City Council Recap: May 5, 2015

On the agenda

  • Prohibiting parking in front of and blocking mailboxes.
  • Removing term limits for volunteer boards and commissions.
  • Giving the Traffic Superintendent discretion to decide where no or limited parking markings should be.
  • Changes to the city’s door-to-door solicitation law.
  • Purchasing new scanners for the office of the City Clerk/Treasurer.
  • A resolution pursue policies to discourage the spread of invasive plant species.
  • Purchasing several vehicles for the Transportation, Parks & Rec, and Water & Sewer departments.

» Download the agenda (PDF)

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, 2015 inside room 219 of the City Administration Building, located at 113 W. Mountain Street in Fayetteville.

Listed below are the items up for approval and links to downloadable PDFs for more information on each item of business.

Roll Call

Present: Adella Gray, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Martin Schoppmeyer, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: Justin Tennant

City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Quarterly Financial Report – 1st Quarter 2015Paul Becker, Chief Financial Officer


Consent items are typically approved in a single, all-inclusive vote.

1. Approval of the April 21, 2015 City Council meeting minutes.
Pass 6-1*

2. 2015 Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Agreement (PDF): A resolution to authorize the mayor to execute the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) agreement for 2015 when received in the amount of $574,209.00 and to approve the 2015 Action Plan.
Pass 6-1*

3. Amend Resolution No. 191-14 (PDF): A resolution to amend Resolution No. 191-14 concerning the purchase of two (2) International 7300 Dump Trucks with Henderson Belly Plows from Summit Truck Group of Lowell, Arkansas for use by the Transportation Division.
Pass 6-1*

4. Williams Tractor of Fayetteville (PDF): A resolution to authorize the purchase of one (1) Bobcat Toolcat Utility Vehicle from Williams Tractor of Fayetteville in the amount of $51,763.00 plus any applicable taxes, pursuant to a National Joint Powers Alliance Cooperative purchasing agreement, for use by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Pass 6-1*

5. Scott Equipment of Springdale (PDF): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a Gradall Xl3100 IV 4×2 Excavator Truck from Scott Equipment of Springdale, Arkansas in the amount of $313,324.00 pursuant to a National Joint Powers Alliance Cooperative purchasing agreement for use by the Transportation Services Department.
Pass 6-1*

6. Bid #15-22 Truck Centers of Arkansas (PDF): A resolution to award Bid #15-22 and authorize the purchase of three (3) Freightliner Dump Trucks from Truck Centers of Arkansas in the total amount of $368,232.00 for use by the Water and Sewer Operations Division and the Transportation Services Department, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 6-1*

7. Bid #15-29 Hutchens Construction (PDF): A resolution to award Bid #15-29 and authorize the purchase of cold asphalt concrete from Hutchens Construction for a unit price of $105.00 per ton as needed through the end of 2015.
Pass 6-1*

8. Amend Resolution No. 05-15 (PDF): A resolution to amend Resolution No. 05-15 concerning the Transportation Division Overlay/Sidewalk projects list for 2015.
Pass 6-1*

9. Garver, LLC Task Order No. 2 (PDF): A resolution to approve Task Order No. 2 with Garver, LLC for design work, bidding services, construction phase services, materials testing and closeout services associated with the Airport Terminal Apron Rehabilitation Project in an amount not to exceed $73,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 6-1*

10. Arkansas Department of Aeronautics Grant (PDF): A resolution to authorize application for an Arkansas Department of Aeronautics 90/10 grant in an amount up to $500,000.00 for rehabilitation of the Airport Terminal Parking Apron, with the final amount contingent on the actual cost of the project based on competitive bidding.
Pass 6-1*

11. Bright Investments, LLC (PDF): A resolution to approve the performance bond of Bright Investments, LLC to guarantee construction of required sidewalk improvements along Armstrong Avenue by the end of 2017.
Pass 6-1*

* Alderman La Tour voted against approval of the Consent Agenda items.

Unfinished Business

1. Amend §33.329 Eligibility of Citizen Volunteers (PDF): An ordinance to amend §33.329 Eligibility of Citizen Volunteers to serve on city boards, commissions and committees to remove the restriction on the number of consecutive terms a citizen may serve.
Fail 1-6

Notes: Alderman Long, who proposed the ordinance, voted yes.

Alderwoman Gray said she’d prefer to keep the rules the same, with a two-term limit.

“I like a lot of different folks to get to serve,” said Gray.

Alderman La Tour agreed, and said without turnover, meetings could be dominated by “professional committee members.”

“Serving two terms is plenty of time to influence policy and the administration’s dealings,” said La Tour.

Alderman Kinion said restrictions for appointed positions – as opposed to elected positions – help prevent cronyism and encourage new ideas. Plus, he said, an individual can still apply for another board after their two four-year terms are complete.

Alderwoman Marsh agreed with Kinion.

“We have almost 75,000 members of this community, so we have a huge pool to pull from,” said Marsh.

Two residents who spoke said they also prefer the current restrictions.

2. Amend § 72.03 Parking Prohibited in Certain Places (PDF): An ordinance to amend § 72.03 parking prohibited in certain places of the Fayetteville Code by enacting a new subsection to prohibit parking on a city street in front of and blocking a mailbox.
Pass 6-1

Notes: Alderman La Tour voted against.

The ordinance was amended to lower the fine to $15 instead of $70.

Alderwoman Marsh said she preferred the lighter penalty.

“That ($70) is more than a day’s wages for a service worker,” said Marsh.

Alderman La Tour said he didn’t think there was enough of a problem to address the issue.

“I’d like to see people work it out between themselves and the Post Office,” said La Tour.

Alderman Kinion said there are a lot of people who depend on the USPS for income checks, medical supplies, and pharmaceuticals. Having their mailboxes continually blocked, he said, is something that needs a remedy.

Alderman Petty said he’d be most comfortable if he knew that police officers would consider a three-strike rule before writing a ticket.

Alderwoman Gray said the ordinance is needed in neighborhoods across town. She said she’d also appreciate knowing that police officers would err on the side of informing people of the ordinance before issuing citations.

Police Chief Greg Tabor said he anticipates officers giving “a great deal of warnings” when the new law goes into effect.

Residents who spoke were split on the issue. Two people said they were in favor of the ordinance, and two said they were against it.

New Business

1. Amend § 72.34 Parking Signs or Curb Markings Required (PDF): An ordinance to amend § 72.34 Parking Signs or Curb Markings Required of the Fayetteville Code to authorize the Traffic Superintendent to erect signs or paint curbs indicating a No Parking zone where necessary.
Pass 7-0

Note: There was some confusion over the intent of this proposal. The ordinance is related to another ordinance that was passed tonight, which prohibits parking in front of someone’s mailbox. Without this change, the city would be required to paint no parking markings around every mailbox in town. This new law allows the Traffic Superintendent to decide if those markings are truly needed in a specific area.

2. VAC 15-5001 (4301/4331 N. Waterside Ct./Sims-Renner Office Building) (PDF): An ordinance approving VAC 15-5001 submitted by Bates & Associates for property located at 4301/4331 N. Waterside Court to vacate an access easement.
Pass 7-0

3. Amend §116.02 Door-to-Door Solicitation (PDF): An ordinance amending §116.02 Door-to-Door solicitation at private residences (D)(4) of the Fayetteville Code in order to provide an improved and expedited background check process for applicants and to declare an emergency.
Pass 7-0

4. Amend §178.03 (E) and (F) (PDF): An ordinance amending §178.03(E) and (F) of the Unified Development Code to remove pre-approved sidewalk vendor locations in front of the Walton Arts Center as agreed upon in Resolution 118-04, and to streamline the approval process for alternative locations.
Pass 7-0

5. Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. (PDF): An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and authorize the purchase of two (2) Kodak I4200 scanners from Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. of Dallas, Texas in the total amount of $19,884.00 plus applicable sales taxes for use by the office of the City Clerk/Treasurer.
Pass 7-0

6. Express City Council Intent to Develop Invasive Plant Species Policy (PDF): A resolution to express the City Council’s intent to develop policies or ordinances to discourage the spread of invasive plant species.
Pass 6-1

Notes: Alderman La Tour voted against the resolution.

Council members Long, Kinion, Gray, and Marsh said they were in strong support of looking into a policy that could help manage invasive species.

One resident, who is a biology teacher, said there are 297 invasive species in Washington County, which is the highest in the state of Arkansas.

Another person said bush honeysuckle has an interesting history. The species, he said, did not exist in North America until it was brought over from Asia in the late 1800s. He said the species was actually once sold at a local nursery and promoted as ornamental landscaping, which likely contributed to the overwhelming amount of bush honeysuckle that’s now in the area. The rampant and aggressive growth of the bush honeysuckle, he said, leads the plants to produce dense thickets that block sunlight, and prevent natural species from growing underneath. This process of pushing out native plants, he said, needs to be controlled.

Russell Black, owner of Westwood Gardens, said the policy should be heavily focused on education and offered his help in the city’s drafting of a policy.

Dr. Donald Steinkraus, a professor at the University of Arkansas and chair of the Urban Forestry Advisory Board, said the time to act is now. He said many invasive species have no natural use at all and only stand to destroy the native environment. He said the state of New York recently passed a law prohibiting the sale and distribution of about 60 invasive species.

Alderman John La Tour said he cannot support studying an invasive species policy because he said it could lead to the government restricting what people grow on their private property. He said landowners should be able to plant anything they want on their own property as long as the plant is contained and doesn’t physically invade someone else’s land.

Kyle Smith, a member of Environmental Action Committee, disagreed with Alderman La Tour, and said it is sometimes appropriate to put restrictions in place for what can be done on private property, especially if those restrictions are intended to protect the overall community environment.


This meeting was adjourned at 7:44 p.m.