City Council Minutes
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City Council Minutes

SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

JOHNSON CITY COUNCIL MEETING MINUTES
CITY HALL
SEPTEMBER 11, 2018

 

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

Present were Council Members Angela Perea, Bill Burnett, John Wright, Bob Fant and Dan Cross. Also present were Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen, City Attorney Danny Wright, Police Chief Vernon Sisemore, Fire Chief Matt Mills, and Building Official Clay Wilson. Council Member Katherine Hudson was absent.

Mayor Keeney amended the agenda to discuss the increase in franchise fees and Resolution 2018-16 at the beginning of new business.

Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the August 14, 2018 council meeting. Bob Fant made a motion to approve the minutes as written and was seconded by John Wright. All approved.

Department Head Reports:

Police Chief Vernon Sisemore introduced new Officer Jacob Rollins. Chief Sisemore stated that 32 new cases were opened and 28 were closed. Chief Sisemore 2 new officers have been hired and are in field training.

Fire Chief Matt Mills stated there were 27 calls for service. Mills stated Captain Roy Edwards will be training in Camden and a new fire fighter will be going to the fire academy in October. Chief Mills stated the department has been looking at a new pumper truck to replace the current truck that is 25 years old and is out of compliance with current ISO with an open cab design. The new truck could cost anywhere from $382,000 -$534,000 with an additional $40,000 in equipment. Chief Mills stated Jon's Mid-America is loaning the department a ladder truck until our repairs are completed.

Mayor Keeney said the rain has caused the longest mowing season in 3 years so the Public Works Department continues to mow. Diamond C is currently cleaning out the creek bed west of Johnson Square and will lastly work on the debris at the Ball Street Bridge. Mayor Keeney said the old shop building (between the 2 newer ones) is collapsing as the joists are rotten and falling in.

Building Official/Maintenance Specialist Clay Wilson stated there were 5 new building permits and 9 mechanical permits issued. Wilson stated he has been working on vehicle maintenance, MS4 inspections, taking pictures of the road damage caused by the AT&T contractors and meeting with EDA about Johnson Square. Wilson stated the delay on the fire truck is that custom motor mounts must be made by the manufacturer before the engine can be installed. Dan Cross stated the Planning Commission is continuing the journey to redo the city planning and zoning ordinances. Cross stated the most complex piece could be obtaining the $40,000 needed for legal and implementation but they are working on it.

Recorder/Treasurer Jennifer Allen stated that State Turnback and Property Taxes have been received; Sales Taxes have not. The City purchased a $300,000.00 CD for 12 months at 2.45% APY bringing City savings up to $1.5 million. Allen stated the Police Chief search committee has selected a candidate who is moving here from Georgia and respectfully requests that $2,500 be diverted from Police Wages to Relocation Expenses to help defray some of the cost of his move.
Motion to approve was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Angela Perea. All approved. Allen offered her congratulations to all the incumbent candidates up for re-election this year. No one drew opposition and as such has been duly elected. Mayor Keeney's name will appear on the ballot, but the unopposed Council Members will not.

City Attorney Danny Wright stated he has been working on the sheltering agreement, spent time on the Hawkins-Weir contract and the ordinance to start the Fire Department transfer. There has been no progress to report with the Fire Department's attorney.

Mayor Keeney stated the AT&T contractor that upgraded the fiber optic lines did a lot of damage including creating bumps in the streets due to shallow boring, and he is looking for a mechanism for recourse.

Mayor Keeney stated the search for a City Planner continues.

Mayor Keeney asked that any Council Member interested in serving on the Personnel Committee please let him know.

Mayor Keeney stated the search for a new Police Chief has been completed. The committee believes they have selected a great candidate in Otha Wayne Woods from Lovejoy, Georgia. Chief Sisemore is looking forward to retirement. Mayor Keeney introduced Chief Woods and asked for a motion to approve his appointment effective October 15, 2018. Motion to approve was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Angela Perea. All approved.

New Business:

Mayor Keeney stated that in April the Council had discussed the fact that currently all franchise fees collected by the City are at 2%, with the exception of trash which is at 4%. The maximum for franchise fees set by the State is 4.25%. Mayor Keeney said the Council's recommendation at that time was making the increase to 4% overall by the end of the year. With visitors in the audience from Black Hills and Ozark Electric, this topic was discussed at length. Mayor Keeney presented RESOLUTION 2018-16: A RESOLUTION INCREASING THE FRANCHISE FEE FOR UTILITY SERVICES PROVIDED WITHIN THE CITY OF JOHNSON and asked for a motion to read it by title only, which was made by John Wright and  econded by Dan Cross. All approved. Resolution 2018-16 was read by City Attorney Danny Wright and motion to approve the reading was made by Dan Cross and seconded by John Wright. All present approved except Bob Fant who voted no. RESOLUTION 2018-16 was approved.

Mayor Keeney presented RESOLUTION 2018-14: A RESOLUTION LEVYING A TAX ON THE REAL AND PERSONAL PROPERTY WITHIN THE CITY OF JOHNSON, ARKANSAS, FOR THE YEAR 2018, FIXING THE RATE THEREOF AT 5 MILLS, AND CERTIFYING THE SAME TO THE COUNTY CLERK OF WASHINGTON COUNTY, ARKANSAS. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to read it by title only which was made by Dan Cross and seconded by Angela Perea. All approved. Resolution 2018-14 was read by City Attorney Danny Wright and motion to approve the reading was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Dan Cross. All approved. RESOLUTION 2018-14 was approved.

Mayor Keeney presented RESOLUTION 2018-15: A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF PROFESSIONAL SERVICES AGREEMENT FOR ENGINEERING SERVICES WITH HAWKINS-WEIR ENGINEERS, lNC. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to read it by title only which was made by Bob Fant and seconded by Dan Cross. All approved. Resolution 2018- 15 was read by City Attorney Danny Wright and motion to approve the reading was made by Dan Cross and seconded by John Wright. All approved. RESOLUTION 2018-15 was approved.

Mayor Keeney presented ORDINANCE 2018-11: AN ORDINANCE CREATING A JOHNSON FIRE DEPARTMENT AS A DEPARTMENT OF THE CITY, CREATING THE DEPARTMENT HEAD POSITION OF FIRE CHIEF AND SETTING FORTH THE DUTIES THEREOF IN ORDER TO PROVIDE FIRE SERVICE TO THE CITY OF JOHNSON ON JANUARY 1, 2019, AND THEREAFTER. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to read Ordinance 2018-11 by title only, waiving the second and third readings. Motion was made by John Wright and seconded by Bob Fant. Roll call: Angela Perea,yes., Bill Burnett,yes;, John Wright,yes., Bob Fant,yes., Dan Cross, yes. City Attorney Danny Wright read the ordinance by title only. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve this reading of ORDINANCE 2018-11 by title only. Motion was made by John Wright and seconded by Bob Fant. Roll call: Angela Perea,yes., Bill Burnett,yes., John Wright, yes., Bob Fant, yes; Dan Cross, yes. ORDINANCE 2018-11 was approved.

Mayor Keeney asked for approval of the appointment of Matt Mills to the part time Chief position of the Johnson Fire Department effective November 1, 2018. Motion to approve was made by John Wright and seconded by Angela Perea. All approved.

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. Bob Fant made a motion to pay the bills and Angela Perea 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 7:06 pin.

Respectfully Submitted,

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