Organizational chart, large subdivision on board’s study agenda

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 192 views 

A change in the city’s organizational chart and annexation of 325 acres for a new housing subdivision are two top items the Fort Smith board of directors will review at their Tuesday (Aug. 10) board meeting.

The change in the city’s administrative organizational chart is brought about by a new performance evaluation process, according to memo from City Administrator Dennis Kelly to the board of directors.

“In the course of setting up a performance evaluation process wherein the Department Directors report directly to the City Administrator (CA) for operational purposes it is necessary to ‘realign’ the organization charts from the 2010 Budget to show Department Directors line up as such,” Kelly noted.

The change would put eight area under Kelly’s (city administrator) oversight that would put at least 14 people answering to Kelly. Deputy City Administrator Ray Gosack would oversee two city sections — management services and development services — that would include managing at least seven people.

“The CA and DCA (Gosack) have discussed and realigned responsibilities between themselves such that the DCA will take on more of the intergovernmental responsibilities such as State Legislation, supporting the city’s federal lobbying effort, preparing earmark applications, responding to inquiries from congressional staff, Regional Group representation (i.e. RITA, WAPPD, Bi-State MPO, Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority, Sebastian County criminal justice coordinating committee), Citizen complaints and troubleshooting, assisting board members with information needs and constituent service requests, manage all bond financings, and handle media relations and publications including the Focus on Fort Smith newsletter,” Kelly noted in the memo.

The staff is recommended the board approve the change at its Aug. 17 regular meeting.

The board will also get an update on a new “Middleton Farms” subdivision annexation that would pull 325 acres into the city limits. The proposed 820-lot subdivision is located east of Riley Farms in south Fort Smith. Street work for the new subdivision is estimated at $3.9 million, with the city’s share being $1.6 million. The water and sewer costs would be the full responsibility of the developer. Land around a lake on the property may be donated to the city to develop as a park.

“Although there may be some municipal service challenges, annexation does provide benefits,” Wally Bailey, director of development services for Fort Smith noted in a memo. “It helps the city and region grow, provide new housing choices, increase the property tax base, and increase our population which increases economic activity.”

The large subdivision would be built out in four phases, with the first phase estimated to be complete by 2012 and the fourth phase estimated to be finished in 2023.