BELLA VISTA -- The Bella Vista City Council took care of a couple of housekeeping items associated with a council's first meeting of the year on Monday night before diving into an agenda that included votes on a new fire truck and vehicles for the Police Department.
Every vote that came up during the meeting, held online via Zoom, ended in a 6-0 tally except for the first one, which involved the selection of a mayor pro tem for 2022. Every year the council must elect a new mayor pro tem, who fills in if the mayor is on vacation, is ill or for any other reason that keeps he or she from presiding.
Council members Doug Fowler, John Flynn and Steven Bourke were nominated for the position Monday night. After Bourke withdrew his name the vote went in favor of Fowler by a 4-2 margin.
The council also passed a resolution designating authorized disbursing officers and a municipal depository board for the city for 2022. The disbursing officers remained the same from last year: Mayor Peter Christie and Finance Director Kim Hall. In the event one or both are absent or unavailable, the council approved the following alternates (in order): Fowler, City Clerk Wayne Jertson, Police Chief James Graves and council member Jim Wozniak.
The Municipal Depository Board for the city for 2022 is also the same from last year: Christie, Hall and Jertson.
The council passed a resolution authorizing a contract with G&W Diesel Services Inc./Emergency Vehicle Specialists, through the Houston Galveston Area Council Cooperative purchasing program, in the amount of $1,255,085 for the purchase of a Pierce Enforcer 107-foot aerial fire truck with associated equipment for use by the Bella Vista Fire Department.
The department is expected to take possession of the truck in 2023.
The council also passed a resolution authorizing a contract with Superior Automotive Group for the purchase of a Chevrolet Tahoe, a Chevrolet 1500 four-wheel-drive pickup and a Dodge Ram 2500 four-wheel-drive pickup in a total amount not to exceed $105,000 for the Police Department.
A five-year contract with Time Striping Inc. for street striping and placement of pavement markings was also approved by the council. This is the same company which has handled the city's striping and marking services in the past.
An ordinance was approved by the council regarding the vacation of a drainage easement at 2 Riordan Road, pursuant to Bella Vista code.
"As you'll recall when we first started this process we didn't have a full legal description so we just let it carry and, if I remember correctly, we actually tabled it for a month as well," said Christie. "We now have those legal descriptions in."
The easement is located between Casey's and the construction site for the new Phat Tire business.
The council passed another ordinance amending the issue of fences put up by corner lot property owners.
According to the ordinance, the amendment removes "the additional restriction of corner-lot property owners," therefore making fence location restrictions "more fair amongst all property owners" while providing relief to property owners and city staff in the administration of this code provision.
The council did table one item, a resolution adopting the finalized Benton County Hazard Mitigation Plan.
The plan contained a couple of errors, including an erroneous population figure for Bella Vista as well as the misidentification of water towers as belonging to the Bella Vista Property Owners Association.
"There's no hint (the towers) belong to the municipality as part of the plan," Christie told the council.
While county officials told the council it is important to move forward with this plan, they had yet to send a corrected version of the plan back to the city, by Monday night's meeting, thus leading the council to table the resolution until its February meeting.
Even though the current plan the county is working under has in fact expired, the county has 90 days to get the plan corrected and passed.
The city council's next work session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Feb. 22, and its next regular meeting for 6:30 p.m. Feb. 28.
The Planning Commission will hold a work session at 4:30 p.m. Thursday, and a regular meeting at 4:30 p.m. Feb. 14.
The next Board of Construction Appeals meeting will be held Feb. 8 if necessary.