Fayetteville City Council recap: Jan. 3, 2023

(Flyer photo, File)

On the agenda…

  • Deferring water and sewer rate increases.
  • ARPA funds for WelcomeHealth.
  • ARPA funds for Magdalene Serenity House.
  • ARPA funds for arts and culture organizations.
  • Extending the allowable period for ARPA funding.
  • Changes to public notification for denied conditional use permits.
  • Rezoning 0.61 acres on Hollywood Avenue.
  • Several property vacation requests.

» Download the agenda

Meeting info

A meeting of the Fayetteville City Council began at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3, 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. Election of Vice Mayor

Decision The council voted 8-0 to elect Sarah Bunch to another term as vice mayor

2. 2023 City Council Committee Appointments

Appointees:

Transportation Committee – Sonia Harvey, Sarah Moore, Sarah Bunch, Holly Hertzberg, Chris Brown, Terry Gulley
Water, Sewer & Solid Waste Committee – D’Andre Jones, Mike Wiederkehr, Scott Berna, Teresa Turk, Tim Nyander
Nominating Committee – Sonia Harvey, Mike Wiederkehr, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk, Jonathan Ramirez
Ordinance Review Committee – D’Andre Jones, Sarah Moore, Scott Berna, Holly Hertzberg, Kit Williams
Active Transportation Advisory Committee – Holly Hertzberg
Advertising and Promotion Commission – Sonia Harvey, Sarah Bunch
Animal Services Advisory Committee – Sarah Bunch
Audit Committee – D’Andre Jones
Environmental Action Committee – Teresa Turk
Washington County Regional Ambulance – Holly Hertzberg, Chief Hardin
Equipment Committee – Sonia Harvey, Sarah Moore, Scott Berna, Holly Hertzberg
Town and Gown Advisory Committee – Teresa Turk
Fayetteville Arts Council – Sonia Harvey
Black Heritage Preservation Commission – D’Andre Jones
Stormwater Committee Utility Study – Sonia Harvey, Mike Wiederkehr, Sarah Bunch, Teresa Turk
NWA Regional Planning Commission – Mayor Jordan, Chris Brown, Jonathan Curth
Firemen’s Pension and Policemen’s Pension – Mayor Jordan, Kara Paxton


3. Report of Firemen’s and Policemen’s Pension and Relief Fund


4. Monthly Financial Report

 


Consent

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 Dec. 20, 2022 City Council Meeting Minutes.
Pass 8-0

2. Recognizing Revenue from the Court Automation Fund (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $20,000.00 recognizing revenue from the Court Automation Fund, to authorize the purchase of ten court video security cameras, four desktop computers and one printer for the Court Operations in the amount of $13,411.00, with the remaining funds to purchase equipment as needed.
Pass 8-0

3. Bid #22-55 Kusser GraniteWorks USA, Inc. (Details): A resolution to award Bid #22-55 and approve the purchase of materials for the Civic Plaza water feature from Kusser GraniteWorks USA, Inc. d/b/a Kusser FountainWorks in the amount of $1,102,434.00 and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

4. Construction Materials and Bad Debt Expense Accounts (Details): A resolution to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $325,000.00 for the Construction Materials and Bad Debt expense accounts within the Water and Sewer Fund.
Pass 8-0

5. Tomlinson Asphalt Co. (Details): A resolution to award Bid #22-27 and authorize a contract with Tomlinson Asphalt Co. in the amount of $2,178,659.65 for construction of the Industrial Drive Extension Project, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $218,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

6. McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. (Details): A resolution to approve Amendment No. 2 to the engineering services agreement with McClelland Consulting Engineers, Inc. in the amount of $132,690.00 for bidding services, construction phase services and materials testing associated with the Industrial Drive Extension Project, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

7. Structural Preservation Systems, LLC (Details): A resolution to waive competitive bidding and authorize a design-build contract with Structural Preservation Systems, LLC in an amount not to exceed $2,477,644.00 for engineering and construction services related to emergency trenchless repair of a 48-inch diameter sanitary sewer under Interstate 49, and to approve a project contingency in the amount of $375,000.00.
Pass 8-0

8. Recycling Grant Program Application (Details): A resolution to authorize an EPA Solid Waste Infrastructure for Recycling Grant Program application in the total amount of up to $4,000,000.00 for improvements to the city’s Recycling Processing Facility.
Pass 8-0

9. Krapff Reynolds Construction Co. (Details): A resolution to approve a one year extension to the contract with Krapff Reynolds Construction Co. in the amount of $590,789.00 for rehabilitation of sanitary sewer manholes throughout Fayetteville.
Pass 8-0

10. Ozark Regional Transit, Inc. (Details): A resolution to waive competitive bidding and authorize a one-year contract between the City of Fayetteville, Arkansas and Ozark Regional Transit, Inc. in the amount of $698,830.00 to provide public transit services for Fayetteville residents, with automatic renewals for up to four additional one-year terms.
Pass 8-0

11. Seven Hills Homeless Center (Details): A resolution to approve a contract with Seven Hills Homeless Center to provide funding assistance in the amount of $40,000.00 for maintenance and repairs at the Walker Family Residential Community Complex in 2023.
Pass 8-0

12. E.W.I. Inc. (Details): A resolution to award Bid #22-54 and authorize a contract with E.W.I. Inc. in the amount of $1,536,980.00 for construction of the Wilson Park pavilion restroom facilities, to approve a project contingency in the amount of $139,725.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

13. Seven Hills Homeless Center (Details): A resolution to waive the requirements of formal competitive bidding and approve a contract with Seven Hills Homeless Center in the amount of $113,400.00 for services to homeless and needy residents in Fayetteville in 2023.
Pass 8-0

14. Lease Agreement with the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas (Details): A resolution to approve a lease agreement with the Board of Trustees of the University of Arkansas for the unoccupied banquet area in the Airport Terminal Building to be used by the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute to conduct classes from Jan. 1, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2023, in the amount of $45.00 for each day the space is used.
Pass 8-0


Unfinished Business

1. 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

Background:
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.


New Business

1. Adopt the Rules of Order and Procedure (Details)

A resolution to adopt the Rules of Order and Procedure of the Fayetteville City Council for 2023.
Pass 8-0

Background:
The City Council re-adopts its Rules of Order and Procedure at the beginning of every year. The rules were last revised on Dec. 6, 2022 when the council approved a change stipulating that speakers present in the council chambers shall be recognized before speakers participating through electronic means. There have been no other changes since then.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.


2. Amend 51.136 Monthly Water Rates & 51.137 Monthly Sewer Rates (Details)

An ordinance to amend § 51.136(a)(2), § 51.136(b)(2), § 51.136(c)(2), § 51.137(a)(2), § 51.137(b)(2), and § 51.137(e)(3) of the Fayetteville City Code to defer water and sewer rate increases for 2023 until after the adoption of a new rate study, and to declare an emergency.
Pass 8-0

Background:
An automatic 3% annual cost increase in water and sewer rates is required by city law, however, the city administration is currently working on a new water and sewer rate study that will include recommendations sometime in the next few months. If approved, those recommendations would result in two separate rate changes for water and sewer customers. Staff said to avoid confusion and multiple financial adjustments, it is recommended that the annual 3% cost adjustment for January 2023 be waived, and that new rates be considered later this year once the study is complete.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


3. Repeal Ordinance No. 3696 (Details)

An ordinance to repeal Ordinance No. 3696 and to authorize the city to waive any requirement for competitive bidding or more than one quote to purchase plumbing pipes, fittings, water meters, fire hydrants, manholes and their covers, coatings, and hardware needed by the Water and Sewer Department through 2026.
Pass 8-0

Background:
City staff said in order to act more quickly to repair broken water and sewer mains the city is allowed to waive competitive bidding for some pipes, fittings and hardware, but the law doesn’t always cover all the parts needed. This ordinance would solve that issue, staff said.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

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


4. Subrecipient Agreement with WelcomeHealth (Details)

A resolution to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign a subrecipient agreement with WelcomeHealth to provide no- cost medical and dental care to low income Fayetteville residents utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funds in the amount of $75,000.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.
Pass 8-0

Background:
WelcomeHealth is seeking $75,000 to help provide free medical and dental care to clients for a full year using a portion of the city’s $17.9 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds.

Discussion:
Former Councilmember Kyle Smith said the council should table this item and the following ARPA-related decisions for a few weeks to allow more time to consider how to use the remaining funds.

Representatives from WelcomeHealth and Magdalene Serenity House asked the council not to table the items, and to act now to provide assistance for those who have applied.

Decision:
The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.


5. Magdalene Serenity House, Inc. (Details)

Pass 8-0
A resolution to authorize Mayor Jordan to sign a subrecipient agreement with Magdalene Serenity House, Inc. to provide supportive recovery housing for formerly incarcerated women utilizing American Rescue Plan Act funds in the amount of $128,789.00, and to approve a budget adjustment.

Background:
Magdalene Serenity House is seeking $128,789 to renovate a recently purchased house for four graduates of its program for formerly incarcerated women, increasing the organization’s total number of women served from 8 to 12 residents.

Discussion:
Wiederkehr said Magdalene Serenity House serves a unique community that other nonprofits don’t address and that are especially impacted when it comes to housing. He urged the council to approve the resolution.

Decision:
The council voted 8-0 to approve the resolution.


6. American Rescue Plan Act Funds for Arts and Culture (Details)

A resolution to allocate $3,000,000.000 (three million dollars) in American Rescue Plan Act funds for arts and culture nonprofit organizations operating in Fayetteville and to approve a budget adjustment in the amount of $3,000,000.00.
Tabled indefinitely 8-0

Background:
Councilmember Sonia Harvey sponsored this resolution that would allocate $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds for projects organized by arts and culture nonprofits operating in Fayetteville.

The proposal includes the following schedule:
January 2023 – Advertise the grant opportunity.
February 2023 – Applications can be submitted.
March 2023 – Eligible applications are reviewed and evaluated, and funding recommendations made by Fayetteville Arts Council.
April 2023 – The City Council reviews and acts upon the recommendations made by the Fayetteville Arts
Council.

Discussion:
Harvey said the arts and culture sector was hit hard by the pandemic and needs a boost. She said the Arts Council recommended asking for an allocation of $3 million.

Moore suggested tabling this ordinance for a couple of meetings to make sure there aren’t other projects that need more funding. Waiting, Moore said, could help the council better prioritize how it uses the remainder of the ARPA money.

Mayor Jordan said one thing that will likely need more funding is the city’s new childcare assistance program. Officials last week said judging by the amount of applications that have already been submitted, the council may need to appropriate more ARPA money to the program.

Wiederkehr said he knows the arts and culture sector was affected by the pandemic, but there might be some higher priority needs when it comes to allocating ARPA funds, such as food insecurity, housing or other life-pressing issues.

Berna said those who are still asking for specific assistance should be considered first. He said he knows the arts sector is important, but he thinks $3 million is too much to ask for right now.

Bunch agreed, and said childcare is the foundation of being able to function in society, so that program should be a priority. However, she said supporting arts and culture organizations is also a valid proposal.

“I do want to recognize the importance of the creative economy in our city,” said Bunch. “Because we wouldn’t just be giving money to the arts. We’d be supporting organizations that employ people and that help educate our children.”

About a dozen people spoke during public comment, most who urged the council to consider approving the proposal.

Turk said it might be helpful to have a workshop to review some of the applications that have already been submitted, but that haven’t yet been approved. Harvey agreed, and moved to table the item indefinitely. That motion passed 8-0.


7. American Rescue Plan Act Reimbursement of Loss Revenue (Details)

A resolution to allow nonprofit organizations operating in Fayetteville to submit an application for reimbursement of loss revenue from American Rescue Plan Act funds from March 15, 2020 to March 2, 2021, and to approve a budget amendment of $1,000,000.00 (one million dollars) for these qualified applications.
Tabled indefinitely 8-0

Background:
Councilmember Teresa Turk sponsored this resolution that would allocate $1 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds toward a change that would allow nonprofit organizations to apply for financial help for pandemic-related losses that were incurred between March 2020 and March 2021 (the current rules only cover losses incurred between March 2021 to March 2022).

Discussion:
Turk said she would like the council to also table this item indefinitely for the same reasons as the above proposal. That motion passed 8-0.


8. VAC – Mitchell Street (Details)

A resolution to approve the vacation of a 16,552.8-square-foot portion of a tree preservation easement located along West Mitchell Street contingent on the dedication of two replacement tree preservation easements totaling approximately 37,519 square feet.
Fail 2-6

Background:
A tree preservation easement was dedicated as part of the development of JD China restaurant when it was built in 2001. The trees were placed in a preservation easement in order to meet the development requirements on the lot so that the restaurant could be built. After the restaurant closed, Raising Cane’s purchased and subdivided the lot into two parcels, with one used for Raising Cane’s and the other encumbered with the tree preservation easement in question.

A new applicant would like to build on the property, but would need to first get the tree preservation easement vacated. The applicant has offered to exchange the preservation for two separate tree preservation easements in other parts of the city.

The first parcel includes 0.2 acres on the west side of the city along Owl Creek and adjacent to Harmony Pointe Park. The other parcel includes 0.6 acres on the east side of the city near South Ray Avenue in an industrial area close to a residential neighborhood.

City staff said they visited the properties and determined that they do not offer more benefit or environmental services than the existing tree preservation easement since they are both on relatively unbuildable lots in the Streamside Protection Zone and in flood areas which are already protected by city code.

Location:

Discussion:
The applicant said he and his partners plan to dedicate 20% of the homes in the proposed development toward affordable housing.

Moore said 20% is a good start, but that she’d like the applicant to consider dedicating even more homes to affordable housing by possibly working with the city with a rent-controlled group of homes.

Bunch said the property was put into a tree preservation for a reason, and it was meant to follow the parcel in perpetuity. She said the owners of the land knew what they were doing when they agreed to the preservation and so should have anyone else who has since purchased it.

“I am seriously not in favor of this,” said Bunch. “Removing a tree preservation is a big deal and I would challenge everyone on the council to look hard at what we’d be giving away.”

City Attorney said the council would need very strict rules to use a promise of affordable housing as a tradeoff for removing a tree preservation, but that kind of promise could be difficult to secure considering state law does not allow cities to impose rent control on private properties.

Wiederkehr said the applicant took a risk in purchasing a property that legally can’t be developed upon without an ordinance change. He said he commends the developers for being upfront and trying to work with the council toward a deal, but he can’t support the request.

Berna said the previous owners and some former council members made a promise together and he’s not comfortable going back on that promise because it could potentially set a dangerous precedent.

The council voted 2-6 to deny the resolution. Hertzberg and Jones voted in favor.


9. Amend §157.05 Conditional Use Permit (Details)

An ordinance to amend subsection (b) of §157.05 Conditional Use Permit in Chapter 157 Notification and Public Hearings of the Unified Development Code to require public notification when the denial of a conditional use permit by the Planning Commission is appealed to the City Council.
Pass 7-0

Background:
When an applicant requests a conditional use permit, city law requires public notification that the Planning Commission will soon hear the request. The law requires posted and written notification in order to alert neighbors about the proposed use of the property. If the application is denied, the applicant has the right to appeal the decision to the City Council, but there is no rule that requires public notification that an appeal has been filed. This ordinance would solve that issue, staff said.

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Hertzberg left after item no. 8.


10. RZN 22-051 – 1030 S. Hollywood Ave. (Details)

An ordinance to rezone that property described in rezoning petition RZN 22-051 located at 1030 S. Hollywood Ave. in Ward 1 for approximately 0.61 acres from RSF-4, Residential Single-family, 4 units per acre and P-1, Institutional to CS, Community Services.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property contains a single-family home and is on a street that has recently seen other rezoning activity with other portions of the block being rezoned to CS, Community Services as recently as October 2020 and December 2020. The applicant has not submitted any specific development plans to city staff.

Both city planners and the Planning Commission recommend approval of the request.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Hertzberg left after item no. 8.


11. VAC 22-026 – 4267 W. Lierly Lane (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-026 for property located at 4267 W. Lierly Lane in Ward 4 to vacate a portion of a general utility easement.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property is in the Lierly Lane subdivision and includes one single-family home. The applicant proposes to vacate a portion of an existing utility easement.

City planners recommend approval of the request. The Planning Commission does not hear these types of requests.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Hertzberg left after item no. 8.


12. VAC 22-025 – east of North Storer Avenue (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-025 for property located east of North Storer Avenue in Ward 2 to vacate a portion of a utility easement.
Pass 7-0

Background:
The property is undeveloped and largely covered by mature tree canopy. A two-family residential structure previously occupied the site. A demolition permit was approved in February of 2022 to raze the structure. The applicant proposes to vacate a portion of an existing utility easement.

City planners recommend approval of the request. The Planning Commission does not hear these types of requests.

Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Hertzberg left after item no. 8.


13. VAC 22-027 – 103 N. Plainview Ave. (Details)

An ordinance to approve VAC 22-027 for property located at 103 N. Plainview Ave. in Ward 3 to vacate a portion of a water and sewer easement.

Background:
The property contains an incomplete structure that aerial imagery suggests was partially razed in 2013. The applicant proposes to vacate a portion of an existing water and sewer easement in the northwest portion of the property.

City planners recommend approval of the request. The Planning Commission does not hear these types of requests.
Location:

Discussion:
There was no public comment.

Decision:
The council advanced the ordinance to the third reading, and voted 7-0 to approve it. Hertzberg left after item no. 8.


14. 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.
Left on the first reading

Background:
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.

Location:

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.


Adjourned

This meeting was adjourned at 10:17 p.m.