicating that the franchise for Seabridge has been renewed for ten years.
2. The design and environmental impact studies are underway for the South Johnson Street rebuilding project. The City hopes to meet with engineers before the end of the year. The City is responsible for paying engineering fees.
3. With respect to the "Phase II" renovation project to the sewer collection system, the Mayor stated that USDA has confirmed and approved the original loan/grant amounts for the project. The City of Cotter, which is handling the process, hopes to be able to award a bid for the renovation project soon.
4. With respect to the Lancaster Park walking trail project, bid specifications for asphalt work have been submitted to the funding source in LR for review, which will be followed by solicitation for bids, hopefully by the end of the year.
5. The Mayor and Department Heads have been holding preliminary budget discussions for 2024. The Mayor plans to called a first budget work session in October.
6. The new city well project on Houser Avenue is almost completed. Final testing is being conducted by the Arkansas Department of Health.
Prior to adjournment, Council Member Adkins requested that the City Council look into the possibility of imposing regulations that would prohibit people from sleeping in vehicles parked at residences. Police Chief Mayfield stated he has already discussed this matter with the Deputy Prosecuting Attorney, who advised that it is not likely the City has authority to impose such regulations if they pertained to persons sleeping in vehicles on private property.
Mr. Dennis Hughes asked the City Council to look at possibly imposing regulations or restrictions with respect to people randomly placing shipping containers on their property for storage or other purposes. He believes they detract from the overall appearance of the community. It was noted that if the property in question is part of a subdivision with protective covenants in place that a remedy may be available that way. However, the City currently has no such restrictions in place by ordinance other than placement of the containers/storage units on the property must comply with set-back requirements.
The meeting then adjourned at 6:51 PM upon motion of Council Member Bird, seconded by Council Member McFarland, with all members voting in favor.
Submitted by: /s/ Jeffrey Lewis,
Approved by: /s/ Jeff Braim,