WF Council Meeting Minutes

West Fork City Council Minutes
December 8, 2009
 
CALL TO ORDER:  The Regular Meeting of the West Fork City Council was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Throgmorton at the West Fork Administration Building.
 
MEMBERS PRESENT:      Anita Lowry, Julie Shafer, John Foster, Jami Coker,
Rodney Drymon, Misty Caudle, John Richard
 
MEMBERS ABSENT:        Justin Harris
 
OTHERS PRESENT:          Mayor Jan Throgmorton, City Clerk Susan Cooney, Business Manager Butch Bartholomew, City Treasurer Kristie Drymon, City Attorney Rusty Hudson,
Fire Chief Mitch McCorkle, Police Chief Mike Nelson, Court Clerk Pauletta Welch,
Head Librarian Joan Bachman, Parks Director Stephen Sprick, WFRRC Larry Vail
Audience:  Signature List on file.
Press:  Steve Winkler West Fork Zephyr, Steve Foster White River Valley News
 
INVOCATION:  The meeting was opened with an invocation by John Foster.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Mayor.
 
Agenda           There was a motion to approve the agenda as mailed.
Motion:  Misty Caudle
Second:  Julie Shafer
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and the agenda was approved as mailed.
 
Minutes           There was a motion to approve the minutes with the following amendments:   correct Alderwoman Jami Coker’s name on page four paragraph four and to add Brittany Bush on page three paragraph three. 
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and the minutes were approved as amended. 
 
PUBLIC FORUM: 
 
Paul Libor:  I have had several people ask me about the statue that is going to be put down at Riverside Park.  They are wondering how a religious statue can be put on public land that is owned by the city and who authorized it.  Also, if the lawsuit is ever brought up to remove the statue, who will pay for the lawsuit, the City?  It is against the law to put a statue up on public property of a religious symbol which it is because there is nothing in the whole history of the United States that an Angel came down.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:   We have researched that and there is a book that anyone that is interested can read it.  The Parks Commission unanimously approved the project and recommended it to the Council and the Council approved it.  The statue is not for religious purposes.  This statue is a memorial to children who have died whether it is after birth or miscarriage.  It is just a place where parents can go and remember their children.
 
Paul Libor:  Why don’t they have some church do this because an Angel is a religious symbol? 
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  Well anybody that knows their scripture knows that there is a Dark Angel and a Light Angel so it is covered on both sides as far as we are concerned.
 
Paul Libor:  That has nothing to do with the City laws and the Supreme Court has decided that this cannot be done and yet we are doing it.  For instance, the Ten Commandments, etc. cannot be placed on government property.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  If I had my way we would put that down there too.
 
Paul Libor:  Well, sorry to say, you cannot.  I do not think an Angel should be put down there because other cities like Fayetteville would not accept it.  There has got to be something wrong about this and that is why Fayetteville does not accept it but, yet, we will. 
 
Alderman Drymon:  I believe there are several Cities in the United States that have this very monument.
 
Paul Libor:  Yes, several cities, but there are thousands of Cities that did not want them. 
 
Mayor Throgmorton: No guts, no glory.
 
Alderman Drymon:    We want them.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  We are willing to take the chance because it is not there for religious purposes at all and anybody who has ever had a little child had referred to them as “a little Angel”  and I seriously doubt anybody never did that.
 
Paul Libor:  Before we were married, my wife had a child and it died and she does not want this statue there.  She does not want to be reminded every time she goes to the park about her child.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  Well, there are lots of people who really want it there because it is a place to go and sit quietly and remember children and it is a memorial.  It is not anything to be worshipped.  I have had that same guy come and ream me about it but I am telling you it is not to be worshipped it is for remembrance of children.
 
Paul Libor:   Well, why don’t they just put a statue of a child down there then instead of the Angel?
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  Because that is not what this group does.
 
Paul Libor:  That is it, it is a group.  Is this a religious group?  They say they are not.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  It is not a religious group.
Paul Libor:  They say they are not.  The group comes out of Utah.  Utah is a completely religious state.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  Well, so is Arkansas.  It is right in the Bible Belt but this has got nothing to do with that.
 
Paul Libor:  Well, I am just letting you know that something might come up.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  Appreciate your concerns.
 
Reports on file.
 
Additional information from Department Heads:
Head Librarian Joan Bachman:  The Friends of the Library had a very successful Breakfast with Santa, December 5th.  We can use the proceeds, close to $800.00, for children’s books this year.  The silent auction is still going on with the baskets and will close this Friday, December 11, 2009 at 4:00pm.
 
Parks Director Stephen Sprick:  The Christmas Lights “Small Town, Big Lights” contest is a new winter activity and have people sign up.  The idea was between Cassi, Kristie and I and we have sixteen signups so far.  We are hoping for around twenty-five or so.  Houses will be judged December 21, 2009 beginning at 6:30pm.  This event is completely sponsored by private donors and is no cost to the City.
 
Police Chief Mike Nelson:  Wal-Mart gave us $1,000.00 for the Shop with a Cop Program.  We have also had a few donations of toys and money.  We will send Kathy and the school people to shop with the kids in the next week or so.
 
Fire Chief Mitch McCorkle:  When people have any emergency they need to call 911 directly from their phone so that the local dispatcher will receive the information and the address will appear along with the map location.  When an alarm service is contacted it is a location that is out of state and possibly out of the country.  Contacting the alarm service instead of 911 can extend the response time and give less accurate location information.
 
Business Manager Bartholomew:  We want everyone to know that there are jobs available through the Census Program that has hours that are part-time, full-time and a variety of shifts and types of work.
 
           
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: 
 
none.
 
 
 
 
NEW BUSINESS:
 
Deputy Mike Harp
Environmental Enforcement Officer
Boston Mountain Solid Waste District:
 
Deputy Harp:  Hello, thank you for inviting me.  I am Officer Mike Harp, I work for the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District and we are a private entity of State Government.  We are commissioned for the State of Arkansas.  We are licensed anywhere in the State to write citations and enforce environmental violations. 
 
The two Counties we work are Washington and Madison County.  We have issued several citations in Washington and Madison County and we have run some through the City of West Fork Court. 
 
We are here to assist Cities, Private Entities, and different people with burning regulations, and assist residents with phony trash haulers, proper disposal of waste, helping clean up illegal dumps, and illegal burning. 
 
We work on anonymous tips and anything we can we try to do to educate people.  Once contact is made with an individual we give them information letting them know it is against the law and we give them thirty days to correct the situation and provide them a place to go to with the waste or the tires.  We assist them however we can and then, if they do not comply, citations are issued.  We advise them in the notice of a violation, etc. 
 
The City of West Fork does have some violations within the City.  There are people still burning their garbage and I have talked to the Mayor about that.  We are here to assist you all to get some of these people corrected with proper disposal of their waste within the City because they are polluting the air and affecting the water.  Polluting the air can affect people and cause breathing problems. 
 
If we did come into the City, we would notify the Police Chief or the Police Department about what is going on.  You know sometimes when you see one burn barrel you see more then you have constituents calling the Mayor and complaining so we thought we would come to the City Council and let you know that we are here to assist you any way we can and not to cause problems with the residents of West Fork. 
 
West Fork is a great place and I have heard great things with the recycling going on here and a lot of good work here and we are here to assist you all. I have brochures that I brought that I can pass out. 
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  It would be good if you could get with the Fire Chief and give him some of those people that are violating then, when they call him, he will know that they should not be burning.  They have to call the Fire Chief before they can burn anything.  Officer Harp has a list of people that the Fire Chief needs to know about so he can tell them no.
 
Officer Harp:  There is still some illegal burning going on in West Fork.
 
Fire Chief McCorkle:  Yes, I would like to see that list.
 
Officer Harp:  In regards to the recycling part, working for the Boston Mountain Solid Waste District, we have a recycling facility.  The City of West Fork has the right to request the information from anybody you do business with as far as where all the materials go and the end user you can document that information. 
The different recycling programs you do, stuff that is picked up or waste that is transported. 
 
You can also request grants from the State as a City that gets trash taken out of the City for grant money from the State.  You can get more grant money from the State based on the percentage of waste and make the City of West Fork a better place.  The District has the information and education and they would be happy to assist you all and Washington County Environmental Affairs does stuff at the school to promote recycling, we have recycling trailers here at your West Fork Schools and all that recycling material is taken and weighed in and there is a log for it.  If you want to know what your schools are doing and the recycling coming out of your schools we have all the information at our District and you can see what your community is doing. 
 
Madison County has a resell shop.  If there is ever a tragedy or fire, anyone can come to the facility and get any kind of clothes or furniture free of charge as a service to the Community.
 
John Richard:  The citations that are issued, you said some of those go through West Fork’s Court, where do the rest of them go?
 
                        Officer Harp:  Prairie Grove, West Fork, Elkins, Springdale, Fayetteville.
 
John Richard:  If it is issued in the City of West Fork does it go through our Court system?
 
Officer Harp:  It goes through the City Court if it is within the City Limits; if it inside the County it goes through the District Court.  Every case is different, we do not try to always write tickets, we try to educate people but some people just fail to comply.  It is sometimes better to just go through court and get things done that way.  In instances where there are severe violations like burning shingles or burning tires then citations will be issued because that is against the law. 
 
If someone is burning their household garbage we would pull up, identify ourselves, we have brochures and information to give them for a trash hauler, we help them put out the fire, we give them a notice of violation and thirty days to haul off the barrel to a trash station or landfill of their choice, they then send us a receipt that is their ticket.  It is voluntary remediation that is all that is going to happen and as soon as they comply with that the case is done. 
 
We are not here to make people mad, but people do get mad because they cannot burn their trash.  People are worried about identification and a lot of people will still burn their mail with their information on it but that is still illegal.  There is ShredMax and different places that they could dispose of this stuff properly.  People will argue up and down about that but we can only burn: lawn clippings, yard waste, brush and land are the only things you can burn in the State of Arkansas.
 
There are people burning for Copper Wire that has been stolen and we have helped the Sheriff’s Office and the local Police Departments trace that back and found out where the houses are that it came from. 
 
We can work off of anonymous complaints and if it is visible like black smoke or smoke from an illegal fire we can investigate.  We do not need search warrants to enter anybody’s property.  That is just a part of our State Regulations and we carry that with us.  Some people like to argue that we do not have the right but we do as stated in our Regulation that an Environmental Enforcement Officer to investigate and prosecute the people that are illegally burning or doing environment violations and get that information to the Prosecutor.  If people comply and are receptive with everything we always try to do voluntary remediation and get the fire put out. 
 
This year we have had a lot of big cases we are up to a little over 200 cases this year so far with over 1,000 tons of waste cleaned up between Washington and Madison County illegally dumped.  Last year, we were right at 800 tons of waste and 360+ cases.  This year has been a little slower but it is picking up.  We have had roughly 25 calls within the last week.  The foliage is coming off and people are seeing new dumps and the deer hunters have been out and roadside dumps.  The road that goes down by the Recycling Center that goes down by the railroad tracks there are always people dumping there.  We try to find information on the people dumping.  If we find someone illegally dumping on private property or the county road we always issue citations.  People dumping on their own property we try to do voluntary remediation with them but if they fail to comply then they get citations. 
 
We always try to work with people no matter what it is.  We take anonymous tips and it does not have to be inside City Limits we can do it anywhere in the State of Arkansas and anywhere in Washington County.  We are here to help and feel free to call and if you have any questions or want to tour our facility and recycling center just feel free to come on down or set up a meeting.  We are here for you, we are a State Agency and we will do anything we can to help.
 
(Brochures were passed out.)
Heritage Gardens at the WFRRC
Master Gardener Frances Hime, WFEPA
 
Frances Hime:  I want to update you on our progress.  The north property line homeowners have cleared out their side and have done a wonderful job.  We are requesting that the City take out the brush and trees that are on the RRC side of the north property line.  We have trees waiting to be planted there as a screen.  The reason we are asking to do this now so that the beds can be built for vegetable gardens.  We have hired two people thus far and we have the volunteer tractor and the beds need to be in by Spring. 
 
The Watershed Alliance Board has attended two grant writing training seminars, we have met with the University and there are funds available.  We plan to apply for grants and bring the City in as a partner with that process for a Science Education Building and a Store for the Resource Center.  We have two people hired; there are plenty of signs going up.  It only pays $7.25 an hour, you have to be over the age of 55, it is only twenty hours a week but it is a job.  I will not work people when the weather is cold, wet, or miserable.
 
Larry Vail is going to help us with the elevation survey for the front garden part where it will be the Botanical Garden portion.  I need to know where the property line is on the South end.  Once we get that marked then we will do our elevations and we will figure out how we will do the road and get the estimates in for the road and then layout the electrical lines and water lines.  We will have a drip system for the vegetable gardens it will not be open watering.  It will be raised beds and no till.  Our drip system will be very environmentally friendly and will save a lot of money on the water bill.  The road will be a circle drive.  I will be doing a map for the WFRRC. 
 
The school will be a partner in the Environmental Education Building and the Store will be run by the Renewable Resource Center.  There are also Community Grants to teach nutrition, food preservation and there is a big move on now, Grantwise, to build those facilities.
 
 
 
Ordinance No. 411 Annexation of Property owned by Walter Graupner, Jr. & Lorraine Graupner
The property to be annexed was assigned Ward No. 1.
 
A motion was made to suspend the rules and read Ordinance No. 411 completely one time and by title only a second and third time.
Motion:  John Richard
Second:  John Foster
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion to suspend the rules and read Ordinance No. 411 completely one time and by title only a second and third time was approved.
Mayor Jan Throgmorton read Ordinance No. 411 completely one time and read the title only the second and third time. 
 
There was a motion to approve the Ordinance No. 411 annexation of Property owned by Walter Graupner, Jr. and Lorraine Graupner and assign it to Ward No. 1 in the City of West Fork.
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Jami Coker
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion to approve the Ordinance No. 411 annexation of Property owned by Walter Graupner, Jr. and Lorraine Graupner and assign it to Ward No. 1 in the City of West Fork was approved.
 
Mayor’s Comments
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  I think considering we had a rough year we are ending it pretty well.  We are all hoping and praying that 2010 will not come in with the same vengeance that 2009 did.  But if it does we are prepared.  We did not do too badly all things considered when we had our ice storm.  But we will be much better prepared this year.  We worked on our Emergency Plan for the Community and the Community Center will be the designated shelter.  That means it will be our shelter and open to the Community at large and all who come in will be expected to follow a set of rules and there will be no exceptions to those rules.  We will be partnering with the schools if we have to have our shelter more than 24 hours the school will open for us to have showers there which will be very much appreciated.  We will be able to do things like charge up cell phones and other things for people who may not necessarily be coming in.  I talked to John Luther last night and there are a lot of good ideas out there for things that we can do.  We are going to continue to tweak our plan until it meets all the needs to the best of our abilities for our community.  We need to thank Butch for his precise recordkeeping because of that we were the first ones in the County to get our FEMA money and there are a lot of Cities out there still fighting that battle hoping to get their money and  kudos to Butch because he did a good job or we would not have gotten that.
 
Butch Bartholomew:  It wasn’t only me, I have good help. 
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  Well there were a lot of people involved but he headed it up and I appreciate that.  Our City Employees and our Fire and Rescue all pulled together and did an awesome job.  Everybody knows that our Budget has had a really hard time because we have had fund cuts and not anything we wanted to do. 
 
But there is some things I would like to set the record straight on tonight about our Council.  Number one, the reason our Council had no questions concerning our Budget is because they had it a month prior to and anything that was adjusted was sent to them immediately, so they did not just receive it hours before.  They had it in plenty of time to digest it, understand it, and ask their questions prior to.  If they needed to make a call, ask a question, they call Kristie “Hey, what does this mean?”, so that everybody would understand.  So there was some incorrect information went out and I want to set it straight. 
 
That is why they had no questions when it came time to vote. It is not that they do not care we have a great Council and I think our Council cares about our Community and what is best for it.  I do not want anybody to have any wrong impressions, our Council has no secrets we are open anything that happens in this City.  The City is open for public information, we are not trying to hide anything they did it the right way. 
 
Our Council is an active Council some of them worked during the Ice Storm.  I know Rodney Drymon was relentless at knocking on doors and doing wellness checks at that time.  Probably other people were out doing it but I happen to know he was doing it because I was there and he was walking the streets doing it. 
 
Last night, we had three members of our Council at the Appreciation Dinner for our Firemen, Police Officers, and City Employees, John Foster, Julie Shafer and Rodney Drymon, they all came out and took time to serve those people that work for the City and volunteer for the City.  Others have served on our Committees; I know Anita is on the Recycle Committee.  I do not know what their tonnage is yet for this year. 
 
Alderwoman Lowry:  I have got it for the month.  I got it off the internet today.  For the month of November:  Cardboard 2,660lbs, Mixed (glass, cans, plastic, newspapers) 8,040lbs. a total of 10,700lbs for a slow month.
 
Frances Hime:  We are saving the large pieces of cardboard for the worm farm to keep the worms happy.
 
Paul Libor:  There is only about 10% participation from the City.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  We are hoping that as the WFRRC grows.  That next year more people will begin to recycle and realize the importance of it and that it is not for us right now it is for our kids later and you know our Federal Government is setting them up for failure so we need to help them all we can. 
 
There was a question about some shredding of stuff that took place down at the Recycling Center.  The recycle group told people they could bring in their limbs and stuff like that when a storm hit.  I think it was the storm before the ice storm.  The stuff that went down there was not from the City and the recycle group paid for the shredder to come in and they shredded that.  That was stuff that the WFRRC allowed to come in; it was not anything from the City.  I just want to set the record straight that the City did not send anything down there. 
 
 
I have said all this to say that this Community can be proud of its Leaders and the Governing Body we have an excellent group of people.  We have been able to get the corner cleaned up this year and I am happy to say that we have as many compliments on the corner as we did complaints about it.  People have voiced their opinion both ways for a change and I am real glad to hear that. I am thankful just to live in this Community and grateful to be a part of its leadership and my job as Mayor has been a very rewarding one this year.  I attribute that to the great people that I have had to work with and to serve with and feel very privileged to do so.  I am looking forward to 2010.  I know we have already talked about the Census.  That can only help us.  I am charging all of you to get out there and talk to people and tell them how important it is they fill the forms out and get it right.  We need that, it is ten years before we have it again so we want it to be accurate. 
 
If you have not signed up yet for the Christmas Lights Contest it is not too late.  I want everybody to understand that the prize money came from area businesses it has nothing to do with the City Funds.  We did not put anything into it other than sitting down and working out their ideas. 
 
I would like to thank our Council and the Community for a great year and I just really appreciate each one of you.  I want you to know that you are appreciated.  I hear good things about you guys mostly out there and I am real proud to say that.  I don’t have anything else to say except Merry Christmas and Happy New Year and I would entertain a motion to dismiss.
 
 
ADJOURNMENT:  Motion to adjourn by Alderwoman Julie Shafer, second by Alderwoman Misty Caudle.  There being no objection, the meeting adjourned at 7:35 p.m.
 
Respectfully,
 
 
 
Susan Cooney                                                             Jan Throgmorton
City Clerk                                                                   Mayor

West Fork City Council Minutes Novermber 12,  2009

 

West Fork City Council Minutes
October 15, 2009
 
CALL TO ORDER:  The Regular Meeting of the West Fork City Council was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Throgmorton at the West Fork Administration Building.
 
MEMBERS PRESENT:      Anita Lowry, John Richard, John Foster, Jami Coker,
Rodney Drymon, Misty Caudle
 
MEMBERS ABSENT:        Julie Shafer and Justin Harris
 
OTHERS PRESENT:          Mayor Jan Throgmorton, City Clerk Susan Cooney, Business Manager Butch Bartholomew, City Treasurer Kristie Drymon, Fire Chief Mitch McCorkle, Police Chief Mike Nelson, Court Clerk Pauletta Welch, Head Librarian Joan Bachman, Parks Director Stephen Sprick, WFRRC Larry Vail Audience:  Mary Chaffin, Glyn Finley,
David A. Welch, Barbara Babione, Frances Hime – WFEPA, Susan Hook – SCSEP,
Press:  Steve Winkler West Fork Zephyr, Steve Foster White River Valley News
 
WFEPA:  West Fork Environmental Protection Association
SCSEP:  Senior Community Service Employment Program
 
INVOCATION:  The meeting was opened with an invocation by Mayor Jan Throgmorton.
 
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Mayor.
 
Agenda           There was a motion to approve the agenda as mailed.
Motion:  Rodney Drymon
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and the agenda was approved.
 
Minutes           There was a motion to approve the minutes as amended on page five to include Alderwoman Jami Coker in the Roll Call vote to change the name of the West Fork Renewable Resource Center.  Jami Coker:  No. The total vote count was four no and three yes. 
Motion:  Misty Caudle
Second:  John Foster
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and the minutes were approved as amended on page five to include Alderwoman Jami Coker in the Roll Call vote to change the name of the West Fork Renewable Resource Center.  Jami Coker:  No. The total vote was four no and three yes. 
 
 
PUBLIC FORUM:  None
 
Reports on file.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None
 
           
NEW BUSINESS
 
Property Tax Levy
There was a motion to approve the continuation of 5 mils.
Motion:  Misty Caudle
Second:  Jami Coker
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and 5 mils will be continued.
 
Ordinance No. 409 Annexation of Property owned by T. Glyn & Marcia Newlin Finley
                        Mayor Jan Throgmorton delivered the first of three readings of
Ordinance No. 409.  The property to be annexed was assigned Ward No. 4.
 
Appoint Pam Redfern to the West Fork Library Board
There was a motion to re-appoint Pam Redfern to the West Fork Library Board.
Motion:  Misty Caudle
Second:  Rodney Drymon
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried to re-appoint Pam Redfern to the West Fork Library Board.
 
Frances Hime, Master Gardener, WFEPA
The RRC Heritage Gardens Project
 
I am here to present our project to the City Council and bring you up to date on what we are doing and would like to do at the West Fork Renewable Resource Center.  One of our objectives for this evening is to obtain the approval of the City Council for the development of Heritage Gardens through Grant Moneys, in-kind contributions, and monetary donations.  Our second objective is to answer any questions or concerns of the City Council. 
 
This development is located to the left of the Resource Center outside of the fenced area and inside the fenced area; a drawing of the outside gardens is included.  We are proposing a Composting Section and Community Vegetable Garden section inside the fenced area of the WFRRC. 
 
To give you some history of the proposed project, we have been in talks with the school and a lot of volunteers from the school, the Boy Scouts, and various organizations.
 
 
The public schools have been mandated by the State of Arkansas, including West Fork, to teach nutrition education and provide an opportunity of physical education that is non-sport for students not involved in sports.  The State has also said that schools must be involved with the Community.
                       
Looking at our Composting activities and the myriad of volunteers that are involved in our Renewable Resource Center we came up with this project.  We struggled with a name:  The Gardens at RRC, The Environmental Educational Center, but neither covered the spectrum of community involvement possibilities which encompasses not only kids but the senior residents, with their vast array of skills that want to do community gardening.  We came up with the name Heritage Gardens because we are not only teaching Science and Environmental Science but also Culture, Nutrition and Social Issues.
 
One of the proposed structures at the Heritage Gardens is a building that would be close to the proposed pond.  This building would be a replica of a water powered mill with an old water wheel.  This reflects West Fork’s heritage because we did have a stone mill on the river.  That would open up in the front for a Farmer’s Market, chamber music, children’s theatre, community kitchen, etc.
 
Another part of the project is improving a wet weather stream that empties into the West Fork Watershed.  The banks of this seasonal stream are being cut deeper every year, contributing silt to the watershed.  Too much silt in the West Fork of the White River degrades water quality for the local habitat and our drinking water downstream.  By adding plants and stone we will improve and beautify this wet weather stream which can educate the community regarding our watershed and slow down the water so that it will be better filtered before it reaches the river. 
 
Fundraising:
We looked at the availability of Grant Monies and there is an awful lot available now for projects like this.  One fundraising opportunity is one of ten $70,000 grants available from Arkansas that can be used for a Facility that can include the Garden Market, Environment Education Center and even a Children’s Theatre. 
 
The West Fork EPA has some collaborative grants in the works with the Schools, National Science Foundation, etc.  Many people are working on ideas for funding and ways to enhance our Community and the West Fork Watershed.
 
Right now the Master Gardener’s Executive Committee has approved the use of Master Gardeners to help build and maintain the Gardens. 
 
I received $1,000.00 this evening; it was given to the West Fork EPA who will donate that money for stone at the Gardens. 
 
The West Fork EPA is working with the SCSEP, Senior Community Service Employment Program, to utilize their employees with skills such as carpenters, stone masons, gardeners and other valuable skills.  The City does not pay them.  Susan Hook with SCSEP is here tonight to answer questions and is available for future questions.  It is important to understand that the people who would be working there are not City Employees.  They are employees of SCSEP who would be paying for everything so in that sense it is free labor.  The SCSEP has committed to one year the first go around and that commitment can be extended. 
 
We have long term commitments for future donations of plants and materials and more plants.  Another source of income could be rentals for weddings, parties, or other events. 
 
Frances Hime said that the goal of the West Fork EPA is to keep the City of West Fork in the loop from the very beginning.  What we need from the City is to signify that the City of West Fork is on board with the Heritage Gardens Project.  We are proposing that we get the Council’s official approval for this project soon because the Council’s approval will be critical in the Grant process and other fundraising efforts.
 
The City Council expressed approval for the proposed project and remarked on the beauty of the project and excitement for the work involved.
 
Alderwoman Misty Caudle asked what does the Council need to do to give the Heritage Gardens Project the go ahead. 
 
Butch Bartholomew:  We need to make a motion to approve the use of City Property for this project and then if that is passed and becomes a part of the Minutes then this attachment that explains the project must also become a part of the minutes.  The liability issue is who covers the insurance if someone is hurt on the property.  So, we will want the City Attorney to review the minutes and attachments regarding any liability issues.
 
Frances Hime:  Susan Hook is here for the SCSEP to answer questions regarding employees.  It may be that the Municipal League insurance would be covering this situation but we would wait for the advice of City Attorney Hudson.  We do want to move forward as quickly as possible because we want to ask residents to bring their bagged leaves for the Center’s Compost.
 
There was a motion to approve the RRC Heritage Gardens Project as presented by Frances Hime.
Motion:  John Richard
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried to approve the RRC Heritage Gardens Project as presented by Frances Hime.
 
Susan Hook, SCSEP:  We have forms that say that we cover clients that are injured on site and we have procedures to go through to help the City to go through us so that we can help through Worker’s Compensation.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  So liability is actually covered through SCSEP?
 
Susan Hook, SCSEP:  Yes.  We have a copy of the forms for the Council to review.  We also have in our paperwork an assignment safety review.  I go through the site to make sure I am confident of the site’s safety.  Once everyone signs off we make sure the client (employee) feels safe and we make sure everyone understands what they are stepping into.
 
Rodney Drymon:  Asked that any OSHA regulations that are relevant to this site be considered.
 
Frances Hime:  WFEPA, West Fork Environmental Protection Association is the Supervisor of the employees and they will not be there unsupervised.  There are OSHA regulations and we will fulfill all OSHA standards for the different jobs.
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  We will give tonight’s minutes, the Project outline, and the SCSEP forms to City Attorney Hudson for his review.
 
 
Mayor Throgmorton announced that the next budget meeting will be October 21, 2009,
5:30 pm to 7:00 pm.
 
ADJOURNMENT:  Motion to adjourn by Alderwoman Misty Caudle, second by Alderman John Richard.  There being no objection, the meeting adjourned at 7:30 p.m.
 
________________________________________________________________________

 

West Fork City Council Minutes
September 8, 2009
 
CALL TO ORDER:  The Regular Meeting of the West Fork City Council was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Throgmorton at the West Fork Administration Building.
 
MEMBERS PRESENT:      Anita Lowry, John Richard, John Foster, Jami Coker,
Rodney Drymon, Julie Shafer, Misty Caudle, Justin Harris
 
MEMBERS ABSENT:        none
 
OTHERS PRESENT:          Mayor Jan Throgmorton, Business Manager Butch Bartholomew, City Treasurer Kristie Drymon, City Attorney Rusty Hudson, Fire Chief Mitch McCorkle, Court Clerk Pauletta Welch, Head Librarian Joan Bachman, WFRRC Larry Vail
Audience:  Press:  Steve Winkler West Fork Zephyr, Steve Foster White River Valley News
 
INVOCATION:  The meeting was opened with an invocation.
 
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Mayor.
 
Agenda           There was a motion to approve the agenda as mailed.
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and the agenda was approved.
 
Minutes           There was a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. 
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and the minutes were approved.
 
PUBLIC FORUM:  None
 
Reports on file.
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS:
 
A)        Update regarding Ordinance No. 407:  Structures at 280 W. Main Street and 260 McKnight Avenue
 
Attorney Hudson: Judge Hendron gave us the go ahead to demolish the buildings and that is what is happening right now. 
Mayor Throgmorton congratulated Butch Bartholomew on the great job of demolishing the two structures in such a timely fashion.
Attorney Hudson: The case is still technically open and we are working to recoup attorney’s fees and the Judge said we will get to that later.  There will be a lien on the property for the cost of the teardown.  It remains to be seen if we can include the attorney fees on the lien but we will be fighting to have them included.  Even if the attorney fees will not be included on the lien they can still be recouped in other ways.
Butch Bartholomew:  Steve Caudle still does have a lawsuit pending regarding loss of revenue and loss of value of the property.  Well I want the Council to understand that we may still end up in Federal Court.
Attorney Hudson:  When Mr. Caudle sued the City he alleged that the Ordinance No. 404 was unconstitutional and that is still a live case.  That he was not provided enough notice and an opportunity to be heard.  This will be decided on later on.  The Judge did agree that the house was an attractive nuisance and the City is authorized to tear it down.
 
W.F.R.R.C.    Mayor Throgmorton said that Renewable Resource Center Committee will meet in the evenings if Anita Lowry will be appointed as a new member to the Renewable Resource Committee.
 
                        There was a motion to appoint Alderwoman Anita Lowry to the West Fork Renewable Resource Center Committee.
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried and Alderwoman Anita Lowry will join the West Fork Renewable Resource Center Committee.
 
NEW BUSINESS
 
City Prosecutor
Kyle Unser, City Prosecutor:  I have been here working for West Fork for a little over a year now.  I like my job, I enjoy what I do, I feel that I have the backing of the West Fork Police Force and the Court Clerks.  The only issue I have with the job is the City of West Fork salary.   I understand that money is tight, things are tight.  I decided to take a new job up in Benton County with Keith, Miller, Butler, Pollack and Schneider Firm at the end of the month.  I would like to continue working for West Fork.  I would like to continue making the drive down.  But once I am working in Rogers and I am giving up that much of my day and the West Fork salary will not be going to me anymore it will be going to the Firm.  In order for it to be worthwhile for me that salary must increase.  In case you are not aware, the City Prosecutor job for the City of West Fork pays $6,500 yearly.  When I work that out to an hourly rate it comes to approximately $30.00 to $40.00 per hour.  I normally bill $165.00 per hour a little bit less for Municipalities, Insurance Companies, things that I do in volume.  Of course, I would never expect the City of West Fork to pay my normal hourly billing rate.   In trying to get a couple comparisons I spoke to City Prosecutors in Lowell and Cave Springs Prosecutors and West Fork is pretty behind the market.  To catch it up to market based upon the work that I am doing now the salary would have to double.  I cannot stand here tonight and say if the City does not pay me $13,000 a year I am going to leave because I really like the job, my wife is the County Prosecutor and I know all the County Prosecutors come out here too.  In order for this to be worth my while, since the money will not be going to me anymore, and the drive down here from Rogers, the salary will have to increase.  My demand is $13,000 per year and if the City would like to make a counter offer that is fine and I will address that.  If this is something that the City would not like to do I can understand the situation and I would be happy to help the City find a suitable replacement.  I have been doing the job for a while and I would like to continue doing it and I feel like I am pretty good at it.  If there is an interest that I need to be better serving, I have had no real communication with anybody and in a job like this no news is good news.  Normally, if there is a problem then it would be brought to my attention but other than informal conversations with the West Fork Police Department, I have not had much communication with anybody who I would consider my boss or the constituency so to speak.  If there is an objective that I need to be better at meeting then I am happy to take any advice and make it work.  As of right now, $6,500 annually to the Firm and not me individually is not going to be worth my time as much as I love to do it.  I understand budgetary constraints, especially right now.  If it is something that the City of West Fork cannot do then I will continue on for a little while until I can find someone to be a suitable replacement.  However, to find a suitable replacement at $6,500 a year is not easy.  I am not sure when was the last time that the rate was changed but I think it has been the same for as long as anyone can remember from what I have been able to determine.  I will be happy to answer any questions. 
Mayor Throgmorton:  It will have to go before our Budget Committee and they meet September 23, 2009.
 
Name of the West Fork Renewable Resource Center
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  The W.F.R.R.C. Committee is asking that we rename the Center after Henry Griffith.  Henry was very instrumental in getting the Center up and running.   My personal thought is that if the people who are out in the trenches everyday want it then I am of a mind to approve it but it is up to the Council to decide.  The Committee want to change it to the Henry Griffith Renewable Resource Center and I would suggest that we add “of West Fork” since it is a West Fork project as well.
 
 
The Council then discussed the different ways to memorialize the people in our community that contribute significantly to the City of West Fork.
 
The Council agreed that there are many valid points of why the City should rename the Center.  The main reason against renaming is that it is a City owned property and we will run out of buildings before we run out of valued citizens of West Fork.
 
Mayor Throgmortonlet the Council know that Henry Griffith was asked his opinion.  At first he said no because so many other people were involved in the Center but then they all talked with him and Henry said if it was that important to the people involved in the Center then he was okay with it.
 
Mayor Throgmorton suggested that the topic be tabled until a format for Memorials is decided on.  We would then need a Committee with council members and citizens from the Community.
 
There was a motion to table renaming the West Fork Renewable Resource Center until we can get a guideline set.
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Alderman Shafer withdrew the motion to table.
 
The discussion continued regarding renaming the West Fork Renewable Resource Center.  It was noted that the office at the Center is named Henry’s Hut.  It was also noted that the people that work, voluntarily, at the Center are passionate about renaming the Center.  The other viewpoint is that the Center belongs to the people of West Fork.
 
Mayor Throgmorton said that what we have is a group of people that are down there every Saturday morning rain, shine, sleet or snow and they have been involved from the start.
 
There was a motion to take a yes or no vote on changing the name of the West Fork Renewable Resource Center to the Henry Griffith Renewable Resource Center of the City of West Fork.
Motion:  Justin Harris
Second:  John Foster
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  All those in favor of taking a vote say “aye”.
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Unanimous
The motion carried to take a vote on changing the name of the West Fork Renewable Resource Center to the Henry Griffith Renewable Resource Center of the City of West Fork.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Mayor Throgmorton:  All right Kristie do you want to do the Roll Call Vote?  That was just whether to take the vote.
 
Justin Harris:  No
Misty Caudle:  No
Julie Shafer:  Abstain
John Foster:  Yes
John Richard:  Yes
Anita Lowry:  No
Rodney Drymon:  Yes
 
Amended at October 15, 2009 City Council Meeting to include Alderwoman Jami Coker in the Roll Call. 
 
Jami Coker:  No
 
Attorney Hudson:  Four vote No and Three vote yes then the motion fails because to be approved it would need a majority of Five yes votes.
 
The motion can be brought back up but at this time the motion fails because we did not have a majority.
 
 
ADJOURNMENT:  Motion to adjourn by Alderwoman Julie Shafer, second by Alderwoman Misty Caudle.  There being no objection, the meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m.
 
_________________________________________________________________

August

AGENDA
CITY OF WEST FORK
COUNCIL MEETING
August 11, 2009 6:30PM
 
Call to order of regular council meeting
 
Opening invocation-
 
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America
 
Approval of Agenda and attached Department Reports as mailed
 
Approval of Minutes from June 22, 2009  and July 14, 2009 as mailed
 
Public Forum
 
REPORTS:
 
A.     Court Report – Pauletta Welch
B.     Library Report – Joan Bachman
C.     Park Report – Stephen Sprick
D.    Police Report – Chief Nelson
E.     Fire Report – Chief McCorkle
F.     West Fork Renewable Resource Center – 
G.    West Fest –
H.    Business/Utility Report – Butch Bartholomew
 
UNFINISHED BUSINESS:
 
A.  Update regarding  280 W. Main Street and 260 McKnight Avenue
 
NEW BUSINESS:
 
A.  Appoint a Council member to the Recycle Committee      
 

__________________________________________________________________________

West Fork City Council Minutes
July 14, 2009
 
CALL TO ORDER:  The Regular Meeting of the West Fork City Council was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Mayor Throgmorton at the West Fork Administration Building.
 
MEMBERS PRESENT:      Rodney Drymon, Anita Lowry, John Richard, Jami Coker
John Foster, Julie Shafer, Misty Caudle, Justin Harris
 
MEMBERS ABSENT:        None
 
OTHERS PRESENT:          Mayor Jan Throgmorton, City Clerk Susan Cooney, Business Manager Butch Bartholomew, Treasurer Kristie Drymon, City Attorney Rusty Hudson,
Police Chief Mike Nelson, Fire Chief Mitch McCorkle, Court Clerk Pauletta Welch,
Head Librarian Joan Bachman, WFRRC Paul Libor, Parks Director Stephen Sprick
Audience:  Caroline Smith, Danny Schultz, Clarence Wiles, E. Janet Adair, Paula Caudle, Hazel Baker, Kimberly Jones  Press:  Steve Winkler West Fork Zephyr, Steve Foster White River Valley News
 
INVOCATION:  The meeting was opened with an invocation by Alderman Justin Harris.
 
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE:  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by the Mayor.
 
New Alderman
Ms. Jami Coker was sworn in by Mayor Jan Throgmorton to represent
Ward Four Position One.
 
Agenda           There was a motion to approve the agenda as amended.  The amendment is to add an Executive Session and to move up Parks Director Stephen Sprick to report first.
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Drymon, Lowry, Caudle, Foster, Shafer, Harris, Richard
The motion carried and the amended agenda was approved.
 
Minutes           There was a motion to approve the minutes as mailed. 
Motion:  Julie Shafer
Second:  Misty Caudle
Voice Vote:   Ayes:  Drymon, Lowry, Caudle, Foster, Shafer, Harris, Richard
The motion carried and the minutes were approved.
 
PUBLIC FORUM:  6:35 pm. to 6:52 pm.
 
Fireworks        Ms. Kimberly Jones and Ms. E. Janet Adair asked about the specifics of the Ordinance for Fireworks.  Although she is very happy with the City of West Fork, Ms. Jones is very unhappy with the setting of fireworks during the week before the Fourth of July and during the day.  The noise is excessive which terrifies many pets and wildlife.  Ms. Adair noted that the debris is scattered everywhere and some of the fireworks are extremely loud.  They both voiced concern about the fireworks being set off all over town and asked if they could be restricted to certain locations to increase the safety to children and animals.
 
                        The Council let Ms. Jones and Ms. Adair know that the Ordinance allows the fireworks to be set off only July 3rd and July 4th,  9 am. to Midnight both days.
 
                        Ms. Adair asked how to restrict fireworks landing in random yards. 
 
                        Mayor Throgmorton said that the City will post the Ordinance at the Police Station next year.  The Police can be called if fireworks are set off at any of the parks or set off before July 3rd.  All fireworks sold at the stands are legal in West Fork.  Mayor Throgmorton said they will look into using specific types of fireworks.  Alderman Richard suggested posting the Ordinance at the fireworks stands and Business Manager Bartholomew suggested a notice on the June water bill.
 
Trash
at the Parks     Ms. Kimberly Jones stated that she Riverside Park is one of the most gorgeous parks she has ever been to but is concerned about the amount of dog poop that is left on the grounds.  She asked about stations where people can get bags and throw the bags away. Ms. Jones asked if trashcans may be placed at the far end of the park.
 
Speeding on Neighborhood
Streets             Ms.  Janet Adairasked about speeding cars specifically coming up Redbud.  She asked that the Council consider a three way stop at Redbud and Sycamore.  Mayor Throgmorton assured Ms. Adair that the Police Department will look into the matter.
 
Welcome to Alderwoman
Jami Coker      Ms. Caroline Smith welcomed her new Alderwoman.  Ms. Smith also voiced her concern regarding speeding cars on Redbud.  She has noticed that when a police car is present there is no speeding problem.  Ms. Smith mentioned that it would be nice if there were more than one grocery store to increase the variety of  products available in West Fork.  Ms. Smith ended by thanking Mayor Throgmorton for helping with the electricity outage to their street.
 
 
Department Reports on file.
 
Speed Bumps  In response to another petition for speed bumps, Mayor Throgmortonasked the Council to allow the Police and Street Departments to consider future petitions before they are presented to the Council.  After the further investigation of traffic patterns, the Council will be made aware when valid cause has been found to add street signs or speed bumps.
 
                        Fire Chief McCorklelet the Council know that he is firmly against speed bumps because they greatly hinder the emergency response time and can cause severe damage to emergency vehicles.  The Chief also underlined the fact that emergency patients are inflicted with great pain when moved over speed bumps.  He recommended increasing police patrols in neighborhoods to discourage the reckless speeding in West Fork neighborhoods.
 
There was a motion to allow the Police Department and Streets Department to conduct studies of traffic patterns in response to citizen requests before the West Fork City Council responds to requests for adding street signs and/or speed bumps.
Motion:  John Richard
Second:  Julie Shafer
Roll Call Vote. Ayes:  Drymon, Richard, Lowry, Caudle, Foster, Shafer, Harris.
The motion carried and the Police Department and Streets Department will study requests for adding street signs and/or speed bumps before the Council responds to the requests.
 
 
Unfinished Business:
 
A)        Update regarding Ordinance No. 407:  Structures at 280 W. Main Street and 260 McKnight Avenue
 
Mayor Throgmorton said the lawsuit has been dismissed and the City may move forward with helping to take care of the corner property at the center of town.
 
 
 
New Business :           No new business.
 
Executive Session:    
At 7:45pm an Executive Session was called to discuss a public official.  The Executive Session ended at 8:55pm. No action was taken.
 
ADJOURNMENT:  Motion to adjourn by Alderwoman Julie Shafer, second by Alderwoman Misty Caudle.  There being no objection, the meeting adjourned at 9:00 p.m.
 
 
 

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