City Council Minutes
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City Council Minutes

November 14, 2017




Mayor Chris Keeney called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm.

Present were Council Members Richard McMullen, Katherine Hudson, Bill Burnett, 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 Jerry Morrow and Building Official Clay Wilson.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the October 10, 2017 council meeting. Richard McMullen pointed out 2 minor corrections and Bob Fant made a motion to approve the minutes with corrections and was seconded by Richard McMullen. All approved.

Department Head Reports:

 Police Chief Vernon Sisemore stated that 30 new cases were opened and 24 were closed. Chief Sisemore stated a new Animal Control/Code Enforcement officer has been hired. Chief Sisemore stated that Officer Vecchi resigned and there have been no applications to fill the vacant positions.

Fire Marshall Todd Witzigman stated there were 28 calls, most of which were EM  S. Witzigman  stated Engine 1 has been taken to Springfield for repairs and the Department is driving an interestingly colored loaner; repairs to the engine are covered by insurance. Witzigman stated the department is working on being designated a "fire-wise community" and that all Knox Caps are in place and were well received. 

Public Works Director Jerry Morrow stated he did MS4 inspections and attended TAC meeting at NWARPC. Morrow stated 1st, 2nd  and Bryan Streets are being changed to one way (approved in the Master Street Plan); mailboxes are being moved and the signage is ready to go. Morrow stated a company has been hired to raise the offset sidewalks in town; they drill a hole in the sidewalk and inject foam until it is the correct height. Morrow stated this is far more cost effective than digging them up and repouring the concrete. 

Building Official/Maintenance Specialist Clay Wilson stated there were 5 building permits and 16 mechanical permits issued. Wilson stated he attended a plumbing inspection class, and held TPR and PC meetings along with numerous other meetings with the City Engineer. Gregg Gainer stated the Planning Commission is close to passing the Main and Wilkerson Overlay District on to the Council and then they will begin looking at zoning. 

Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen stated that Property Taxes and State Turnback have been received; Sales Taxes have not. Allen stated the November property tax bump was spread over 2 months; October= $59,082.56, November= $139,850.70 for a total of $198,933.26. Allen stated the Budget and Finance Committee had a preliminary 2018 Budget review meeting prior to Council and the 2018 Budget is shaping up well; it will be presented for Council approval next month. 

City Attorney Danny Wright stated that he has been working on 2 bankruptcies, both the Johnson Mill Boulevard and the Main and Wilkerson Overlay Districts, closing out the quarry issue, planning and building issue with Johnson Mini Storage and court. Wright stated the need for a policy on email retention. Discussion  about the subject resulted in no action being

Mayor Keeney stated that the sign litigation is ongoing; attorneys are going to file for a summary judgement.

Mayor Keeney stated there had been a complaint about the smoke smell from Wright's Barbeque that seems to be unfounded but will be monitored.

Unfinished Business: None

New Business:

Mayor Keeney stated the Council Members had all received a letter from City Attorney Danny Wright regarding the addition to Johnson Mini Storage that was done without a building permit, variance or rezoning. Mayor Keeney stated it is the City's responsibility to take action and Mr. Flippo needs to remove it. The Council discussed the issue and the decision was to let Mr. Flippo remove it or the City would do it for him.

City Attorney Danny Wright said there needed to be a reasonable timeframe which was agreed to be 90 days from the date of notification. Bob Fant made a motion to approve the action and timeframe which was seconded by Richard McMullen. All approved.

Mayor Keeney stated the Planning Commission had requested funding for engineering services and the Council asked for scope of work and amount of funding. Mayor Keeney stated the PC was requesting $12,000.00 to have EDA work on the zoning issues. Bob Fant made a motion to approve and Hunter Haynes seconded. All approved.

Mayor Keeney stated the person approved by Council last month to determine the debris volume was unable to provide the proper insurance and asked for the Council's approval to rescind the first agreement and go with the second bid for $5,000 and get the project done. Motion to approve was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Melissa Pasinski. All approved.

Mayor Keeney stated the ditch along Hewitt where the tracks washed out in the flood is filled with debris both from the flood and the repair work by the A& M railroad company. A&M said they would be out in mid September to fix it and didn't show up and they are not responding to a follow up letter sent. Council agreed they should be reported to Corps of Engineers.

Chief Sisemore stated the Police Department has been working towards being an accredited department since May of 2013. He stated the committee will be here December 11, 2017 and if passed, the Johnson Police Department will be one of eleven accredited departments in the state.

Mayor Keeney asked for the Councils approval of a one-time pay increase for City Employees. After discussion, Hunter Haynes moved that the increase be net $250 for each employee and was seconded by Richard McMullen. All approved. Mayor Keeney stated this will be paid the first pay period of December.

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. Melissa Pasinski made a motion to pay the bills and Bob Fant seconded. All approved.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to adjourn which was made by Bill Burnett and seconded by Bob Fant. All approved. The meeting was adjourned at 6:47 pm.

Respectfully Submitted,