City Council Minutes
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City Council Minutes

January 12, 2021

 

JANUARY 12, 2021 CITY COUNCIL MEETING
January 12, 2021 at 6:00 PM
Via Zoom (In person option available)
MINUTES

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CALL TO ORDER
Mayor Keeney called the meeting to order at 6:00 PM. Present were Mayor Chris Keeney, Council Member Bill Burnett, Council Member Bob Fant, Council Member Angela Perea, Council Member John Wright, Council Member Katherine Hudson, Council Member Dan Cross, City Clerk/Treasurer Jennifer Allen, City Attorney Justin Eichmann, Police Chief Wayne Woods, Fire Chief Donald Ferguson, and Building Official Clay Wilson.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES

1.APPROVAL OF DECEMBER 8, 2020 COUNCIL MINUTES
Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the December 8, 2020 City Council Minutes. Motion made by Council Member Fant, Seconded by Council Member Burnett. Voting Yea: Council Member Burnett, Council Member Fant, Council Member Perea, Council Member Wright, Council Member Hudson, Council Member Cross.

DEPARTMENTAL REPORTS

2.POLICE DEPARTMENT
8 CID cases were opened and 6 closed. Johnson has been known in the past as a speed trap, but only 8 of the 178 traffic citations issued in 2020 were actual speeding tickets.

Chief Woods requested Council approval to purchase 2 Tahoes; the one that was approved but not available last year and one budgeted for this year, not to exceed $120,000 completely outfitted. Base price for each is $33,892.00 + tax at State bid price plus outfitting. Motion made by Council Member Fant, Seconded by Council Member Hudson. Voting Yea: Council Member Burnett, Council Member Fant, Council Member Perea, Council Member Wright, Council Member Hudson, Council Member Cross.

No Santa on the Square was held this year, but the Department was able to help 33 families and 80 children receive Christmas presents with the remaining toys going to Arkansas Children’s Hospital.

3.FIRE DEPARTMENT
Mayor Keeney introduced the new Fire Chief Donald Ferguson who came to us from Shreveport, LA. Chief Ferguson said he was happy to be here and appreciates the opportunity. The department handled 31 calls, 18 were EMS and received 60 training hours last month. 453 calls in 2020 was a record over 2019 at 416.

4.PUBLIC WORKS
Every year bridges are evaluated. Need to clean out whistles on tributary 4 – PW crew is working on that this week. Small patch of maintenance on Wilkerson at the city limits. Department is maintaining the status quo and doing what they should do. Everybody is healthy.

5.BUILDING OFFICIAL
No new Building permits issued, 7 mechanical permits and 2 final inspections. Worked on vehicle maintenance, completed MS4 inspections and attended yearly MS4 training. STAA permits to clean out bridges were received.

6.SPECIAL COMMITTEES
Chairman Dan Cross saith the Planning Commission had a lengthy work session to try to get new Ordinances for landscape and parking procedures to move forward to the council. The meeting lasted 2 1/2 - 3 hours. They are working on procedures to limit the discussion time for each topic. Trying to be cleaner and more professional going forward.

7.CITY CLERK/TREASURER
City Clerk Jennifer Allen said tonight she was using the new MuniMeeting software that is part of our MuniDoc package to take minutes. The difference in the formatting of the agenda and packets is from using this software which will make the process cleaner and easier going forward. State Turnback and 2020 Property Tax penalties and corrections have been received (totaling $21,462.36), but monthly Property Tax and Sales Tax have not. First of the year bills paid from the General Fund including 2021 Workers’ Comp, various membership fees and annual bills totaled $24,120.28. Diamond C was paid $28,557.63 from the Street Fund to for the work done so far on the Carley Road sidewalk. 2020 left the City in great shape financially and plans are being developed to put those resources to work in 2021.

8.CITY ATTORNEY
Worked on parking and landscape code with the Planning Commission. In the new Legislative Session, a lot of activity will be coming forward that will affect cities. let us know if something will directly affect Johnson.
The Health Department included requiring municipal meetings with over 10 people to prepare a plan in advance, so we will continue to meet via zoom for the foreseeable future. Governor Hutchinson has asked the Legislature to continue practices that were put in place by executive order last year.

9.MAYOR
The Sidewalk on the west side of north Carley is closer to being completed, but there is no completion date yet. A partial payment has been made on the job.

Last month the milling and overlay of Main Drive was let out for bid. $76,340 was bid by Hutchison Construction and $89,591 was bid by Tomlinson. On review, the lower bid did not meet the requirements of having the bid booklet completed along with some other errors. The other party had concerns as well as City Engineer. City Attorney Eichmann says the City always can rebid due to errors. Mayor Keeney said there are 2 options - go with higher bid that was complete or put it out for rebid. Options were discussed. Motion made by Council Member Fant, Seconded by Council Member Wright to go out for rebid. Voting Yea: Council Member Burnett, Council Member Fant, Council Member Perea, Council Member Wright, Council Member Hudson, Council Member Cross.

Mayor Keeney let the Council know 17 businesses closed, 22 opened in 2020. The City did not notice any difference in our sales tax. Still netted 5 extra businesses in 2020. 3 more new businesses will open in 2021. Wright's BBQ, La Media Luna are busy as is Dollar General.

There was discussion about the new road and the steps needed to make it happen. Mayor Keeney said there is a lot of work to do but COVID-19 and the current social unrest were the biggest barriers to even thinking about holding a special bond election.

UNFINISHED BUSINESS: NONE

NEW BUSINESS

10.RESOLUTION 2021-01: A RESOLUTION AMENDING THE 2020 BUDGET FOR THE CITY OF JOHNSON, ARKANSAS. Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to approve Resolution 2021-01. This is the adjustment to the budget that is done annually. Motion made by Council Member Fant, Seconded by Council Member Hudson. Voting Yea: Council Member Burnett, Council Member Fant, Council Member Perea, Council Member Wright, Council Member Hudson, Council Member Cross.

MOTION TO PAY BILLS
Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to pay the bills. Motion made by Council Member Fant, Seconded by Council Member Perea. Voting Yea: Council Member Burnett, Council Member Fant, Council Member Perea, Council Member Wright, Council Member Hudson, Council Member Cross.

MOTION TO ADJOURN
Mayor Keeney asked for a motion to adjourn. Motion made by Council Member Burnett, Seconded by Council Member Fant. Voting Yea: Council Member Burnett, Council Member Fant, Council Member Perea, Council Member Wright, Council Member Hudson, Council Member Cross. Meeting was adjourned at 6:42 PM.

Respectfully Submitted,

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