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City Council Minutes

October 13, 2015






Mayor Chris Keeney called the Public Hearing to order at 6:00PM. On the floor for comment was the following petition:


PETITION 2015-02:RevisedRequestforRezoningfromR-1toR-M/C-1Mixed Use for property located at 1908 Main Drive, Johnson, AR. Requested by Fadil Bayyari,owner.

This petition was Denied by the Johnson Planning Commission at the August 31,2015 meeting of that board and Mr. Bayyari is Appealing to the Johnson City Council overturn the Johnson Planning Commission's Denial. A list of attendees of this hearing is attached to these minutes.

Steve Lyle, an attorney from Springdale, represented Mr. Bayyari and was given the opportunity to speak. Then 3 members of the community spoke, all against the rezoning. Mayor Keeney closed the Public hearing at 6:15 pm.



               Present were Aldermen BillBurnett, Dan Cross, Hunter Haynes, Bob Fant and Melissa Pasinski. Also present were Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen, City Attorney Danny Wright, Police Chief Vernon                      Sisemore, Fire Marshall Todd Witzigman, Public Works Director Gerry Russell and Building Official/Maintenance Specialist ClayWilson.

Alderman Richard McMullen and Fire Chief Matt Mills were absent.

              Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the September 8, 2015 council meeting. Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen stated there had been a clerical error on the ordinances passed last               month that has been corrected in the minutes. The PUD and Overlay District ordinances were on the agenda as Ordinances 2015-04 and 2015-05, but those numbers were used on Ordinances passed in               August. The correct numbers are Ordinance 2015-07 and 2015-08. Bob Fant made a motion to approve the changeinOrdinancenumbersandwassecondedbyDanCross.Allapproved.BobFant then made a                     motion to approve the minutes with this correction and was seconded by MelissaPasinski.Allapproved.

Department HeadReports: 


Police Chief Vernon Sisemore stated that 41 new cases were opened and closed. Chief Sisemore stated he was down an officer but nothing had been done yet. Mayor Keeney asked Chief Sisemore how the fleet was doing as Act 988 account has enough money for a new unit. Chief Sisemore stated they are still having trouble with the chargers and he would like to buy a new 2016 Tahoe; cost to completely outfit and get it on the road   is $44, 209 but it won't be available until mid-January. Chief Sisemore said he wanted to keep and use the extra car rather than trade it in as a utility vehicle and a stand by   when another unit is down.. Dan Cross made a motion to approve the purchase of a 2016 Tahoe and was seconded by Hunter Haynes. All approved.


Fire Marshall Todd Witzigman stated there were 21 calls for service, mostly EMS. Witzigman stated the ladder truck needed a new voltage regulator and was up and running with all new batteries, but the other truck went down today. Witzigman stated fire prevention week activities didn't go well and they are looking at ideas to improve nex tyear.


Public Works Director Gerry Russell stated Russell stated the first phase of the trailhead project, the rain garden and rest area  with a bike rack and benches is complete, and the water fountain is being installed.  Russell stated the purpose of the thick black plastic on the hill west of the PD is to kill off all the weeds and the plants that did not fill  in so something else can be done in the spring. Russell stated he has applied to the ADEQ for a permit to get into the creek by the Elmore bridge to clean out the  weeds.

Russell stated he would like the council's approval to purchase an arm style boom mower from Williams Tractor for $15,365 and a plow to add to the fleet for the one ton truck for $5,603. These were the best bids for the equipment he needs and Russell stated he had money in his budget for these items. Dan Cross made a motion to approve the equipment purchases and was seconded by Melissa Posinski. All approved. Russeli stated the City has been awarded a grant by the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District for $21,000 to purchase a chipper/shredder that takes up to 7" limbs. The total cost will be approximately $23,000.


Building Official/Maintenance Specialist Clay Wilson stated he attended the TPR meetingandthePlanningCommissionmeeting.Wilsonstatedhehasbeenworkingon codeenforcementandvehiclemaintenance.

Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen stated that State Turnback and Property taxes have been received. Allen stated property taxes were $41,222 up slightly from last year with the semi-annual bump due in November. Allen asked that all city officials interested in attending the Arkansas Municipal League Winter Conference being held in Springdale December 2-4,2015pleaseletherknowASAPsoshecangetthemregistered.


City Attorney  Danny Wright stated that the City's responsibility for Cris Hollow Road is minimal; first responsibility is for the property owners to keep the brush cutback. Wright recommended that the Aldermen and the Planning Commissioners all attend the Arkansas Municipa lLeague Winter Conference in SpringdaleMayor Keeney stated the  new city website  is live and  is fully  searchable. Mayor Keeney stated he has been working on the triangle property purchase and we are still waiting on the survey and the environmental site assessment. Mayor Keeney stated the verbal appraisal has come in at a value of $130,000 and our contingencyis $150,000.The purchase was discussed and Bob Fant made a motion to waive the contingency and was seconded by DanCross. All approved. 


            Unfinished Business: none




Bayyari appeal: Dan Cross stated the Planning Commission denied the rezoning on the following grounds 1) It doesn't comply with the Future Land Use map 2) the citizens objecting to the rezoning have done so at multiple public hearings 3) it could potentially devalue the homes surrounding it. Cross also stated the property is adjacent to R-1 property in Springdale and within 1,000 feet of Fayetteville and as such they have the right weigh in on any rezoning. Hunter Haynes stated he is sympathetic to both sides, but the property is not zoned commercial on the Future Land Use map because of the existing homes on either side and he cannot support the rezoning. Cross stated this is a critical lot at the entrance to the City and he cannot support the rezoning. Melissa Posinski and Bill Burnett were both at the Planning Commission meeting and had nothing to add. Fadii Bayyari stated as his attorney said it is reasonable with C-2 zoning across the street and apartments on the west side of Blake Lane that this rezoning  makes sense and appealed to the wisdom of the council. Bob Fant voted to approve the rezoning; Bill Burnett, DanCross, Hunter Haynes and Melissa Posinski voted to denythe rezoning. The appeal was denied and the property is not rezoned.


       MayorKeeney asked City Attorney Danny Wright what the City's actual responsibility with regard Cris Hollow Road. Wright stated all that is required is that it is kept open and passable



                   JOHNSON, ARKANSAS. Hunter Haynes made a motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Dan Cross. All approved.


                   Mayor Keeney presented RESOLUTION 2015-16: A RESOLUTION LEVYING A TAX ON REALANDPERSONALPROPERTYWITHINTHECITYOFJOHNSON,ARKANSAS,FORTHE YEAR2015,FIXING THE                        RATE AT 5MILLS, AND CERTIFYING THE SAME TO THE COUNTY CLERK OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS. Motion to approve the resolutionwas made by Dan Cross and seconded  by                        Bob Fant. All approved.


Mayor  Keeney  presented  ORDINANCE  NO. 2015-09: AN  ORDINANCE AUTHORIZING BORROWING FUNDS FOR THE ACQUISITION OF A PARCEL OF REAL PROPERTY FOR USE BY THE CITY BY ISSUANCE OF A PROMISSORY NOTE: AUTHORIZING THE PURCHASE OF PARCEL OF REAL PROPERTY FOR USE BY THE CITY; PROVIDING FOR THE PAYMENT OF THE PRINCIPAL OF AND INTEREST ON THE NOTE; AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION AND DELIVERY OF A MORTGAGE PROVIDING SECURITY FOR THE NOTE; DECLARING AN EMERGENCY; AND PRESCRIBING OTHER MATIERS RELATING THERETO. MayorKeeney asked for a motion to read ORDINANCE 2015-09 by title only waiving the 2nd and 3rd readings. Motion was made by Dan Cross and seconded by Melissa Posinski. Roll call: Bill Burnett, yes; Dan Cross, yes; Hunter Haynes,.yes; Bob Fant, yes; Melissa Pasinski,   yes. City Attorney  Danny Wright  read the  ordinance  by title  only.  Mayor  Keeney  asked for a motion to approve the reading of ORDINANCE  2015-09 by title only.  Motion was made by Hunter Haynes and seconded  by Dan Cross. Roll call: Bill Burnett, yes; Dan  Cross, yes; Hunter Haynes, yes; Bob Fant, yes; Melissa Pasinski, yes. Mayor Keeney   asked for a motion to read the emergency clause. Motion was made by Dan Cross and seconded by Melissa Pasinski. Roll call: Bill Burnett, yes; Dan Cross, yes; Hunter Haynes, yes; Bob Fant, yes; Melissa Pasinski, yes. City Attorney  Danny Wright  read the  emergency clause. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve the emergency clause. Motion was  made by Bob Fant and seconded  by Hunter  Haynes. Roll call: Bill Burnett,  yes; Dan Cross, yes; Hunter Haynes, yes; Bob Fant, yes; Melissa Pasinski, yes. ORDINANCENO.2015-09 was approved.

Dan Cross stated the Planning Commission  had received a letter from Jay Pryor regarding parking in yards. Cross stated the PC asked to have the Council to look at the issue. It was discussed  and no action taken. Dan Cross stated the Planning Commission has recommended that the Council adopt the new logo designed with the SCMP. City Attorney Danny Wright stated he would write a resolution to this effect for the next council meeting. Discussion was had about engaging EDA to help develop a new Master /street Planand Future Land Use plan and the first overlay district. It was determined that the  committee needs to get a proposal together to present to council once they have determined the scope of the project. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to pay the bills from the General Fund, Street Fund, Act 988 Fund and Court Automation Fund that the council had reviewed. Dan Cross made a motion to pay the bills and Hunter Haynes seconded. All approved.

      Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to adjourn which was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Dan Cross. All approved. The meeting was adjourned at 7:23pm.