In a rare Tuesday night meeting because of the Dr. Martin Luther King holiday last week, the City Council met and quickly disposed of its business.
An ordinance amending the city’s requirements for fences was approved by a vote of five to three. Aldermen Hogue and Norris voted no but Alderman Burch Johnson was absent so his vote is considered a no vote.
Developer Jeff Fuller’s request to start a special improvement district was approved by a vote of six for and two against. Again Johnson’s absence was still a no vote and Alderman Steve Mosley voted no. He expressed concern over previous districts and how they were handled.
Mosley send out a report to his constituents and described the issue as such: “Jeff Fuller, a developer in the County Club of Arkansas, has come before the Council with a formal request to set up a Special Improvement District to roll about $7,000 per lot of infrastructure expenses into the District. He has about 50 lots he wants to develop. How this works is that a developer rolls some portion of his costs to develop a lot into such a district and the buyer of the lot or house is then taking on about $7,000 of debt in addition to the sales price that he must pay off over 30 years similar to mortgage. It works quite well for the developer as he gets to pass much of his costs on to the buyer that he would normally have to absorb himself. In his situation, he will be passing on about $350,000 to buyers that he won’t have to absorb. The good thing is that the portion per lot won’t be as much as what was done in the 80’s and 90’s, but the bad thing is I think it will still be confusing for buyers who are not experienced in such things. Basically, I don’t think buyers will be savvy enough to recognize what is going on and demand a corresponding reduction in the sales price. This will also be confusing to subsequent buyers who also might not realize they are taking on this debt when they buy the house at some time in the future. The concept caused Maumelle considered ‘a buyer beware city’ years ago and I don’t think this is a good concept to use again.”
No other council member expressed concern about abuse Maumelle has seen from other developers.
Another ordinance rewriting the job description for the City Attorney’s position was approved by a vote of six to two with Johnson and Norris’ non votes counting as no’s.
An emergency clause was approved by the same vote.
The council also approved an ordinance on waiving competitive bidding for police vehicles since the state takes bids and designates a vendor which sales the vehicles at the agreed upon state rates. Rules were suspended and the council approved the ordinance after three readings in one day.
Mosley voted no.