Fayetteville City Council recap: Feb. 7, 2023

(Flyer photo, File)

On the agenda…

  • Contracts for improvements at Gulley Park.
  • Razing and removing a structure on Wyman Road.
  • Approving a graffiti abatement program.
  • Vacating easements near the UA campus.
  • Increasing funding for the city’s childcare assistance program.
  • Updating the city’s Active Transportation Plan.

» Download the agenda

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023 inside City Hall in Room 219. The meeting is also available on Zoom and is broadcast live on the city’s YouTube channel.

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

Roll call

Present: Sonia Harvey, D’Andre Jones, Sarah Moore, Mike Wiederkehr, Mayor Lioneld Jordan, Scott Berna, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Holly Hertzberg
Absent: None

» View current attendance records

City Council Meeting Presentations, Reports and Discussion Items

1. Monthly Financial Report

Presented by Paul Becker


Consent items are approved in a single, all-inclusive vote unless an item is pulled by a council member at the beginning of the meeting.

1. Approval of the Jan. 17, 2022 City Council Meeting Minutes.
Pass 8-0

2. Washington County Regional Ambulance Authority Subrecipient Agreement Amendment #1 (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment #1 to the subrecipient agreement with the Washington County Regional Ambulance Authority to modify the number and types of ambulances authorized to be purchased using American Rescue Plan Act funds.
Pass 8-0

3. Fire Department On Call Policy AOP-124 (Details): A resolution to approve policy AOP-124, On Call Policy of the Fayetteville Fire Department administrative operating procedures, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

4. Turf Tank (Details): A resolution to waive competitive bidding and approve the purchase of a Turf Tank robotic line painter from Turf Tank in the amount of $49,936.25 plus applicable taxes and freight charges, for use by the Parks and Recreation Department.
Pass 8-0

5. Horner & Shifrin, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a professional engineering services agreement with Horner & Shifrin, Inc., pursuant to RFQ 22-01 Selection #7, in an amount not to exceed $84,668.91 for engineering services associated with the Dot Tipton Lift Station elimination project, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $10,000.00.
Pass 8-0

6. Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve a professional engineering services agreement with Hawkins-Weir Engineers, Inc. pursuant to RFQ 21-01, Selection #14, in an amount not to exceed $268,440.00 for engineering services associated with utility relocations for the Interstate 49 and Highway 62 interchange improvements project.
Pass 8-0

7. Landscape Structures, Inc., Gulley Park (Details): A resolution to authorize a contract with Landscape Structures, Inc. in the amount of $734,936.97, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing agreement, for playground, splash pad, and related improvements at Gulley community park, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $80,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

8. Porter Corp. d/b/a Poligon, Gulley Park (Details): A resolution to authorize a contract with Porter Corp. d/b/a Poligon in the amount of $595,059.10, pursuant to a Sourcewell cooperative purchasing agreement, for the construction of a pavilion, shade structures, and related improvements at Gulley community park, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $34,400.00.
Pass 8-0

9. T-hangar Lease Agreements (Details): A resolution to approve t-hangar lease agreements in 2023 at the current rental rate for all t-hangars rented at the Fayetteville Airport.
Pass 8-0

10. Grant Application for Airport Master Plan Update at Drake Field (Details): A resolution to authorize the application for a Federal Aviation Administration grant in the amount of $374,729.00 to fund 90% of the costs for a proposed airport master plan update at Drake Field Airport.
Pass 8-0

11. Amend 2023 Adopted Budget for Reappropriating Request (Details): A resolution to amend the 2023 Adopted Budget by reappropriating $191,378,000.00 in bonded or ongoing capital projects, outstanding obligations, and grant funded items.
Pass 8-0

Unfinished Business

1. Raze and Removal of Structure at 2860 E. Wyman Rd. (Details)

A resolution to order the razing and removal of a dilapidated and unsafe structure on property owned by Leroy H. Scharfenberg located at 2860 E. Wyman Road in the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas, and to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $17,800.00.
Tabled 8-0 until June 20

Staff said this item was brought to the attention of the city through an anonymous complaint. A staff memo states that upon inspection, it was discovered the property includes a structure that is on the verge of collapse, with a non-functioning roof, collapsing walls and a crumbling foundation.

Staff said the owner mentioned bringing the home back into compliance in October 2021, and was given time to address the issues. The owner applied for a building permit for the work in December 2021, but never paid the fee for the permit, so on May 31, 2022 the permit was voided. Recent inspections show that no repair attempts have been made, according to city documents.

» See photos in the agenda packet


July 5 Discussion:
The homeowner’s daughter spoke and said they have a plan to get her father out of the house and replace the house with a prefabricated home. They said they need at least until the end of the summer before they can get the plan together.

Scroggin said he’s OK with allowing some more time, but not too much more since the home seems to be on the verge of collapse.

City Attorney Kit Williams said he is concerned about any lengthy delays on this decision because the building safety department has determined that the house is very near collapsing.

The council agreed to allow another 30 days before a decision, and voted 8-0 to table until Aug. 2.

Aug. 2 Discussion:
The homeowner’s daughter said more time is needed to get the home into compliance. They said significant progress has been made on the property, and their father has moved out so there is no longer any danger to him. They asked the council for 60 more days for her family to work on the property, which could include razing the home themselves.

Councilmember Scroggin said he hopes the council will agree to give the family more time.

Councilmember Bunch said she’s concerned for the safety of the family if they’re demolishing a home with the utilities still turned on. The homeowner’s daughter said the utilities are set to be disconnected tomorrow.

The council agreed to table the item until the Oct. 4 meeting.

Oct. 4 Discussion:
City staff said a demo permit was issued for the property. Some of the work was completed, but much of the structure still stands.

Here are some photos taken this morning (10/04/22):

The owner’s daughter said they’re done all the work with the most basic tools, and they plan to continue working until the home is razed. They asked for another 120 days to complete the demolition.

One person spoke in favor of allowing another 120 days for demolition.

Scroggin said he’s worried about what would happen if the home fell while someone was inside working on it without proper heavy equipment, but it seems like a risk the family is willing to take. He asked if the city would be liable for any injuries sustained on the property. City Attorney Kit Williams said there wouldn’t be much liability, if any. Scroggin said he’d be in favor of allowing more time. Bunch agreed.

Wiederkehr said the lien put on a property that’s razed is not collected immediately, but is usually only sought when the property is sold. He said he just wants the family to understand that if the project becomes too much to handle, they don’t have to worry about paying back a lien to the city for a while.

The owner’s daughter said the reason they’d like to avoid a lien is because they hope to take out a loan on the property, and that is another trigger for paying back a lien.

Turk asked for a staff update after 60 days.

The council tabled the resolution for 120 days. The discussion will continue on Feb. 7, 2023.

Feb. 7 Discussion:
The owner’s daughter said they need another four months to complete the work because removing the roof has proved to be a larger job than anticipated.

Two people spoke during public comment and said they hope the council will grant the applicant more time.

Turk and Bunch said they are willing to give the applicant another four months, but this might be the last time they can support an extension.

Berna said if the applicant would contact him, he will personally provide some equipment that could help speed up the process.

The council voted 8-0 to table the item until June 20.

2. Amend §130.39 Graffiti (Details)

An ordinance to amend §130.39 Graffiti in the Fayetteville Code to create a graffiti abatement program.
Tabled 8-0 until Feb. 21

This proposal from Councilmember Turk would establish a program that allows city staff to remove graffiti from private property as long as the owner does not want the graffiti, similar to a program already in place in Springdale.

Dec. 6 Discussion:
Turk said she frequently bikes the trails and often notices graffiti. She said she wanted to open up the conversation about how to handle graffiti on private property since the city is not allowed to clean up graffiti unless it’s on public property.

Turk said she likes the language the city attorney drafted except for the sentence that allows a leaseholder or tenant of a property to sign off on the cleaning, and that the owner should probably have the final say.

Harvey said she’d like to table the ordinance to allow time for the Arts Council to discuss the proposal at their next meeting. The council agreed, and tabled the item until Jan. 3, 2023.

Jan. 3 Discussion:
Harvey asked if the council would table this ordinance to allow more time for the Arts Council to discuss the proposal because there was so much business at the panel’s last meeting that they weren’t able to take it up.

Feb. 7 Discussion:
Turk said she’d like to table the ordinance until the next meeting to give the Arts Council more time to discuss the proposal and suggest some possible amendments.

The council agreed. The discussion will continue on Feb. 21.

3. VAC 22-024 – Razorback Road, Maple Street, etc. (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-024 for property located along Razorback Road, Maple Street, Garland Avenue, Cleveland Street, Hill Avenue, Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Lt. Colonel Leroy Pond Avenue in Wards 1 and 2 to vacate portions of street rights-of-way.
Pass 8-0

The applicant proposes to vacate 18 separate pieces of public right of way totaling 6.54 acres along seven streets. In turn, a dedication of right-of-way totaling 1.43 acres is proposed along Razorback Road and between Nolan Richardson Drive to the south and Maple Street to the north. With this request, the applicant noted in their letter that existing utilities will be protected through easement dedication. Additionally, the applicant asserts that vacating the right-of-way will remove current and future sections of Senior Walk, landscaping, lights, and trees from the city’s responsibility.

City planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval with the following conditions:

  1. Easements shall be dedicated for any existing facilities associated with this right-of-way vacation request, with review and coordination by the applicant with the utility provider, including the client properly identifying utilities in the field by means of surveying, pot holing, and coordinating with representatives.
  2. Adequate accommodation for pedestrian access must be maintained whether through easement or agreement.
  3. The applicant must dedicate right-of-way to the back of curb in any areas where right of way does not currently exist.
  4. The applicant must dedicate a pedestrian access easement to the existing back of sidewalk or master street plan right of way in areas where sidewalk does not currently exist.
  5. Signal poles and appurtenances must remain in the right-of-way, or an easement be dedicated over the areas where poles and appurtenances are located.
  6. Drainage easements must be dedicated in areas of existing drainage facilities.
  7. An agreement will need to be developed establishing responsibility (or lack thereof) for repairs to non-typical features behind the curb due to maintenance, installation, and repair of any city facilities located within vacated rights of way, including drainage facilities and water/sewer lines. The City will not be responsible for maintenance or repair of anything except a standard sidewalk.
  8. Any damage or relocation of existing facilities will be at the property owner/developer’s expense.
  9. All easements and agreements required as a condition of this vacation shall be reviewed by the City and signed by the Mayor.


Jan. 3 Discussion:
There was no public comment. Turk said she’d like the leave the ordinance on the first reading to allow more time to consider the proposal.

The council agreed. The discussion will continue on Jan. 17.

Jan. 17 Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Councilmember Turk suggested holding the discussion until the next meeting to allow time for the city’s Town and Gown Advisory Committee to hear the proposal next week. The council agreed, and the discussion will continue on Feb. 7.

Feb. 7 Discussion:
Turk said the Town and Gown Advisory Committee discussed the item, and made an agreement with the university to provide more communication with the community going forward.

The council voted 8-0 to approve the ordinance.

New Business

1. Fayetteville Active Transportation Plan Update (Details)

A resolution to approve an update to the Fayetteville Active Transportation Plan.
Tabled 8-0 until Feb. 21

The city’s ATP plan was originally adopted in 2015, and the ATP map was last revised in 2020. Officials have said incremental updates are needed to establish goals and best practices that better reflect current conditions and position Fayetteville to continue to lead as a walkable and bike-friendly community into the future.

The six goals of the plan are:

  1. Strive to create an equitable multimodal transportation system for all ages and abilities.
  2. Build a paved trail connection within a 10-minute walk of every residence by 2040.
  3. Encourage new participation in active transportation – gather and evaluate data to track trends and
    measure success.
  4. Zero fatalities or severe injuries of vulnerable roadway users by 2030.
  5. Implement all the appropriate recommendations from leading advocacy organizations community
  6. Enhance opportunities for people with disabilities to walk, roll, cycle, and use micromobility services
    and other innovative mobility technologies to the greatest extent possible.

» View the plan here

Harvey said she’d like to hold the resolution for two weeks to allow more time for residents to consider the plan. The council tabled the item 8-0 until Feb. 21.

2. Amend Ordinance 6591, J.A. Riggs Tractor Company d/b/a Riggs Rental Services (Details)

An ordinance to amend Ordinance 6591 to extend the rental of a 2,000 kilowatt generator from J.A. Riggs Tractor Company d/b/a Riggs Rental Services through the end of February 2023 for the amount of $147,472.12, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $40,000.00.
Pass 8-0

This item is to extend the rental period for a generator needed at the Noland Water Resource Recovery Facility because of an equipment failure that happened in July. Officials say the facility cannot operate without a generator due to load shedding requirements. The failed generator is currently being rebuilt.

There was no public comment.

The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted unanimously to approve it.

3. Childcare Assistance Program Funding Increase (Details)

A resolution to authorize additional funding in the amount of $1,000,000.00 for the Childcare Assistance Program, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

Officials in December told the council that the city’s new childcare assistance program may need another round of funding, and this item would provide the additional money needed to keep the program running.

City staff said to date, the city has distributed 298 applications and there are 70 more for a total estimated cost of over $800,000. Staff knows of at least 17 more upcoming applications that will cost over $200,000 to fully fund.

Hertzberg moved to amend the funding amount from $1 million to $1.5 million.

Moore said staff should set a deadline for applying for funds so people aren’t asking for help beyond the point at which the money has already been spent. City staff said if the amount is increased to $1.5 million, the money will likely be gone in a couple of months.

Staff said one issue that has come up is that some people are applying for funds, but they aren’t responding when the city follows up, even after several phone calls and letters.

Hertzberg’s amendment passed 8-0.

The amended resolution passed 8-0.

4. Amend §33.331 Attendance Requirements (Details)

Pass 8-0
An ordinance to amend § 33.331 Attendance Requirements of the Fayetteville City Code to remove the presumed
resignation of a Civil Service Commissioner who has failed to attend at least 70% of the meetings.

City Attorney Kit Williams said the council needs to amend city code to remove some language that, although it has never been used, could conflict with a procedure specified by state law concerning attendance rules for Civil Service Commissioners.

There was no public comment.

The council advanced the item to the third reading, and voted 8-0 to approve it.

Meeting duration

This meeting lasted 1 hour and 35 minutes, and was adjourned at 7:05 p.m.