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Mountain Home City Council approved a request by Mountain Home City Clerk Scott Liles to begin digitizing some of the city’s documents in an effort to cut down on the city’s storage needs for document retention.
The ordinance, which passed by a 6-0 vote on all three readings, creates an official policy to address the ongoing scanning, preservation, and retention of Exhibit files from City Council meetings.
“This means that upon the completion of the minutes from a particular City Council meeting, workshop or public hearing, the city clerk will then make a digital copy of the meeting’s exhibit files to be retained by the city,” Liles said during the meeting. “Also, we will prepare a certificate certifying that the reproduced documents is an accurate copy of the original record, and that the certificate also will be reproduced with the original documents.”
Under the ordinance, Liles and future clerks will make digital copies of City Council meetings, workshops and public hearings upon completion of their minutes. That file will then be retained by the city for official use.
At the time of reproduction, the City Clerk will also prepare a certificate to certify that the reproduced document is an accurate copy of the original record. The certificate shall also be reproduced with the original documents.
Once the digital document has been created, the city will consider it to be a “true and accurate version of the document” and will seek to preserve the record as it would with the original documents. Electronic documents will remain available to the public upon a FOIA request.
“All your larger cities here in Arkansas, Little Rock, Conway and others; they’ve all gone totally electronic,” Liles said. “You won’t be able to get a printed copy of any of their documents and even their vote records are all electronic. I like paper and think it’s a good thing, but when it comes to storing things, it is taking up a lot of space.”
The City Clerk may then destroy the paper document in whatever manner and timeframe that the clerk deems efficient.
Under the ordinance, the following documents will continue to be maintained permanently in either their original or electronic form: ordinances, City Council minutes, resolutions, annual financial audits, and year-end financial statements.
The ordinance goes into effect Jan. 2024.
“As far as storing the documents, it is taking up a lot of space, and if we could start scanning them in and start saving them all digitally starting in January, it will really save space,” said Liles.
Following the passing of the electronic records ordinance, City Council took up the second reading of their ordinance over the retail selling, manufacturing, shooting, and discharge of fireworks within the boundaries of Mountain Home’s city limits.
Underneath the ordinance all fireworks displays and fireworks retail sales would require an authorization permit by Mountain Home’s Fire Chief or Fire Inspector. The permit must be signed by the Fire Chief for it to be approved. The permit will cost $100.
Those wishing to sell fireworks in the city limits will also be required to obtain a permit from the Arkansas State Police. The permit must then be taken to the Mountain Home Fire Chief, along with a corporate surety bond (or a public liability insurance policy) of $100,000.
A corporate surety bond or public liability insurance policy of $250,000 will be needed to conduct a fireworks show within city limits.
Fireworks may be sold from June 20th through July 10th and from Dec. 10th to Jan. 5th of each year. Applications for permits must be submitted at least five days before the discharging of fireworks.
During the discussion on the fireworks ordinance, Mountain Home City Councilwoman Paige Evans said she had received no pushback on the ordinance as most people already thought that it was illegal to sell and use fireworks in the city limits.
The ordinance failed to reach its third reading due to a lack of votes. A third reading of the ordinance will be held in the next council meeting and is expected to pass.
For its last item of the evening, City Council took up a resolution authorizing the Mayor of Mountain Home to attach liens to certain properties for the purpose of collecting money owed to the city of Mountain Home.
In 2020, the council approved an ordinance allowing the city to order property owners within city limits to cut weeds, remove garbage, rubbish and other unsightly articles from their property. If the owner could not be contacted to clean up their property, or if they would not do it themselves, then the city would do it for them at cost.
Thursday’s resolution, which passed unanimously, allows the mayor to attempt to collect the money owed to the city for its cleanup services.
“Most of these cases have been where the owners have been out of town for an extended period of time and the issue falls into our hands to handle it,” said Mike Anderson, city code enforcement officer. “One extreme case we’ve recently seen is a property on Locust Street that was almost completely covered in foliage; there was a car on the side that was covered in foliage and rubbish.”
The resolution listed four separate properties that currently owe the city money. One property located on Locust Street, currently owes the city $2,590.86. Other prices range from $285 to $535.
The list of properties can be found below.
1. Owner’s Name and Address: William L. Hindman, 2010 State Hwy KK,
- Springfield, MO 65803
- Property Address: 1417 Hallmark Circle, Mountain Home, AR 72653
- Parcel No. 007-01046-000
- Date: 7/18/2023 to 9/29/2023
- Expense Incurred: $535.00
2. Owner’s Name and Address: Bradley and Christy Razer
- Property Address: 706 Gray Street, Mountain Home, AR 72653
- Parcel No. 007-00980-000
- Date: 8/29/2023 to 9/29/2023
- Expense Incurred: $285.00
3. Owner’s Name and Address: Little Johnny Dean
- Property Address: 609 Locust Street, Mountain Home, AR 72653
- Parcel No. 007-01511-000
- Date: 7/18/2023 to 9/29/2023
- Expense Incurred: $2,590.86
4. Owner’s Name and Address: Donald McCoy
- Property Address: 1761 Fairway Drive, Mountain Home, AR 72653
- Parcel No. 007-03158-000
- Date: 8/23/2023 to 9/29/2023 Expense Incurred: $450.00