Marked Tree working on contract with Awesome Products

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The city of Marked Tree is currently working on getting a contract in place to make clear the obligations of both the city and Awesome Products regarding Awesome's facility and the rail spur the city had built.

During last month's city council meeting, the council authorized city attorney Jobi Teague to draft a letter to L.D. Hardas, owner of Awesome Products, stating the city's stipulations for the company to avoid litigation. Marked Tree spent in excess of $240,000 to put in a rail spur for Awesome Products, and while the council feels they fulfilled their obiligation to Awesome, Teague's letter states Awesome did not follow through on delivering the number of jobs they promised, between 120 and 300.

Teague's letter gave two options for Awesome. One option would have involved Awesome making the insurance payments on the rail spur until the company employs 120 people at the Marked Tree facility. The second option was for Awesome to immediately begin making payments of $12,000 per year to the city until the balance of $240,000 spent building the rail spur is paid in full. With both options, Marked Tree retains ownership of the rail spur.

Teague told the council Hardas chose the second option and wanted it in contract form. Teague wrote up a contract concerning the terms of repayment and ran it by the council Monday night to get their suggestions for any changes before he sends it to Hardas. Teague pointed out one of the stipulations in the contract says if the contract ends up being disputed after it's signed, the issue would be resolved by arbitration in Arkansas using an arbitrator of the city of Marked Tree's choosing.

The council passed a motion to add a couple stipulations to the contract. If Awesome uses the rail spur, they must pay the insurance on the spur, and Awesome must be responsible for maintaining their grounds. Teague will send the contract to Hardas' lawyer for approval.

In other business, the council:

*voted on an ordinance waiving competitive bidding to purchase a knuckle boom loader for $14,000. The ordinance did not pass with a vote of 4-for and 2-against.

*Discussed contract with Teague's Flying Service. City Clerk Pam Wright said Jerry Teague wants a five year lease instead of a one year lease and she would check on its legality. The issue was tabled.

*adopted a resolution to accept the 2013 amended budget.

*accepted the 2012 audit report.

*adopted a resolution fixing the minimum price for fixed assets to be placed in the inventory and the maximum price for fixed assets to be removed from the inventory.

*discussed the police deparment's need of a new car after the motor blew out in the 2008 Charger. The matter was tabled.

*hired a police dispatcher.

*heard a proclamation from Mayor Mary Ann Arnold declaring March 17 to be Arbor Day in Marked Tree. An Arbor Day ceremony will take place at the corner of Elm St. and Friso St. at 10 a.m. Monday, March 17.

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