LIVE UPDATES: City Council Meeting Recap: March 7, 2017

File photo

On the agenda

  • A $3.1 million allocation to TheatreSquared.
  • A $1.7 million allocation for city employee raises.
  • A contract for concession stand operations at city parks.
  • Purchasing two vehicles for the Fleet Operations department.
  • Replacement of a K-9 officer.
  • Changes to the city’s telecommunications laws.

» Download the full agenda

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 7, 2017 inside room 219 of City Hall, located at 113 W. Mountain St. in Fayetteville.

Listed below are the items up for approval and links to PDF documents with detailed information on each item of business.

Roll Call

Present: Adella Gray, Sarah Marsh, Mark Kinion, Matthew Petty, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Justin Tennant, Sarah Bunch, John La Tour, Alan Long
Absent: None

» View current attendance records

Mayor’s Announcements, Proclamations and Recognitions

1. 2016 4th Quarter Financial Report: Paul Becker, Chief Financial Officer


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

1. Approval of the Feb. 21, 2017 City Council Meeting Minutes
Pass 8-0

2. Lewis Ford of Fayetteville Dodge Ram 2500 (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a dodge Ram 2500 regular cab, long bed truck from Lewis Ford of Fayetteville, Arkansas in the amount of $21,443.00, pursuant to a state procurement contract, for use by Fleet Operations.
Pass 8-0

3. Lewis Ford of Fayetteville Ford C-Max Hybrid (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a Ford C-Max Hybrid from Lewis Ford of Fayetteville, Arkansas in the amount of $21,542.00, pursuant to a state procurement contract, for use by Fleet Operations.
Pass 8-0

4. Professional Turf Products, L.P. (Details): A resolution to authorize the purchase of a Toro Sand Pro 5040 from Professional Turf Products, L.P. of Tulsa, Oklahoma in the amount of $23,423.95 pursuant to National Intergovernmental Purchasing Alliance Contract #120535 for use by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Pass 8-0

5. Bid No. 17-25 Arkansas Roofing Company Conway, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award Bid No. 17-25 and approve a construction contract with Arkansas Roofing Company Conway, Inc. for the Corporate Hangar Roof Rehabilitation Project at Drake Field in the amount of $109,841.00 with a project contingency in the amount of $12,659.10, contingent upon receipt of a 90-10 grant from the Arkansas Department of Aeronautics.
Pass 8-0

6. Afterglow Lease Agreement (Details): A resolution to approve a three-year lease agreement with Exclusive Flight, LLC d/b/a Afterglow Aircraft Services for the hangar located at 4580 S. School Ave. in the amount of $2,400.00 per month.
Pass 8-0

7. Parks and Recreation Donation Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the total amount of $5,545.00 representing donations to the Parks and Recreation Department in 2016.
Pass 8-0

8. Park Concession Stands (Details): A resolution to approve a 10-month contract with James and Jewel Morrow with a one-year automatic renewal for 2018 to provide for operation of the concession stands at Kessler Mountain Regional Park Soccer Complex, Gary Hampton Softball Complex, Lake Fayetteville Softball Complex, and Wilson Park Pool.
Pass 8-0

9. Animal Services Donation Revenue (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $10,777.00 representing donation revenue to Animal Services in November and December of 2016.
Pass 8-0

10. K-9 Officer Replacement (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment of $12,000.00 for a replacement of our current K-9 officer and for tuition for the new K-9 officer and its handler.
Pass 8-0

11. Fayetteville District Court Budget Adjustment (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $10,000.00 recognizing revenue from the Court Automation Fund for upgrades to the video arraignment equipment used by the Fayetteville District Court.
Pass 8-0

12. Insituform Technologies, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve the final contract extension with Insituform Technologies, Inc. and to approve an authorization of up to $330,000.00 for sewer rehabilitation projects in 2017 using cured-in-place sanitary sewer linings.
Pass 8-0

13. Environmental Consulting Operations, Inc. Amendment 3 (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment 3 to the contract with Environmental Consulting Operations, Inc. in the amount of $56,500.00 for wetlands mitigation site monitoring and management in 2017.
Pass 8-0

14. Gulley Park Trail Improvements (Details): A resolution to express the willingness of the City of Fayetteville to utilize federal-aid recreational trails program funds for Gulley Park trail improvements.
Pass 8-0

15. Federal-Aid Transportation Alternatives Program Funds (Details): A resolution to express the willingness of the City of Fayetteville to utilize Federal-Aid Transportation Alternatives Program funds and authorize application for a 20% local match grant through the Arkansas Transportation Alternatives Program in an amount up to $500,000.00 for the construction of the shared use trail on the Wedington Drive bridge across Interstate 49.
Pass 8-0

Unfinished Business

1. Amend §110.02 Telecommunications Franchises (Details): An ordinance to amend §110.02 Telecommunications Franchises of the City Code to include and incorporate references to competing local exchange carriers and any other telecommunications providers desiring to use city street rights of way.
Tabled 8-0

Notes: City Attorney Kit Williams requested the item be tabled until further notice due to some possible new state legislature action that could affect the ordinance.

New Business

1. Granicus, Incorporated (Details): An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and approve a one-year contract with Granicus, Incorporated in the amount of $42,765.06 for 2017 with four possible annual renewals with a 3% cost increase each year.
Pass 8-0

2. JMSH, LLC. (Details): An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and to approve a cost share agreement with JMSH, LLC. for the installation of water and sewer mains along a portion of North Assembly Drive north of East Maple Street with the estimated amount to be paid by the City of Fayetteville not to exceed $31,800.00, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $6,360.00 for a total of $38,160.00.
Pass 8-0

3. U.S. Geological Survey (Details): An ordinance to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and authorize a joint funding agreement with the U.S. Geological Survey for stream gauge operation and maintenance and water quality sampling and monitoring at various locations in the City of Fayetteville in 2017 with the amount paid by the city not to exceed $61,721.00.
Pass 8-0

4. Amend § 160.02 Official Zoning Map (Details): An ordinance to amend § 160.02 Official Zoning Map of the Unified Development Code to adopt a digital format for the City of Fayetteville’s official zoning map.
Pass 8-0

5. Total Compensation Implementation and Compensation Philosophy (Details): A resolution to approve an updated compensation philosophy, to accept the Johanson Group Classification, Compensation and Benefits Study Report and adopt the financial recommendations of the mayor, and to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $1,700,300.00 to implement the 2017 Compensation Plan.
Pass 8-0

Notes: Paul Becker, the city’s finance director, said tonight’s proposal is to partially implement what the Johanson study recommends (based on the adjusted market survey results).

Also, since the increases would compound year over year, and since city revenues cannot currently guarantee support of the full recommendation, Mayor Jordan has proposed funding raises for this year and revisiting the situation next year depending on how much of a sales tax increase the city gains in 2017. Becker said the only other option for funding the full recommendation would be a property tax increase, which Jordan does not currently support.

Tonight’s proposal would bring Fayetteville to within 3.5 to 4 percent of the police and fire salaries that employees receive in eight other Arkansas cities including Bentonville, Conway, Fort Smith, Jonesboro, Little Rock, North Little Rock, Rogers and Springdale.

Fire Capt. Jimmy Vinyard said he would like to see the formation of a committee that would explore ways – other than property tax increases – to sustainably provide the full recommended pay increases instead of waiting each year to see if there are enough sales tax leftovers to fund raises.

Officer Scott O’Dell, a city police detective, said it’s difficult to watch other projects be considered for funding when uniformed employees aren’t being paid salaries that are on par with what police and fire workers receive in other area cities.

Mayor Jordan said he would create a committee as requested this evening. He said the city’s previous study conducted several years ago brought in different market survey results and that employee pay was adjusted to meet that number. However, he said the updated survey recommends a plan that the city simply cannot afford at this time.

6. TheatreSquared Proposed Project (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment of three million one hundred thousand dollars ($3,100,000.00) to invest in the TheatreSquared proposed project to be built on city property leased to TheatreSquared, Inc.
Pass 7-1

Renderings by Kilograph / Courtesy TheatreSquared

Notes: For more background, see our story from last week.

This proposal would help local non-profit TheatreSquared build its planned $34 million facility at the southeast corner of West Avenue and Spring Street across from the Spring Street Parking Deck.

The city’s money would come from the general fund reserve, which grew by about $3 million to $19 million in 2016 due to increased sales tax and building permit revenues.

TheatreSquared originally requested $7 million from the city, and while Mayor Jordan said he’s in full support of the project, he doesn’t recommend granting the full request.

Similar to the Walton Arts Center, which is a joint ownership between the city, the UA and the WAC, the new theatre – including the land on which it’s built – would be owned by the city.

Martin Miller, TheatreSquared’s executive director, said the new facility would cement Fayetteville’s future as the region’s theatre district. Artistic Director Bob Ford said attendance last season topped 40,000.

The two reiterated a promise that the building will include public common areas, and reminded the council that the expanded facility is estimated to nearly double the organization’s economic impact, which city staff have said is about $2.3 million per year.

Miller said the project would break ground later this year, and construction is expected to be completed in time for the 2019 season.

Alderman Justin Tennant said he’s concerned about the organization’s expected funding of the costs associated with operating a new building versus the current cost of leasing the Walton Arts Center-owned Nadine Baum Studios building. Tennant said he wants to be comfortable knowing that TheatreSquared won’t go out of business in a few years and leave an empty building in downtown Fayetteville.

Miller said he plans to soon announce more grants that could address those concerns.

Alderman Alan Long asked if the Freedom of Information Act would apply to TheatreSquared like it does the Walton Arts Center. City Attorney Kit Williams said it would not because T2 is a private non-profit whereas WAC is a semi-public organization that includes city and public board representation.

Long moved to amend the resolution to include that the Freedom of Information Act should apply to TheatreSquared during the construction process. Tennant seconded the motion.

Alderman Matthew Petty said while he believes the intent of Long’s motion comes from a good place, the mechanics of forcing T2 to adhere to FOI would be very difficult. For example, T2 would be required to inform the press of discussions between board members. That requirement alone, he said, would be an immense burden on the organization, especially during the fundraising process. He said the council should trust the city attorney to draft an agreement that protects the city’s investment.

Tennant said a $3.1 million investment should come with a guarantee of public oversight, at least during the construction of the facility.

Alderman La Tour said accountability is important, but agreed with Petty’s belief that using FOIA would be like “killing a fly with a sledgehammer.” He said a legal contract could accomplish the same goals of ensuring public funds are used appropriately.

Long’s motion failed 2-6, with support coming only from Long and Tennant.

La Tour said he’s been torn over this proposal, mostly because he feels bad about providing funding for TheatreSquared when city employees need raises. However, he said he believes the project is an economic development tool that will lead to more revenue, which could eventually provide funds for employee raises.

Several people spoke in favor of the proposal, including Bill Schwab, a 40-year resident of Fayetteville and a professor in the University of Arkansas’ Department of Sociology. Schwab said from the Farmers’ Market to the Fayetteville Public Library, and from the Walton Arts Center to the Botanical Garden of the Ozarks, the City Council has for years helped build things that make the city such a coveted community. He said an investment in the new TheatreSquared facility is another opportunity to strengthen the sense of place that consistently lands Fayetteville within the top ranks of the best places to live.

Alderwoman Adella Gray said she’s proud to lend support to TheatreSquared. She said the organization has gone above and beyond in its efforts to keep the City Council informed of its plans and its intentions for growth. She said she looks forward to using the new building’s public spaces for meetings with friends and colleagues, and believes the added exposure to the arts that the facility will provide is a sound investment.

Tennant said while he supports TheatreSquared and the arts, he’s still concerned that he hasn’t been shown a more detailed plan for longterm successful operation of the facility. “If I’m going to invest over $3 million of the public’s money, I need to feel comfortable,” he said, adding that he would prefer the council wait until a future meeting before making a final decision. “I’m just not convinced there aren’t other things that would bring equal or more investment potential.”

Alderwoman Sarah Marsh said the main strategic focus area of the city’s newly adopted economic development plan recommends supporting the development of an expanded cultural arts district that includes a concentration of amenities, including fine arts facilities like concert halls, theaters and galleries. She said the investment will lead to more sales tax revenue that will support other needed city services.

Alderman Mark Kinion agreed and said the return on investment will be great in both the short and long run.

Mayor Jordan said studies cited at the U.S. Conference of Mayors have shown that the arts is the third-best economic driver for a city. He said the facility will ensure Fayetteville becomes the region’s premiere theatre district.

During the final vote, the resolution was approved 7-1 with Tennant voting against.


– Jeremy Pate, the city’s development services director, announced he is resigning this month after 14 years as a city employee. Pate has accepted a job offer at the Walton Family Foundation.
– A public meeting to view the state’s plans to improve the interchange at I-49 and Wedington Drive is scheduled from 4-7 p.m. Thursday, March 9 in the cafeteria at Asbell Elementary School, 1500 N. Sang Ave.
– A public meeting to discuss the Walker Park Master Plan is scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday, March 9 at the city’s Senior Activity and Wellness Center, 945 S. College Ave.


This meeting was adjourned at 9:03 p.m.