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City Council Minutes

May 13. 2008

City of Johnson
Minutes of Council Meeting
May 13. 2008

Mayor Lonnie Barron called the council meeting to order at 6:00 PM.
Present were Aldermen Bill Burnett, Buddy Curry, Tom Bramlettand Clay Dodson. Also present were Police
Chief Vernon Sisemore, City Attorney Danny Wright, Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen, Street Superintendent
Randy Birchfield and Fire Chief Matt Mills. Aldermen Melissia Tomlinson, Bob Fant and Building Official Matt
Bailey were absent.
Mayor Barron asked fora motion to approve the minutes of the April 8, 2008 Public Hearing and Council
meeting. Buddy Curry made a motion to approve the minutes as written and Tom Brarnlett seconded. All
Monthly Report of Department Heads:
Police Chief Vernon Sisemore stated JPD had closed half of the new cases opened. Chief Sisemore stated
they had a lead on the Tyson case, a pick up purchased with the stolen money. Chief Sisemore stated the
officer hired in February resigned. Chief Sisemore stated Officer Womack was injured by a suspect and he
had to use the taser to subdue him. Mayor Barron stated he authorized the purchase of cameras for the
Fire Chief Matt Mills stated the department did not receive the SAFER grant for new personnel and they
would apply again next year. Chief Mills stated there have been 106 calls year to date up 12%. Mills stated
Fire Marshal Herb Beitel did 16 inspections and there were 5 burn permits issued.
Street Superintendent Randy Birchfield stated the pipes on Wilkerson had been changed to 24" and they
were handling the water well. Birchfield stated the clean up was going smoothly. Birchfield stated there is a
street sealing program available that will help our streets last an extra 3 to 5 years. Birchfield stated 3 coats
from Hewitt to El more would cost about $10,000.00 and he Just wanted the council to be aware and to look
at it down the road.
Building Official Matt Bailey was absent.
Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen read a letter from Millye Pollock, a citizen who has lived in Johnson for 57
years, praising the Street and Fire departments for the great job they did during the floods. Allen stated
91 business licenses have been purchased yearto date. Alien stated the MHBF Insurance premiums are
going down effective July 1, 2008 from Class 7 to Class 6 , making the Single premium $490 (was $530)
and the Family Premium $1,080 (was $1,180). Allen stated this reduction would result in an employee
w/family coverage a savings of $30 per month and city savings of $890 per month or $5,340 for remainder
of the year. Allen stated the paperwork for 2008 election is available and to see herafterthe meeting if
interested in running as the county requires interested candidates to sign for election packet
City Attorney Danny Wright stated there were no new lawsuits! Wright stated the first suit is at a permanent
stay until Setsky pays his judgment from the last time he sued. Wright stated we're still waiting on the suit
with the insurance agent and the suit with Neville. Wright stated the Municipal League Convention is in June
and urged all the aldermen to attend because the city pays for it and they will learn a lot.
Mayor Barron stated he had written a letter in support of a Children's Science Museum that Troy Parnell has
applied for. Mayor Barron stated this could be a big thing for Johnson and we have everything they ask for.
City Attorney Danny Wright suggested Mayor Barron have the State Reps write support letters also.
Mayor Barron stated Bob Caudle, a reporter for the Morning News, heard about the city's need and has
donated a boat, motor and trailer to the city. Mayor Barron stated he had written a letter thanking Mr. Caudle
for his generosity.
Mayor Barron stated the construction on 48th Street is finished but needs striping and a guardrail which
should go up on Friday. Discussion was had about naming the new section and renaming the old section.
City Attorney Wright stated 911 should be contacted and an ordinance would be required to change street
Mayor Barron stated the bridge on Great House Springs is complete, but they can't find the guardrail.
Mayor Barron stated thatSpringdale will start on Main Drive sometime in early June and it will be the first
project done according to Mayor Van Hoose.
Mayor Barron stated the island of property west of 1-540 and south of Clear Creek, surrounded by Johnson,
needs to be annexed into the city. Mayor Barron stated the preliminary work will be done and the property
owners will be notified.
Mayor Barron stated the first floor walls are up on the hotel and the contractor says it will be done in 7
months. Mayor Barron stated the building will have 4 floors and 90+ rooms. Mayor Barron stated they are
trying to secure a restaurant for that area as well.
Mayor Barron stated the Shoppes at the Mil! has been working on their parking lot but haven't asked for any
Certificates of Occupancy. Buddy Curry stated not to give the COO's until the final plat has been approved.
Mayor Barron stated that a letter had been received from Patsy Christie stating they are working on the
design of Johnson Road and surveying.
Mayor Barron stated Buddy Curry was moving his car business from Springdale to Johnson and the city is
glad to have him.
Mayor Barron updated the council on the proposed de-annexation, stating he has met with Mayor Goody and
Gary Dumas 3 times, twice with lawyers. Mayor Barron stated that so far he was negotiating and
corresponding with them. Bill Burnett asked about the Federal Grant for Van Asche and Mayor Barron stated
they had denied it. Mayor Barron stated there were a number of ways to approach this but he is just trying to
work it out. Buddy Curry stated he wanted to thank Mrs. Jane Barron for the wonderful poem she wrote.
Unfinished Business:
New Business:
Mayor Barron stated the benefits discussion was removed from the agenda as no information was received.
Mayor Barron stated he had received inquiries about why there were no stop signs at the railroad crossings.
Mayor Barron stated there were signs until 4 or 5 years ago. Mayor Barron stated he had discussed the issue
with Police Chief Vernon Sisemore and Street Superintendent Randy Birchfield and they feel it is safer with
them down. Buddy Curry stated it would bottle neck traffic and back it up past the red light Fire Chief Matt
Mills stated he was opposed to stop signs because it is hard enough as it is to get the trucks out Birchfield
stated he had put up notice signs of railroad crossing ahead.
JOHNSON, ARKANSAS. Mayor Barron asked fora motion to read the ordinance by title only. Buddy Curry
made a motion to read the ordinance by title only and was seconded by Tom Bramlett. Roll call: Bill Burnett,
yes; Buddy Curry, yes; Tom Bramlett, yes; Clay Dodson, yes. City Attorney Danny Wright read the ordinance by
title only. Buddy Curry stated the Planning Commission approved the final plat with the street improvements,
but the streets need to be done first Richard McKeehan, engineer representing the developers, stated the
completion bond amount approved by EDA was $100,748.00 for widening Main Drive on the south side,
sidewalks, streetlights and they intended to get started in the next 20-30 days once the short tern bond is
in place for public improvements. Curry stated the PC denied the bond. McKeehan stated this wasn't a long
term bond, but an interim bond to get all the improvements done. Curry stated he had not seen a bond.
Mayor Barron stated EDA had approved it and sent it on to Matt Bailey. City Attorney Wright stated he had
talked with Steve Hesse of EDA and the amount was good but some changes needed to be made to the
construction plan. Wright stated Mr. Curry was correct in that once the final plat is approved, it is as it is and
a bond is a fall back position butnotas good as having all the work done. Mayor Barron stated if we had had
a bond on 48th Street we might not have been stuck. McKeehan stated he was led to believe the final plat
would be approved and guaranteed the work would be done. City Attorney Wright stated the city's code calls
for all infrastructures to be complete before a final plat is approved. Discussion about bonds was had. Curry
made a motion to table the ordinance until next month and Tom Bramlett seconded. Roll call: Bill Burnett,
yes; Buddy Curry, yes; Tom Bramlett, yes; Clay Dodson, yes.
Mayor Barron asked for a motion to pay the bills for the General, Street, Act 988 and Court Automation Funds
which the council had reviewed. Buddy Curry asked about a bill from the Morning News for an AR Naturals
ad and Mayor Barron stated it was for a special publication distributed at the ball park to let people know
they can get to the ballpark through Johnson. Curry also requested a list of recurring monthly bills so R/T
Jennifer Allen can pay them when received rather than having late payment charges because they needed to
be approved by council before they could be paid. Motion to pay bills was made by Tom Bramlett and
seconded by Clay Dodson. All approved.
Mayor Barron asked for a motion to adjourn which was made by Buddy Curry and seconded by Bill Burnett.
All approved and the meeting was adjourned at 7:45 PM.