The Fort Smith Board of Directors will have a special meeting before its regular study session Tuesday during which directors may change how they voted on ordinances establishing business license fees and raising franchise fees.
In two 4-3 votes last week, the board approved a $100 annual business license fee, excluding new businesses in their first year, and raised franchise fees to the maximum allowed by state law, which requires companies such as Oklahoma Gas and Electric to pay 4.25 percent of their sales to the city, up from 4 percent.
Both ordinances must pass three readings at public meetings before they can be officially adopted and go into effect.
Ward 1 Director Keith Lau, Ward 2 Director Andre Good, Ward 3 Director Mike Lorenz and Ward 4 Director George Catsavis voted in favor of the business license fee. At-large Directors Tracy Pennartz, Kevin Settle and Don Hutchings voted against it.
The franchise fee increase passed with Ward 1 Director Keith Lau, Ward 2 Director Andre Good, Ward 3 Director Mike Lorenz and At-large Director Tracy Pennartz in favor of it. Ward 4 Director George Catsavis, At-large Director Don Hutchings and At-large Director and Vice Mayor Kevin Settle voted against it.
At the study session, the board will discuss parking meter rates, penalties and payments. The board was set to vote on raising parking meter rates and fines in early October but opted to hold off on a decision until the city could further discuss the matter with the Central Business Improvement District and other downtown development groups.
The proposed parking rate for Garrison Avenue parking meters was 25 cents for 30 minutes, up from 25 cents for one hour and 25 cents for 40 minutes instead of for one hour at all other on-street parking meters. The city had also proposed a 25-cent for 40 minutes to park at the Second Street Parking Lot, which is currently free, and raising parking meter fines from $5 to $10.
The board will also discuss curbs and gutters versus concrete ditches, amendments to the annual salaries, benefits and related procedures ordinance regarding city employees and the proposed purchase of new columbarium at Oak Cemetery.
The Board of Directors special meeting and study session will be noon Tuesday at the Fort Smith Public Library, 3201 Rogers Ave.