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City Council Minutes

JANUARY 12, 2010

JOHNSON CITY COUNCIL
MEETING MINUTES
JANUARY 12, 2010
Mayor Lonnie Barron called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.
Present were Aldermen Melissia Tomlinson, Bill Burnett, Buddy Curry, Bob Fant, Tom Bramlett
and Clay Dodson. Also present were Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen, City Attorney Danny
Wright, Police Chief Vernon Sisemore, Street Superintendent Randy Birchfield, Fire Chief Matt
Mills and Building Official Paul Sullins.
Street Superintendent Randy Birchfield presented the manager of Dollar General a letter of
appreciation for the Christmas donations made by the store to help the needy in our community.
Mayor Barron thanked everyone for their help last month while he was out due to surgery.
Mayor Barron stated he was cancer free and thanked R/T Jennifer Allen for running the
meeting for him.
Mayor Barron asked for a motion to put Resolution 2010-03 on the agenda as it was not
available at the time the agenda was prepared. Melissia Tomlinson made the motion and Buddy
Curry seconded. All approved.
Mayor Barron asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the December 8, 2009 council
meeting. Street Superintendent Randy Birchfield asked that the word "part" be changed to
"park" and that the name of the visiting state agency be changed to State Health and Safety
Department. Bob Fant made a motion to approve the minutes with those corrections and Buddy
Curry seconded. All approved.
Department Head Reports:
Police Chief Vernon Sisemore stated there had been 13 new cases opened with 9 closed. Chief
Sisemore stated that in 2009 there had been 122 responses to false alarms. Chief Sisemore
stated officers were using vacation and sick leave.
Fire Chief Matt Mills stated that there were 242 calls for service I 2009 as compared to 282 in
2008. Chief Mills stated there had been 9 calls in 11 days including a structure fire so far in
2010. Mills stated they had been doing continuous training with Springdale and Fayetteville.
Street Superintendent Randy Birchfield stated they used 46 tons of chat for the Christmas snow
and 48 tons had been reloaded. Birchfield introduced new employees Clayton Wilson and Gerry
Russell and welcomed them to the city. Mayor Barron stated these people had been out at 3:00
am working on the roads. Birchfield stated they had been working on the PD parking lot wall.
Building Official Paul Sullins stated December had been slow.
Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen stated each Alderman had received a Statement of Financial
Interest Form for 2009 to fill out and turn in before January 31, 2010. Allen stated she would be
able to notarize signatures if needed and so would Betty Whittaker at the PD. Allen stated this
is an annual requirement of the State Ethics Commission and was also a step to running for reelection
in the fall.
City Attorney Danny Wright stated the Powell Emergency Services case was set for trial on
March 9, 2010 and depositions would begin soon. Wright stated the lawsuit by WG Land
Company to deannex was set for trial in May.
Mayor Barren stated the Arkansas State Health and Safety Department requires a fence on top
of the wall in front of the PD and bids will be ready for next month. Mayor Barren stated he
wants the fences to match.
Mayor Barren stated census day will be April 1, 2010 and he anticipates the increase in
population to increase the city's tax receipts and turn back revenue
Mayor Barron stated he had met with Patsy Christie and Mayor Doug Sprouse of Springdale
this afternoon and they are worried about money on the Johnson Road project. Mayor Barron
stated they wanted to decrease the road from I-540 to three lanes and he told them no. Mayor
Barron stated the estimated cost for the road from 1-540 to Carley Road was $6 million. Bob
Fant stated we need five lanes. Buddy Curry agreed stating the area will not develop the way
we want it to with only a three-lane road. Discussion was had. Curry stated Mayor Barron had
done well getting them to phase the project to Carley Road and keeping it five lanes.
Mayor Barron listed some of the hi lights of 2009: Towneplace Suites Hotel opened; city sold
157 business licenses; had a horrible ice storm; purchased a fire truck, repaired city hall;
condemned and purchased the McClinton property; the post office is going to stay open;
installed propane emergency generator; applied for a $50,000.00 fire equipment grant; made
progress on the trail - need seed money; progress on Johnson Road; city finances.
Unfinished Business:
Mayor Barron opened the discussion of the Fire Department funding. Buddy Curry stated he
wanted the whole council present to discuss this. Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen stated that
$200,000.00 had been approved in 2010 budget in December, but the FD was requesting
$33,000.00 more. Fire Chief Matt Mills stated the money requested was for raises for the fire
fighters, equipment certification required by ISO, and equipment that had to be replaced.
Discussion was had. Mayor Barron stated that next month he wanted to set up a committee to
determine what needs to be done to absorb the Fire Department and what the costs will be.
Curry stated that $7,300.00 was for raises and $24,000.00 and by giving it to them now, it
would save them having to come back and ask for it later. Curry made a motion to approve the
increase to $233,000.00 and Melissia Tomlinson seconded. All approved.
New Business:
Mayor Barron presented RESOLUTION 2010-01: A RESOLUTION APPOINTING TWO
MEMBERS TO THE PLANNING COMMISSION FOR THE CITY OF JOHNSON, ARKANSAS,
FOR TERMS BEGINNING JANUARY 1, 2010. City Attorney Danny Wright read the resolution.
Bob Fant made a motion to approve and Melissia Tomlinson seconded. Mayor Barron
introduced new appointee Bill Snow. All approved.
Mayor Barron presented RESOLUTION 2010-02: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING CERTAIN
CITY OFFICIALS TO EXECUTE A CONTRACT FOR FIRE PROTECTION SERVICES
BETWEEN THE CITY OF JOHNSON AND THE JOHNSON AREA VOLUNTEER FIRE
DEPARTMENT. City Attorney Danny Wright read the resolution. Discussion was had about
when the payments were to be made and the agreement was changed from quarterly to
monthly payments. Bob Fant made a motion to approve and Buddy Curry seconded. All
approved.
City Attorney Danny Wright asked the council for a response to item number 15 on the
information requested from Powell Emergency Services, LLC attorney that stated: Admit a
council member coerced an employee to do work on private property. It was denied by all.
Mayor Barren presented RESOLUTION 2010-03: A RESOLUTION TO APPLY FOR A PARK
RESTROOM GRANT. City Attorney Danny Wright read the resolution. Bob Fant made a motion
to approve and Melissia Tomlinson seconded. All approved.
Mayor Barron recognized City Attorney Danny Wright and special Attorney Tom Kieklak to
speak about South Johnson. Wright stated a written proposal from Overby to accept their offer
of settlement had been received and he and Kieklak would like to discuss a counter offer, trying
to get this taken care of before it goes to trial on May 11, 2010. Wright asked for the council's
permission for Kiekiak and himself to negotiate on the city's behalf and outlined some of the
options. Kieklak stated May 11, 2010 trial date is coming up fast. Bob Fant stated nobody
wants to give up land but the city needs water and sewer. Mayor Baron stated this is the first
time a water and sewer contract for all of South Johnson has been offered. Buddy Curry stated
he has always been against this, but he does not want to be in the water and sewer business.
Discussion was had as to whether or not Fayetteville knows this is happening and will they
approve. Wright stated WG Land Co. believes they have authorization from the City of
Fayetteville and tentative approval. Fant stated he may not like how this process started but we
may have a more beneficial resolution. Buddy Curry made a motion to authorize Tom Kieklak
and Danny Wright and Mayor Barron, if appropriate, to negotiate with representatives of WG
Land Company and/or the City of Fayetteville, to settle pending lawsuit and deannexation
issues, securing for the City of Johnson a water and sewer agreement with the City of
Fayetteville in exchange for agreement to allow deannexation of a portion of the City of
Johnson, with the best interest of the City of Johnson as the goal of negotiation. Bob Fant
seconded and all approved.
Mayor Barron asked for a motion to pay the bills from the General Fund, Street Fund, Act 988
Fund, Warrant Service Fund and Court Automation Fund that the council had reviewed. Bob
Fant made a motion to pay the bills and Buddy Curry seconded. All approved.
Mayor Barron asked for a motion to adjourn which was made by Buddy Curry and seconded by
Tom Bramlett. All approved and the meeting was adjourned at 7:25 PM.
Respectfully Submitted,