AGENDA TITLE:  Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting May 2, 2016.

AGENDA DATE: May 16, 2016



DATE SUBMITTED:  May 4, 2016

PREPARED BY:  Heather Soyars

SUBJECT:  May 2, 2016 regular meeting minutes

EXHIBITS:  Minutes





SUMMARY: The minutes of the May 2, 2016 regular meeting are provided for your approval.

BOARD ACTION:  The City Clerk recommends board approval.





MAY 2, 2016



The Board of Directors of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, convened in regular session at 6:30 PM on Monday, May 2, 2016.


Mayor Ruth Penney Bell asked the Clerk to call the roll and the following Board Members were present:  Mayor Bell, Assistant Mayor Harris, and Directors Sue Johnson, Tim Johnson, Barbara S. Miner, Travis Odom and Allan Wren.  Also present were City Manager Kenny Haskin, City Attorney George M. Matteson and Deputy City Clerk Kim Wharton.  Absent was City Clerk Heather Soyars.

Mayor Bell asked it be duly noted there was a quorum present for tonight’s meeting.


The invocation was given by Director Allan Wren.


Director Allan Wren led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.



            Mayor Bell welcomed everyone to tonight’s meeting.

Chamber of Commerce President

            Mayor Bell welcomed the new Chamber of Commerce President, Mike Malone.  She thanked him for attending the meeting.

City-Wide Cleanup

            Mayor Bell announced a City-Wide Cleanup Day on May 21, 2016 coordinated by the City Beautiful Commission and Keep Texarkana Beautiful.  She said more details would be made available in the coming weeks.

Millwood Lake Water Rights Contract

            Mayor Bell said the contract with Southwest Arkansas Water District (SWAWD) for the purchase of fifteen million gallons per day (15 MGD) of raw water from Millwood Lake had been finalized.

            Dr. Haskin said the contract would have to be presented to the Board for approval.

Board Meeting Procedure

Mayor Bell briefly reviewed the board meeting procedures and pointed out the Agenda Item Cards, Citizens’ Communication Cards, and agendas along the rail for tonight’s Board meeting.  The Mayor asked any audience member interested in speaking at tonight’s Board meeting to complete one of the cards and turn the card in to the City Clerk.  She said this would help run an organized meeting and allowed the Clerk to have the necessary information for the meeting minutes.  She stated any citizen may comment on any item on the agenda and express their desires, but would be limited to five minutes.


            Mayor Bell asked if the Directors had any questions or comments.

          No one came forward.


City Employee Service Awards:

Mayor Bell commented Michael Stufflebeam, Hazel Moore and Rhonda Parker were unable to attend tonight’s meeting and she would make sure they received their award and pin.  Mr. Stufflebeam would have been recognized for five years of service with the Fire Department.  Ms. Moore and Ms. Parker would have been recognized for ten years of service with the Bi-State Justice Building.

Mayor Bell thanked all the City employees for their service to the City and its citizens.

Goodwill Industries Week

            A Texarkana, Arkansas Proclamation


“Goodwill Industries Week”


May 1 – May 7, 2016



WHEREAS, the citizens of Texarkana, Arkansas, value hard work and support the right of individuals to provide for themselves and their families; and


WHEREAS, some members of our community require additional services, help, and training to aid them in accomplishing that goal; and


WHEREAS, among those most in need of career training services are those whose job options are limited due to illiteracy, criminal pasts, or lack of work experience and those with mental, emotional, and physical disabilities; and


WHEREAS, Goodwill Industries is North America’s leading nonprofit provider of career services for people with special needs and is the world’s largest private-sector employer of people with disabilities; and


WHEREAS, disadvantaged local residents have received vocational evaluation, vocational adjustment, job-seeking skills, and placement assistance or employment through Goodwill Industries of Arkansas; and


WHEREAS, the investment made by Texarkana, Arkansas, in Goodwill Industries has paid off in useful work and jobs for our citizens and,


WHEREAS, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is celebrating Goodwill Industries Week, May 1 through May 7, 2016,


NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that I, Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor of Texarkana, Arkansas, do hereby proclaim May 1 through May 7, 2016, as


“Goodwill Industries Week”


in and for Texarkana, Arkansas, and urge all citizens to give support to Goodwill Industries in recognition of its ability to maximize an individual’s contribution to self, family, and community.

            Signed Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor and Attested by Heather Soyars, City Clerk.


Municipal Clerks Week

            A Texarkana, Arkansas Proclamation


“Municipal Clerks Week”


May 1 – May 7, 2016



WHEREAS, the Office of Municipal Clerk, a time honored and vital part of local government, exists throughout the world; and


WHEREAS, the Office of Municipal Clerk is the oldest among public servants; and


WHEREAS, the Office of Municipal Clerk provides the professional link between the citizens, the local governing bodies, and agencies of government at other levels; and


WHEREAS, Municipal Clerks have pledged to be ever mindful of their neutrality and impartiality, rendering equal service to all; and


WHEREAS, the Municipal Clerk serves as the information center on functions of local government and community; and


WHEREAS, Municipal Clerks continually strive to improve the administration of the affairs of the Office of the Municipal Clerk through participation in education programs, seminars, workshops, and the annual meetings of their state, county, and international professional organizations; and


WHEREAS, it is most appropriate that we recognize the accomplishments of the Office of the Municipal Clerk;


NOW THEREFORE, I, Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor of Texarkana, Arkansas, do recognize the week of May 1 through May 7, 2016, as


“Municipal Clerks Week”


and further extend appreciation to our Municipal Clerk, Heather Soyars, to our Deputy Clerk, Kim Wharton, and to all Municipal Clerks for the vital services they perform and for their exemplary dedication to the communities they represent.


            Signed Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor and Attested by Heather Soyars, City Clerk.


Building Safety Month

            A Texarkana, Arkansas Proclamation


“Building Safety Month”

May, 2016


WHEREAS, our City’s continuing efforts to address the critical issues of safety, energy efficiency, water conservation, and resilience in the building environment that affect our citizens, both in everyday life and in times of natural disaster, give us confidence that our structures are safe and sound; and 


WHEREAS, our confidence is achieved through the devotion of vigilant guardians––building safety and fire prevention officials, architects, engineers, builders, tradespeople, laborers and others in the construction industry––who work year-round to ensure the safe construction of buildings; and


WHEREAS, these guardians—dedicated members of the International Code Council—use a governmental consensus process that brings together local, state, and federal officials with expertise in the building environment to create and implement the highest-quality codes to protect Americans in buildings where we live, learn, work, worship, play; and


WHEREAS, the International Codes, the most widely adopted building safety, energy, and fire prevention codes in the nation, are used by most U.S. cities, counties, and states; these modern building codes also include safeguards to protect the public from natural disasters such as hurricanes, snowstorms, tornadoes, wildland fires, floods, and earthquakes; and


WHEREAS, Building Safety Month is sponsored by the International Code Council, to remind the public about the critical role of our communities’ largely unknown guardians of public safety––our local code officials––who assure us of safe, efficient, and livable buildings; and


WHEREAS,Building Codes: Driving Growth through Innovation, Resilience and Safety,” the theme for Building Safety Month 2016, encourages all Americans to raise awareness of the importance of building safe and resilient construction; fire prevention; disaster mitigation, water safety and conservation; energy efficiency and new technologies in the construction industry; and Building Safety Month 2016 encourages appropriate steps everyone can take to ensure that places where we live, learn, work, worship, and play are safe and sustainable, and recognizes that countless lives have been saved due to implementation of safety codes by local and state agencies; and


WHEREAS, each year, in observance of Building Safety Month, Americans are asked to consider projects to improve building safety and sustainability at home and in the community, and to acknowledge the essential services provided to all of us by local and state building departments, fire prevention bureaus, and federal agencies in protecting lives and property;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas do hereby proclaim the month of May 2016 as


“Building Safety Month”


and, accordingly, encourage our citizens to join with their communities in participation in Building Safety Month activities.


            Signed Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor and Attested by Heather Soyars, City Clerk.

            Mayor Bell presented the proclamation to Nina Walker, Building Official.

National Historic Preservation Month

            A Texarkana, Arkansas Proclamation


“National Historic Preservation Month”


May, 2016


WHEREAS, the National Historic Preservation Act in 1966 was a major step forward, creating the National Register of Historic Places, the list of National Historic Landmarks, and the State Historic Preservation Offices, all to preserve our country’s most meaningful historical and archaeological sites; and


WHEREAS, historic preservation is relevant for communities across the nation, both urban and rural, and for Americans of all ages, all walks of life, and all ethnic backgrounds and is celebrated in May as National Preservation month;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ruth Penny-Bell, Mayor of Texarkana, Arkansas, do proclaim May, 2016, as


“National Historic Preservation Month”


and call upon the people of Texarkana, Arkansas, to join their fellow citizens across the United States in recognizing and participating in a special celebration of 50 years of preservation.


            Signed Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor and Attested by Heather Soyars, City Clerk.

            Mayor Bell presented the proclamation to Mary Beck, Assistant City Planner.


Assistant Mayor Harris asked that Item 8C “Adopt a Resolution granting permission to Diva Maintenance to hold a Catfish Festival on Friday, July 1, 2016, from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM and Saturday, July 2, 2016, from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM” be removed from the Consent Agenda.

Assistant Mayor Harris moved to approve the consent agenda.  The motion was seconded by Director Odom and carried unanimously.  The items approved by consent were:


The minutes approved were of the regular meeting April 18, 2016.


Resolution No. 2016-35 granted permission to Vietnam Veterans of America, Inc., Texarkana Area Chapter #278, for a Memorial Day Walk on Monday, May 30, 2016.


Resolution No. 2016-36 authorized and directed the City Manager to submit a reimbursable grant application to the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department (AHTD) Arkansas Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to construct a sidewalk on East 42nd Street from Nix Creek to Pinson Drive.


            Resolution No. 2016-37 authorized and directed the City Manager to submit a reimbursable grant application to the Arkansas Highway Transportation Department (AHTD) Arkansas Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) to construct a sidewalk on Pinson Drive from East 47th Street to East 50th Street.



The resolution was read in its entirety.  Said resolution granted permission to Diva Maintenance to hold a Catfish Festival on Friday, July 1, 2016, from 10:00 AM until 11:00 PM and Saturday, July 2, 2016 from, 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM.

Assistant Mayor Harris said he would like to get more information about the event since it was the first time it was being held.

Tameka Grady, 512 East Greenfield, Wake Village, Texas; Shayla Williams, 708 Hawkins, Wake Village, Texas; Lakoya Blackwell, 101 Redwater Road, Wake Village, Texas and Lakeisha Washington, 1116 South Wallace, Ashdown, Arkansas, represented Diva Maintenance.

Ms. Williams read the following statement:

“Our mission is to inspire, empower, encourage, enlighten and educate women of all walks of life through health, beauty, and fashion; so that they are aware of the importance of being in good health, looking good on the outside, and feeling good on the inside.  We are ‘Committed’ to helping women combine Self-confidence, Individuality, Boldness, Beauty, Health, and Fashion, together in order to expose their ‘True Beauty’ and ‘Personal Potential’ that they a ‘Diva’ possess within themselves.  Diva Maintenance will continue to be ‘devoted’ women striving to achieve greatness, have purpose, and touch the lives of everyone that we are blessed to encounter on the journey, and add to this family of Diva’s here at the House of Diva Maintenance.”

Mayor Bell asked what the event was offering the community.

Ms. Grady said it was an opportunity for families to come to downtown and patronize with other community members.

Mayor Bell asked where the money from the event went and if their group was a 501c(3) organization.

Ms. Grady said Diva Maintenance was under the umbrella of the Sister Network which was a breast cancer organization based in Houston, Texas with a local chapter in Texarkana.  She said the organization helped cover the costs of bills, medication and mammograms.  She said she chose this organization because her sister had passed away from breast cancer.

Mayor Bell asked who would do the accounting for the donations.

Ms. Grady said the President of Sister Network handled the accounting.

Mayor Bell asked if this event was a benefit.

Ms. Grady said yes, all the events the group hosted were benefits that were free to the public.

Director Sue Johnson asked if the money from the Food Fest was donated to the Sister Network.

Ms. Grady said the event was free to the public.  She said the vendors completed their paperwork and filed it with City Hall.  She said the Catfish Festival was a platform for the Sister Network to inform citizens that there was a local chapter in Texarkana.

Director Barbara Miner asked if the money went out of town.

Ms. Grady said the money would be for the local chapter to help residents in the greater Texarkana area.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked for more information on the entertainment for the event.

Ms. Grady said there were several groups and organizations from Oklahoma, Louisiana and Magnolia, Arkansas that were a part of the event.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked if they had spoken with the Advertising and Promotion (A&P) Commission.  He said they sometimes help with the costs of events.

Ms. Grady said after the Board’s approval for the event, talking to the A&P Commission was their next step.

Assistant Mayor Harris, seconded by Director T. Johnson, moved to adopt the resolution. The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, S. Johnson, T. Johnson, Miner, Odom, Wren, and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the resolution passed, as there were seven ayes and no nays.


            Mayor Bell asked if anyone in the audience would like to speak, on any subject up to a total of five (5) minutes.

Ms. Beck said T-Line was providing the buses free of charge for the City to use for the driving tour.  She said Texarkana Museum System was developing a narrative for the guides to use.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked who was paying for the artists to come to RailFest.

Mr. Cowling said Texarkana A&P Commission was paying.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked how much the cost was.

Mr. Cowling said it was right around $21, 000.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked if that money would normally be used for radio marketing.

Mr. Cowling said that last year Town Square Media covered the overall artist fees.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked if that was the reason there was an admission charge last year.

Mr. Cowling said yes, the fee was to help offset their costs of the artist’s fees.


Director T. Johnson, seconded by Director S. Johnson, moved to adjourn the meeting.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, S. Johnson, T. Johnson, Miner, Odom, Wren and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the meeting adjourned, as there were seven ayes and no nays. 

The meeting adjourned at 7:18 PM.



Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor



Heather Soyars, City Clerk



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