LIVE UPDATES: City Council recap: Oct. 20, 2015

On the agenda

  • Consolidating the Fayetteville Fire Pension and Relief Fund Proposal with LOPFI.
  • A $425,000 contract for improvements at Gordon Long Park.
  • Three contracts totaling $3.6 million for and expansion of the Recycling and Trash Collection Facility.
  • Changes to a bill of assurance that would allow a new restaurant and brewery in north Fayetteville.

» Download the agenda (PDF)

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2015 inside room 219 of the City Administration Building, located at 113 W. Mountain St. 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, Justin Tennant, Martin Schoppmeyer, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: None
» View current attendance records

City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Public Facilities Board Appointment (PDF): Mayor appointment subject to confirmation by the governing body.
Pass 8-0

2. Ozark Regional Transit Presentation: This presentation was postponed at the Oct. 6 meeting.


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

1. Approval of the Sept. 29, 2015 Special City Council meeting minutes.
Pass 8-0

2. Fayetteville Police Department Policies (PDF): A resolution to approve Fayetteville Police Department policies on disciplinary and award procedures and professional standards and to eliminate Fayetteville policies no longer needed on jailer duty; jail emergency plan, prisoner care and suicide identification.
Pass 8-0

Unfinished Business

1. Fayetteville Fire Pension and Relief Fund Proposal to Consolidate with LOPFI (PDF): An ordinance transferring administration of retirement coverage for eligible members of the Fayetteville Fire Pension and Relief Fund to the Arkansas Local Police and Fire Retirement System (LOPFI) and authorizing the mayor to enter into an irrevocable agreement with LOPFI and approving an emergency clause.
Left on the second reading

NOTES: Alderman LaTour compared the proposal to writing a blank check, and said it was “somewhat reckless” of the board to increase its benefits to 90% in 2001, especially since they believe they don’t have the legal ability to reduce the percentage.

La Tour asked City Attorney Kit Williams if it was legally possible to increase property taxes to fund the pension program. Williams said Arkansas law allows cities to collect up to 1 mill for the fire pension and up to 1 mill for the police pension fund. Currently, Fayetteville collects 0.4 mills for the fire pension and 0.4 mills for the police pension. Despite having the ability to raise taxes, La Tour said he doesn’t think it’s likely voters would approve a tax hike at this time.

Williams said he has concerns about the legality of the proposal. He said a judge may one day rule that the consolidation is an extension of credit to another entity, which is a violation of state law. Williams called it “a danger that it is too much for me to ignore.”

Williams said he disagrees with the board’s (and the attorney general’s recent) opinion that there is no legal way to reduce benefits.

Alderman Matthew Petty said he’s been feeling inclined to vote in favor of the proposal, but Williams’ concerns tonight are giving him pause.

Alderman Mark Kinion suggested leaving the proposal on the second reading tonight. Kinion said he’d like more time to gather more information before voting on the proposal. Mayor Lioneld Jordan said if consolidation is to occur, a decision must be made by Oct. 31, but said he would be happy to call a special City Council meeting before the end of the month.

Alderman Justin Tennant said this is the toughest decision he’s faced since joining the City Council in 2011. He called the proposal a “bad business decision,” but said he feels terrible having to tell that to retirees and their widows.

Mayor Jordan agreed with Tennant. He said there are three options: Do nothing and have the fund emptied in 8-10 years; Consolidate with LOPFI and lose control of how much taxpayer money is spent; or ask taxpayers for a millage increase to make up the difference needed.

“The fund is insolvent and it is going down, so we’re going to have to make some tough decisions,” said Jordan. “On one hand we have an obligation to the pensioners and on the other we have an obligation to the taxpayers.”

The council agreed to schedule a special City Council meeting on Oct. 30.

New Business

1. USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant (PDF): A resolution to authorize the acceptance of a USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program Grant with the USDA Agricultural Marketing Service in the amount of $58,856.00 for the city to expand and promote economic opportunities for producers operating through the Fayetteville Farmers Market, to approve an agreement with the Rural Mountain Producers Exchange and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 7-1

NOTES: Alderman La Tour voted against, and said he doesn’t think cities should take federal dollars for local programs. La Tour said he realizes it’s a national issue. “But it starts here,” he said.

2. Walton Family Foundation (PDF): A resolution to express the City Council’s thanks and gratitude to the Walton Family Foundation for its generous $390,000.00 matching grant for the construction of the Clabber Creek Trail, to approve the grant agreement and to approve a budget adjustment to recognize this $390,000.00 grant.
Pass 8-0

3. Bid 15-42 JLA Enterprises, Inc. (PDF): A resolution to award Bid no. 15-42, to authorize the contract with JLA Enterprises, Inc. in the amount of $425,521.90 for construction of a restroom and parking lot improvements at Gordon Long Park, to approve a 5% project contingency in the amount of $21,276.10, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

NOTES: Before the vote Alderman La Tour said the city could probably put this project off for a couple of years and instead put the money toward another use, like the firemen’s pension fund.

Alderman Long said if the city waits, it will cost much more because some of the grant money being used won’t be available in the future. Alderman Petty agreed with Long and said the grant money is only available for this use, and cannot be transferred to another project.

4. Benchmark Construction of NWA, Inc. (PDF): A resolution to approve a contract with Benchmark Construction of NWA, Inc. in the amount of $3,373,506.91 for the construction of the Recycling and Trash Collection Facility expansion; to approve a project contingency in the amount of $150,000.00; to approve change order no. 1 to reflect value engineering items and reduce the contract amount by $298,732.00; and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 6-2

NOTES: City staff said some of the money for the project would come from reserves in the department’s fund that was saved when other projects used less money than expected. Alderman La Tour asked why the city didn’t give refunds to citizens who pay trash and recycling fees each month when money is saved on a project. Alderwoman Marsh said it wouldn’t be wise to give away excess funds when they could instead be stored away for either an emergency or for future infrastructure needs. She said by keeping money on hand, residents don’t have to deal with rate increases every time a new infrastructure project is needed.

The council eventually voted 6-2 to approve the project, with La Tour and Long voting against.

5. McGoodwin, Williams and Yates, Inc. Amendment No. 3 (PDF): A resolution to approve amendment no. 3 to the agreement with McGoodwin, Williams and Yates, Inc. for construction phase services associated with the Recycling and Trash Collection Division office building expansion and site improvements in an amount not to exceed $217,861.00.
Pass 7-1

NOTES: Alderman La Tour voted against.

6. Grubbs, Hoskyn, Barton & Wyatt, Inc. (PDF): A resolution to authorize a contract with Grubbs, Hoskyn, Barton & Wyatt, Inc. for materials testing services for the Recycling and Trash Collection Facility expansion and improvements project in an amount not to exceed $25,000.00.
Pass 7-1

NOTES: Alderman La Tour voted against.

7. VAC 15-5206 (5026 Talon Trail/Falcon Ridge S/D) (PDF): An ordinance to approve VAC 15-5206 submitted by Jorgensen and Associates, Inc. for property located at 5026 E. Talon Trail to vacate a drainage easement.
Pass 8-0

8. ADM 15-5205 (SW Corner Van Asche Drive & Steele Boulevard/CMN Business Park, Lot 6) (PDF): An ordinance to amend ordinance no. 3936 by amending the restrictions which had prohibited restaurants by allowing such use unit 13 restaurants with outdoor music as conditional uses upon a 2.24 acre parcel (lot 6) on the southwest corner of Van Asche Drive and Steele Boulevard.
Pass 8-0

Notes: Asa Hutchinson III, an attorney representing the applicant, said he doesn’t believe the restaurant restriction should apply to the corner of Van Asche and Steele where the restaurant and brewery is planned. He said be believes the original intent of the bill of assurance was only meant to prohibit restaurants along two 400-foot strips of land – one at the north edge of the Centerbrook Subdivision, and one along the east border of the neighborhood. Hutchinson said if outdoor live music occurs on the property, it would be limited and would not happen as often as other venues around town.

Alderman Justin Tennant said the council shouldn’t set a precedent to disallow restaurants in an area that is ripe for a wide variety of commercial development. He said if the applicant wants to host live music, they’d have to go through a separate process.

Marshall King, a resident of the Centerbrook Subdivision, said he is in favor of the proposal. He said the neighborhood is already noisy, with traffic coming from a hospital, train tracks, a shopping center, and the Fulbright Expressway.

The council voted unanimously to approve the ordinance.

9. ANX 15-5181: (1620 S. Ed Edwards Rd./Salsbury) (PDF): An ordinance to annex that property described in annexation petition ANX 15-5181 submitted by Curtis Hogue for property located at 1620 S. Ed Edwards Rd. containing approximately 0.83 acres.
Pass 8-0

10. Amend Chapter 167 and 177 (PDF): An ordinance to repeal § 167.04 (j)(5) maintenance agreement and landscape establishment guarantee, to enact § 167.10 tree maintenance agreements and to amend § 177.05 (a)(2)(f) by deleting a portion of this subsection and enacting § 177.10 tree maintenance agreements to improve maintenance and survivablity of mitigation trees.
Pass 8-0

Notes: Amended 8-0 to include an emergency clause so that the ordinance will go into effect immediately.


– A Ward 4 meeting is scheduled on Oct. 26 at 6 p.m. in room 111 of City Hall.
– The Ward 1 meeting that appeared on the city’s calendar for Oct. 23 was an error.
– The city’s new Spring Street parking deck will open at 11 a.m. Friday, Oct. 23.


This meeting was adjourned at 8:49 p.m.