CITY OF TEXARKANA, AR

REQUEST FOR BOARD ACTION

 

AGENDA TITLE:  Approval of Minutes of the regular meeting July 18, 2016.

AGENDA DATE: August 1, 2016

ITEM#: 8A

DEPARTMENT:  City Clerk

DATE SUBMITTED:  July 19, 2016

PREPARED BY:  Heather Soyars

SUBJECT:  July 18, 2016 regular meeting minutes

EXHIBITS:  Minutes

APPROVAL:

EXPENSE REQUIRED: $0.00

AMOUNT BUDGETED: $0.00

APPROPRIATION REQUIRED: $0.00

SUMMARY: The minutes of the July 18, 2016 regular meeting are provided for your approval.

BOARD ACTION:  The City Clerk recommends board approval.

 

MEETING OF THE

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

OF THE CITY OF TEXARKANA, ARKANSAS

JULY 18, 2016

__________________________________

MEMBERS PRESENT:

The Board of Directors of the City of Texarkana, Arkansas, convened in regular session at 6:30 PM on Monday, July 18, 2016.

ROLL CALL:

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

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

INVOCATION:

The invocation was given by Director S. Johnson.

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:

Director S. Johnson led everyone in the Pledge of Allegiance.

COMMENTS FROM THE MAYOR:

Welcome:

            Mayor Bell welcomed everyone to tonight’s meeting.

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.

Countries Tragedies:

            Mayor Bell commented on the recent shootings of police officers and asked for thoughts and prayers for the families of the victims.

Gateway Farmer’s Market:

            Mayor Bell stated last Saturday was the Gateway Farmer’s Market grand opening.  She said a lot of people attended the market.  She also said to get to the market early for peaches and purple hull peas.

Edgewood Manor Luncheon:

            Mayor Bell said Dr. Bryan Matthews hosted a luncheon for local police officers and fire fighters at Edgewood Manor.  She said it was a wonderful event and everyone enjoyed the hotdogs and hamburgers.

QUESTIONS FROM DIRECTORS AND OTHER BUSINESS:

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

         No one came forward.

CONSENT AGENDA:

            Director S. Johnson requested agenda item 7B “Adopt a resolution authorizing the City Manager to submit an application to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for a 2017 Arkansas State Parks Matching Grant under the Outdoor Recreation Grants Program assisting in development of outdoor recreational facilities” be pulled from the consent agenda.

Director S. Johnson moved to approve the consent agenda.  The motion was seconded by Director T. Johnson and carried unanimously.  The items approved by consent were:

MINUTES:

The minutes approved were of the rescheduled regular meeting July 5, 2016.

REGULAR AGENDA:

RESOLUTION NO. 2016-51:

The resolution was read in its entirety.  Said resolution authorized the City Manager to submit an application to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for a 2017 Arkansas State Parks Matching Grant under the Outdoor Recreation Grants Program assisting in development of outdoor recreational facilities.

            Assistant Public Works Director Tracie Lee said this was a request of authorization from the Board of Directors for the City Manager to submit an application to the Arkansas Department of Parks and Tourism for a matching grant assisting in the development of outdoor recreational facilities for the City in the amount of $110,000.00 more or less.  She also said the City received $55,000 match from General Improvement Funds administered by the Southwest Arkansas Planning and Development District.  She said the Parks Division held four public hearings seeking input from the citizens in June 2016.  She also said based on this input, the Parks Division was proposing to make the following improvements: construct a parking lot at the Lakeside Pavilion located in Bobby Ferguson Park to better serve area residents, students at the University of Arkansas – Texarkana, visitors to the area and those passing through Texarkana, Arkansas.  She stated the revenues and expenses for this project would be allocated in the 2017 budget.  She said with approval of this resolution, the City would submit the application for a matching grant.

            Mayor Bell asked if plans were already made for the project.

            Ms. Lee said there were preliminary plans, but a full set of engineering plans would have to be made and submitted to the State.

            Mayor Bell asked if there would be a hold on the project since the grant application was for 2017.

            Ms. Lee said yes.  The project would be allocated in the 2017 budget.

            Director S. Johnson asked if the project area was currently the dirt parking lot in front of the Lakeside Pavilion.

            Ms. Lee said yes.  The project area was in front of the pavilion.

            Director Miner asked if the engineering plans could be done in-house.

            Public Works Director Jeff Whitten said it could potentially be done in-house if resources and time permitted.

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

RESOLUTION TO ADDRESS THE CITY’S HOMELESS:

            Assistant Mayor Harris added this resolution to the agenda.  He said he was driving around Locust Street on July 5, 2016 and a man with multiple bags sitting on a ledge caught his attention.  He also said he assumed the man to be homeless.  He stated he had wanted to bring the issue of homelessness before the Board previously and the picture reminded him.  He said if a person was homeless and hungry during the winter months, then there was a good chance the person was homeless and hungry in the summer months as well.  He also said awareness of homelessness was not usually given until the holiday seasons.  He said the resolution asked for a partnership because the City of Texarkana, Arkansas did not have a homeless shelter, but it was not advocating establishing a shelter in the City.  He stated the Salvation Army at 316 Hazel Street was designed for families as a temporary shelter.  He said the resolution was to establish partnerships with local organizations that offered assistance to homeless persons in hopes of increasing the chances of receiving grant money to help those organizations.  He stated since his time as a Board member, he was not aware of the issue of homelessness being brought before the Board.

            Assistant Mayor Harris made the motion to adopt the resolution.

            The motion died for lack of a second.

SECOND READING - ORDINANCE TO WAIVE COMPETITIVE BIDDING AND ENTER INTO REFUSE CONTRACTS:

An ordinance was introduced to be entitled, “An Ordinance Waiving Competitive Bidding; Authorizing the City Manager to enter into Refuse Contracts with Richardson Waste II, Inc., and Edmondson Trash Service; and for other purposes”.  Said ordinance would allow the City to enter into refuse contracts with specific haulers without having to bid the contracts out to the public.

Mayor Bell asked if any Board or audience member had any questions or comments concerning this item.  No one came forward.

Director S. Johnson moved the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its second reading.  The motion was seconded by Director T. Johnson.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, S. Johnson, T. Johnson, Miner, Wren and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were six ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the second time.

Mayor Bell said the ordinance would be voted upon at the next Board meeting to be held on August 1, 2016.

Assistant Mayor Harris asked if every ordinance would be read at three separate Board meetings or only the ordinances the Board wanted to pass.

Mayor Bell said she felt the Board made a mistake regarding the timeline of passing ordinances.  She also said in order for the Board to have transparency, there would have to be an opportunity for citizens to voice their opinions.

Assistant Mayor Harris said he was not referring to that issue.  He said he brought a surplus ordinance before the Board on May 16, 2016, and because the Board did not want to adopt the ordinance it was read three times at that one meeting.  He said he wanted to know if all ordinances would be read at three separate meetings whether the Board would pass it or not.

Mayor Bell said Assistant Mayor Harris’ ordinance was brought before the Board prior to the vote of the citizens.  She said the vote was a clear signal to the Board that citizens wanted the opportunity to speak their opinions.  She stated she was there to direct the meeting, but it was the Director’s decisions to place ordinances on multiple readings at one meeting.

Director S. Johnson stated the Board was not breaking Robert’s Rules of Order when ordinances were read three times at one meeting.

Mayor Bell said the Board was not breaking any rules when this occurred.  She also said it was customary in several Cities to read the ordinances at three separate meetings unless there was an emergency clause.

SECOND READING - ORDINANCE REZONING PROPERTY LOCATED AT 522 EAST 4TH STREET:

An ordinance was introduced to be entitled, “An Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. K-286, as Amended; and for other purposes”.  Said ordinance would rezone the property located at 522 East 4th Street from W-1 Warehouse and Wholesale to O-1 Office Quiet.

Mayor Bell asked if any Board or audience member had any questions or comments concerning this item. 

City Planner Carl Teel said he gave each Board member a copy of a letter from Father Paul Worm of St. Edward’s Catholic Church.  The letter stated the property to be rezoned would not be used as a homeless shelter.

Director S. Johnson moved the ordinance be read in abbreviated form and the ordinance be placed on its second reading.  The motion was seconded by Director T. Johnson.  The Clerk called the roll and the following vote resulted: Directors Harris, S. Johnson, T. Johnson, Miner, Wren and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the motion carried, as there were six ayes and no nays.

The ordinance was read the second time.

Mayor Bell said the ordinance would be voted upon at the next Board meeting to be held on August 1, 2016.

CITIZEN COMMUNICATION:

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

Mayor Bell said the City was blessed to have Lt. Morgan and his ADC members.

Ms. Lee said yes; it was for U of A Way.

Mayor Bell said this was a great thing for the City because the condition of U of A Way was not good.  She thanked Ms. Lee for acquiring the grant for the City.

Director Miner said Ms. Lee was a good grant writer.

ADJOURNMENT:

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, Wren and Bell voted aye.  The Mayor declared the meeting adjourned, as there were six ayes and no nays.

The meeting adjourned at 7:00 PM.

 

_______________________________

Ruth Penney Bell, Mayor

ATTEST:

_____________________________

Heather Soyars, City Clerk

 

 

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