Frequently Asked Questions - All FAQs

All FAQs
This information has been prepared to provide you with a brief outline of how a meeting of the Fort Smith Board of Directors is conducted and to give you an idea of what to expect if you are attending for the first time, or have a matter pending before the Directors for consideration.

All meetings of the Fort Smith Board of Directors are open to the public and are publicized through the local media.

The regular and special meetings, and the study sessions have a procedural outline which is followed each time. This outline consists of the following items:

COMPLETION OF SPEAKER'S CARD

Prior to the start of a regular or special meeting, any citizen who desires to address any item on the agenda must first complete a speaker's card (these are located on table at entrance to the meeting room) and give same to the city clerk.

INVOCATION AND PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

The meeting is called to order and the invocation and pledge are lead by an individual chosen by the mayor.

ROLL CALL

The roll call is conducted to determine if a quorum of the board of directors is present. Four (4) of the seven (7) members constitute a quorum, and at least five (5) members must be present in order for passage of an ordinance which is general and permanent in nature.

APPROVAL OF MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING

The first order of business is approval of the minutes from the previous meeting. The purpose of approving the minutes is to authenticate the record of the meeting and to allow the directors to review and if necessary, make amendments to the published record before it becomes official. All minutes of the board of directors meetings are on file in the city clerk's office.

MAYOR'S COMMENTS ON MEETING PROCEDURES

During this segment of the meeting, the mayor explains the time allotment for individuals who have indicated their desire to address the board concerning an agenda item. The time allotments are as follows:

Agenda Items - 5 minutes per side (does not include Board comments)

3 minutes per side for rebuttals (presentation of new info only)

Consent Agenda - 2 minutes per person for any comments/questions

If additional discussion or review time is needed, the item may be referred to the City Administrator or other appropriate staff.

PROCEDURES FOR REVIEWING AGENDA ITEMS

A standard procedure exists for reviewing the agenda items and is outlined as follows:

The mayor introduces the agenda item and refers to the city administrator or other appropriate staff member to present the item briefing.

The mayor then asks if any board members have questions or comments.

The mayor then asks if there are any citizens present to address the item.

Following all discussion, the mayor will entertain a motion. When the board is in a public hearing, the mayor will first close the public hearing before a motion can be made.

The vote occurs by a motion being made by one board member with another member seconding the motion. The city clerk then takes the vote by roll call and at the conclusion announces the results.

The consent agenda consist of those items deemed routine in nature (e.g., bids, final payments, etc.) and are therefore, listed on the agenda as "A-Z" items. Questions regarding any item can still be addressed, and, unless specifically requested, one vote for all items within the consent agenda is all that is necessary.

ORDINANCES OF GENERAL AND PERMANENT NATURE

"Suspending with the full reading" All by-laws and ordinances of a general and permanent nature (e.g., rezonings, utility rates, street closings, etc.) shall be fully and distinctly read on three (3) different days unless five (5) members of the board of directors dispense with the rule.

A motion for the adoption of an ordinance of general and permanent nature must call for the suspension of the rule. The city clerk reads the title of the ordinance and if five (5) affirmative votes are cast, then the ordinance passes on its first reading. When only four (4) affirmative votes are received, the three (3) separate readings must occur, and this normally involves consideration of the ordinance at three (3) different regular meetings of the board of directors before it becomes law.

EXECUTIVE SESSIONS

Except as otherwise specifically provided by law, executive sessions are permitted only for the purpose of discussing or considering employment, appointment, promotion, demotion, disciplining or resignation of any public officer or employee.

Prior to convening into executive session, the mayor announces the purpose of the executive session. The meeting room is cleared with only the mayor, board, and city administrator present for the executive session (unless otherwise permitted per the Arkansas Freedom of Information Act).

At the conclusion of the executive session, the mayor reconvenes the meeting and all other persons are invited back into the meeting room. The mayor announces appointment nominations (e.g., boards & commissions) and other action taken. For appointment nominations, a motion and second is made to accept the appointments.

ADJOURNMENT

At the conclusion of the meeting when all agenda items have been acted upon by the board of directors, and there is no further business scheduled on the agenda, a motion for adjournment is made.

STUDY SESSIONS

The week prior to the regular meeting of the board of directors, the board, along with staff, meet in a study session to review upcoming items for consideration including reports/updates on major projects, etc. These sessions are done to inform the board of pending issues in order to give them time to review each item in detail and obtain additional information if necessary prior to actually voting on the item. There is no official action taken at a study session.

Only the city administrator, the mayor, or a member of the board may invite persons to address the board at a study session.
Since August 1967, the citizens of Fort Smith have been served by the City Administrator form of government. The governing body consists of a mayor and seven directors who are elected by the citizens.

The City is divided into four equally-populated wards, and one director is elected from each ward. The Mayor and the other three directors are elected from the entire city, which is called elected "at large." All serve four-year terms.

The Mayor is the chairman of the Board of Directors and presides over all meetings of the directors. The mayor does not vote; however, the Mayor does have a veto which can be overridden by the Board of Directors. The mayor is also the ceremonial head of the city -- greeting visitors, speaking to various groups and honoring individuals and groups for outstanding accomplishments.

The Board of Directors approves the annual operating budget and sets the policies by which the City operates. The Board meets at 6:00 p.m. the first and third Tuesday of each month for official voting sessions. They also meet in study sessions at noon on the Tuesday prior to each voting session, to discuss the more difficult and controversial matters. All meetings of the Board of Directors are open to the public, which is required by the Arkansas Freedom of Information law.

To run for mayor or director, a resident must be at least 21 years of age and a qualified voter. For additional information regarding city election requirements, contact the City Clerk's Office, (479) 784-2208.

The City Administrator is hired by the Board of Directors to oversee the daily operations. The City Administrator serves at the will of the Board of Directors and must be a resident of the city. In addition to being responsible for the daily operations, the City Administrator also recommends an annual budget to the Board and makes policy recommendations.
Webster’s Dictionary defines the noun “audit” as “a methodical examination and review." As a verb, it means to “examine with intent to verify.” But here is another view. Auditors:

• Verify what’s really going on at a point in time;
• Find out about potential problems (hopefully before it’s too late to fix them);
• Evaluate the City of Fort Smith departments situations objectively;
• Make informed and sometimes difficult decisions;
• Consult with management/directors and suggest corrective actions, changes and improvements where needed.
We need audits to assist employees of the City with the effective discharge of their responsibilities. Internal auditing provides management with analyses, appraisals, recommendations and information concerning the internal control structure and the quality of performance in carrying out assigned activities and established objectives
Internal controls comprise the plan of organization and all the coordinated methods within an organization to safeguard its assets, check the accuracy and reliability of its accounting data, promote operational efficiency, and encourage adherence to prescribe managerial policies. Internal controls extend beyond those matters which relate directly to their functions of accounting or finance.
The best way to prepare for an audit and to ensure that an audit flows smoothly is to create and maintain good records. Audits rely on central database and records whenever possible. Having complete and orderly departmental records is extremely important.
Departments throughout the city may be audited for different reasons. Many audits are simply randomly generated or they may be generated due to a change in management. Being selected for an audit does not mean that you are doing something wrong. The fact is that audits of one type or another are a regular part of the business process.
Each year the auditor performs a risk assessment. Audit resources are directed to the program areas deemed high risk. The goal is to evaluate and to help improve the management of those risk.
There is no easy answer to this question, as each audit’s length will depend on the nature and the scope of the review. Small audits might last 10-80 hours, while more complex reviews can last several months.
Absolutely, if you have questions on policies, procedures, or best practices the auditor will be glad to help. In some cases the auditor will know the answer to your question, but if not, the auditor will be glad to research the answer to your question.

Simply put, internal controls are anything done at the City that helps to achieve planned objectives. Everyone uses internal controls in the day-to-day activities. Here are some examples of internal controls:

• Reconciliations – fuel, bank accounts, tax, bonds, etc… ensure that you have the correct amount/balance, it also ensures no one has accessed those funds, and it makes sure that mistakes have not been made in the account.

• Security of assets – all governmental entities must make the most of every dollar received, and it would not be prudent use of funds to constantly replace things that are lost because the assets are not secured. For instance, tools, equipment, computers, etc…

• Segregation of duties – ensure that one person does not have full control over certain activities. For instance, a person maintains and/or distributes fuel cards, receives the fuel reports, reconciles the fuel reports and pays the fuel reports.

 

Internal controls have many purposes. They allow the City of Fort Smith to:

1. Protect the City’s assets.
2. Ensure records are accurate.
3. Promote operational efficiency.
4. Encourage adherence to policies and procedures.

Yes, generally speaking, there are two different types of internal controls: preventive and detective controls.

• Preventive controls discourage errors, fraud, or irregularities from occurring.
• Detective controls are designed to find errors after they have occurred.

 

You can perform a self-assessment of your internal controls. Or, you can contact the auditor for assistance with the process. The auditor can provide you with tips to enhance your internal control structure; do an audit; or provide you with benchmarks and training on internal controls.

 

Fraud is the intentional false representation or concealment of a material fact that causes a person or business to suffer damages, often in the form of monetary loss.

 

There are many types of fraud, but most fraudulent actions can be grouped into three categories: government, employee, and consumer. Government fraud involves activities designed to deceive the government such as tax evasion. Employee fraud is when a worker defrauds his or her employer through embezzlement or falsifying expense reports. Consumer fraud includes cons or scams designed to bilk an individual out of money such as investment scams.

 

• Check tampering
• Misuse of Assets
• Omissions
• Conspiracy
• Embezzlement
• extortion
• False Statements
• Breach of Duty
• Forgery/Alteration
• Bribery
• Kickbacks
• Identity Theft

 

Employee fraud in the form of embezzlement, theft of assets, and falsifying expense reports.

 

It can be either. If treated as a civil violation, the person or business that was defrauded will be granted monetary judgment against the fraudster. If fraud is charged as a crime, the fraudster may face criminal penalties such as incarceration or probation.

 

The person who is likely to commit fraud has the following characteristics:

• Honest and trustworthy
• Has a position of responsibility
• Male or female
• In a position of trust
• Fewer restrictions or controls placed on them
• Any age

 

Fraud is committed by one who is capable of deceiving another. When a person is in a position of trust, has responsibility, and has been around for a while they usually are deemed to be trustworthy. That same trust and reputable character is what allows the fraudster to never be suspected and oftentimes get away with fraudulent activity.

 

• Personal financial pressure
• Substance abuse
• Increased stress
• Unexplained hours
• Domination personality
• Perfect “employee”
• Real or imagined grievances against the company or management
• Extravagant purchases or lifestyle
• Gambling abuse
• No vacation or sick time taken
• Missing files or data
• Excessive overtime
• Poor money management

 

1. Employee takes lunch break from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., but punches time clock as having taken a break from 1:30 to 2:30.
2. Employee does not enter into the time keeping system as being absent from work.

 

1. Employee takes lunch break from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m., but punches time clock as having taken a break from 1:30 to 2:30.
1. Most people will not commit fraud.
2. Fraud is usually not material enough to matter.
3. Fraud can’t happen at my job.
4. Auditors will find fraud if it exists.
5. Trusted employees do not commit fraud.

 

1. Tips and complaints from employees and others – 46.2%
2. Audits – 30.1%
3. Accidental discovery – 23.7%

 

The items below are recyclable and should not be disposed of in the trash.

• Newsprint, office paper, magazines, phone books, brochures, notebook paper, envelopes, soft cover booklets, manila folders, card stock
• Corrugated cardboard (broken down, flattened)
• Chipboard (cereal boxes, cracker boxes, etc.)
• Aluminum and steel cans
• Plastics with the number 1, 2, 4, or 7 inside the recycling logo
• Glossy magazines and catalogs
• Newspaper
• Corrugated cardboard (broken down, flatten)

 

• Paper towels, napkins, and tissue
• Wax-coated cardboard
• Food and food stained containers
• Snack packaging (chip and candy wrappers)
• Disposable cups
• Styrofoam
• Aerosol cans.
• Plastic bags - These should be reused and then recycled at your local grocery store.
• Plastic furniture
• Plastic utensils - These can be washed and reused.
• Plastic oil and pesticide containers
• Diapers
• Rubber products
• Glass of any kind.

Please keep the contents of your recycling container under 50 pounds, and remember that everything you put in your containers is hand sorted. So placing non-recyclable materials in the container costs the community time and money.

 

Aluminum cans are recyclable. Please rinse and place in your recycle container for collection.

 

Lead acid batteries (Car, motorcycle and marine) and dry cell & button batteries (Nickel-Cadmium, Lithium and Alkaline) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. In order for us to accept hazardous materials, the batteries must have original labels. We will not accept products without labels, nor will we accept products that are unknown.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

We are no longer accepting glass for curbside recycling. You can recycle glass at the City of Fort Smith Regional Sanitary Landfill, Monday thru Friday from 7:30 am till 4:30 pm and Saturday 7:30 am till 3:30 pm. We accept food and beverage containers. NO mirrors, plates, ceramics, auto glass, Corning ware, Pyrex or plate glass. Glass does NOT need to be sorted.

The following Recycle Centers accept glass with the same requirements:

Davis Iron & Metal
2610 Wheeler Avenue
Hours: 7:30 to 4:00 Monday through Friday

City of Lavaca Recycle Center
904 North Davis
Hours: 8:00 to 3:00 Friday and 9:00 to 2:00 on Saturday

City of Greenwood Recycle Center
104 Bell Road
Hours: 7:00 to 4:00 Monday through Friday 8:00 to 12:00 2nd Saturday of the month

City of Mansfield Recycle Center
601 East Center
Hours: 7:00 to 3:30 Monday through Friday

City of Barling
Public Works Department
304 Church Street Barling, Ar. 72923
Hours: 8:00 to 5:00 Monday thru Friday

Fort Smith Waste Paper
301 North 2nd Fort Smith, Ar. 72901
Hours: 7:30 to 4:00 Monday through Friday

 

Please do not place hot materials such as coals in the refuse container.

 

There are a few options available for disposal of old computers:

1.Household Computers - The Department of Sanitation hosts a computer recycling drop off center for the Sebastian County Regional Solid Waste Management District (SCRSWMD) at the Fort Smith Landfill. Sebastian County residents can drop off two (2) household computers per year at no charge.

2.Business Computers – Business computers can be recycled through the SCRSWMD at their Fort Chaffee location for a fee. Please call 452-4101 for details.

3.Computers can be disposed with normal trash.

For information on commercial eCycling, please visit www.eccopartners.org.

Residents needing to dispose of bulky items such as couches, appliances, furniture, outdoor grills, mattresses, box springs and other large objects can make special arrangements with the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation to have these items picked up. Our Dial-A-Truck line for removal of bulky items is 784-2350.

 

Fluorescent Light Bulbs (ballasts included) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

Household Cleaners are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. In order for us to accept hazardous materials, the cleaners must be in original containers with original labels. We will not accept products without labels, nor will we accept products that are unknown.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

Household Pesticides and Herbicides (over-the-counter products only) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. In order for us to accept hazardous materials, it must be in original containers with original labels. We will not accept products without labels, nor will we accept products that are unknown.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

Prescriptions and Over the Counter (OTC) medications can be dropped off in the lobby of the Fort Smith Police Department located at 100 S 10 ST. All personal information should be removed from each bottle before placing them in the drop box.

 

Residents needing to dispose of bulky items such as couches, appliances, furniture, outdoor grills, mattresses, box springs and other large objects can make special arrangements with the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation to have these items picked up. Our Dial-A-Truck line for removal of bulky items is 784-2350.

 

Automotive Products (Motor oils, oil filters, antifreeze, brake and transmission fluids) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. In order for us to accept hazardous materials, it must be in original containers with original labels. We will not accept products without labels, nor will we accept products that are unknown.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

Sharps (used medical needles) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. The sharps must be delivered in a heavy, clear plastic container with lid. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

We do not accept tires. Up to four (4) passenger tires are accepted at no charge at the following Sebastian County Waste Tire Collection Centers:

C&H Tire Company
8701 Rogers Ave
Fort Smith
452-5678

Jim Grizzle Tire Company
3002 Towson Ave
Fort Smith
783-6157

Darrell’s Tire
3422 Midland Blvd
Fort Smith
782-3072

 

Paints (Oil-based, stains, shellacs, lacquer, varnish, turpentine and aerosol cans), thinners, strippers and selected Solvents (non-chlorinated solvents only) are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. Water and latex based paints and canisters can be dried and placed in a normal household refuse container. In order for us to accept hazardous materials, it must be in original containers with original labels. We will not accept products without labels, nor will we accept products that are unknown.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

Please do not place credit cards, prescription medication labels or unused/cancelled checks into the recycling container. Items should be shredded or destroyed before placing in refuse container to help protect you from identity theft.

 

Please reuse plastic bags whenever possible and then recycle at your local grocery store.

 

Pool Cleaners are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility at the Department of Sanitation. In order for us to accept hazardous materials, the cleaners must be in original containers with original labels. We will not accept products without labels, nor will we accept products that are unknown.

To ensure safety, avoid spills by securing all products before transporting them, transport hazardous materials in your trunk or truck bed (away from passengers), keep hazardous products away from children and pets, do not eat or drink while handling hazardous products and do not mix contents of different or unknown products together. No commercial hazardous wastes are accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Facility.

 

Residents needing to dispose of bulky items such as couches, appliances, furniture, outdoor grills, mattresses, box springs and other large objects can make special arrangements with the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation to have these items picked up. Our Dial-A-Truck line for removal of bulky items is 784-2350.

 

Residents needing to dispose of bulky items such as couches, appliances, furniture, outdoor grills, mattresses, box springs and other large objects can make special arrangements with the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation to have these items picked up. Our Dial-A-Truck line for removal of bulky items is 784-2350.

 

Residents needing to dispose of bulky items such as couches, appliances, furniture, outdoor grills, mattresses, box springs and other large objects can make special arrangements with the Fort Smith Department of Sanitation to have these items picked up. Our Dial-A-Truck line for removal of bulky items is 784-2350.

 

Televisions and Stereos should be set out with normal household trash. Residents needing to dispose of large televisions can call the Department of Sanitation to have them picked up curbside. Our Dial-A-Truck line for removal of bulky items is 784-2350.

 

Yard waste is collected on a designed collection date. Please click here to find the collection day for your neighborhood. Please bundle yard waste and ensure that it does not exceed 50 pounds. No limbs over 4 feet long and 6 inches in diameter should be included. Bundles should be no bigger than 24 inches in diameter.

 

Christmas trees will be collected on each residents' normal yard waste collection day but must meet the following requirements: * All ornaments, tinsel, lights, plastic, and tree stands must be removed before placing it curbside for collection.

 

Under Arkansas State Statutes, Fort Smith may extend its zoning jurisdiction two miles outside of its city limits. Because of the location of the Cities of Bonanza and Greenwood, Fort Smith will not be extending zoning jurisdiction the full two miles. Instead, the limit will stop where the Greenwood and Bonanza districts begin. Cities also have the right to extend subdivision control within five miles of their city limits. The cities of Fort Smith, Greenwood and Bonanza have already extended this control to a certain extent.

 

Under subdivision control, the way the subdivision is designed (roads, utilities, building lots) are controlled. The zoning control being considered will regulate the actual use of the land.

 

No, this will have no effect on property taxes, sales tax, utility franchise tax or any other type of tax.

 

No, the zoning does not alter school district boundaries. Some children currently in the city limits of Fort Smith are not in the Fort Smith school district and attend the Greenwood Schools.

 

No, this is about zoning and regulating land uses near the City, not about annexation.

 

No, building permits will not be required. However, in order to administer the zoning uses, a land use permit will be required.

 

This does not affect your current land uses. You can continue any existing land use that currently exists, such as residential or commercial activities.

 

No. However, any changes in property uses (for example, from residential to commercial) will require the property owner to apply for a zoning change. This process will include notice to surrounding property owners and a public hearing before the Fort Smith

Planning Commission and Board of City Directors. The zone change request will be approved or denied based on the merits of the request.

 

Sebastian County has no zoning or land use controls. Arkansas law delegates zoning and subdivision control to cities such as Fort Smith, Greenwood and Bonanza.

 

Zoning promotes orderly growth by dividing property into zones. Within those zones the character and location of buildings and grounds are regulated. Some objectives of these regulations include the following:

1. Stabilization and conservation of property values.

2. Protection of streets, schools and utilities from overloading.

3. Provide locations for each land use which are properly related to traffic, utilities and other land uses.

4. Separating conflicting types of traffic by the proper relation of land uses.

The City of Fort Smith will help to regulate land uses in the extra territorial zoning district, which will help to protect and maintain property values. Currently no entity or persons assist with the regulation of land uses in the unincorporated areas of the County. No other City services such as police or fire will be provided.

 

A significantly detrimental land use could move next to your property which could affect your standard of living and your property values. As an example, imagine a heavy commercial, industrial or multi-family project being placed next to your property. Currently there are no governmental entities or regulations to prevent this from happening.

 

No, the only City Ordinances that would be enforced are those that regulate land uses and controls.

 

You can contact the City of Fort Smith Planning Department at 784-2216 or at our e-mail address planning@fortsmithar.gov

A Home Occupation may be permitted with limitations by Planning Commission approval. Please read the City’s regulations for a Home Occupation and contact the Planning Division if you need further assistance.

 

The City of Fort Smith requires every business to have a license. The Planning Division must approve the zoning before a business inside the city limits can open for operation. This process is to verify that the business is allowed to operate in a specific zoning district. Following the zoning check, the location will be subject to certain life and safety code inspections. Please contact the Planning Division if you require further assistance.

 

The zoning of a property indicates the uses permitted on your property, where buildings and other structures may be located, how large a building can be, and other pertinent land use regulations adopted by the City. The zoning restrictions can be found in the Unified Development Ordinance. Please visit the Planning Division for more information.

 

The City's shows the zoning of each property inside the city limits. Please visit this link.

The Planning Division posts agendas and meeting minutes for the Planning Commission on the Planning Commission website. If you cannot find a specific meeting, please contact the planning division for assistance.

 

Absolutely. The division asks that all owners, contractors, and design professionals meet with the staff to help during the planning or design phase of a project. Often, these meetings will save the owner or authorized agent time and money and will minimize misunderstandings.

 

This answer is the same for residential or commercial building. Any owner or authorized agent who intends to construct, enlarge, alter, repair, move, demolish, or change the occupancy of a building, structure or sign, or to erect, install, enlarge, alter, repair, remove, convert or replace any electrical, gas, mechanical or plumbing system, the installation of which is regulated by this code, or to cause any such work to be done, shall first make application to the building official and obtain the required permit. Specific questions about your project can be direc ted to the Building Safety Division s taff at 479-784-2206.

 

Yes, this would be considered a repair for maintenance of your building or home and would require a permit. Specific building and life safety requirements related to roofing and windows must be checked.
No, unless you are replacing the structural elements in the area of the door.

No, the City of Fort Smith does not require you to have a permit unless you are painting in the historic or downtown district.

 

No, the City of Fort Smith does not require you to have a permit to replace your carpet.

 

Yes, per city adopted codes and ordinances, the wall must be permitted and inspected.

 

Yes, all carports and storage buildings require building permits.

 

Yes, all pools must be permitted and inspected.

Yes, all driveways must be permitted.

 

Yes. this would be considered a repair for maintenance of your building or home and would require a permit.

Reputable contractors know the requirements and abide by them. In most cases, the contractor will obtain the building permit for the property owner. Unfortunately, not all contractors comply with the applicable code requirements. Remember, regardless if your contractor or the homeowner obtains the permit, the property owner is ultimately responsible for ensuring that all work on his/her property meet city adopted codes and standards. A homeowner should make sure the contractor obtains a permit and all work is inspected and approved.

 

Most single family and duplex projects as well as some small non-residential projects do not require an architect or engineer. However, Arkansas law requires an architect and/or engineer prepare construction drawings on several occupancies and significant buildings as defined by the law. Also, some significant problems may require the consultation of an architect and engineer on any building. Any specific questions regarding a specific project should be directed to the Building Official as soon as you start the planning phase of any building project.

 

If you call the inspection office between 8 and 9 a.m. or requested the inspection the previous afternoon, the inspection will be that morning and if you call the inspector between 1 and 2 p.m., the inspection will be performed that afternoon. An inspection request can be made anytime during the day by contacting the Building Safety Division office.

 

Yes, unless the inspector is unavailable; however, the file is noted for the necessary change and only that change would be inspected on the second visit.

 

The building official will settle any disputes and if necessary an appeal can be made to the board of appeals. The respective boards meet on call and can be convened as soon as the committee members can be contacted.

 

Yes, a homeowner may perform work regulated by the plumbing, electrical and mechanical codes as adopted by the City of Fort Smith in a single family dwelling that is owned and occupied by the homeowner as his/her principal residence. However, the owner must appear before the inspectors who will inquire into the knowledge and capabilities of the homeowner to perform the needed task before a homeowner’s permit can be issued.

 

If you have received a warning notice on your property or through the mail it most usually means that we have received a complaint or that a Property Maintenance Inspector noticed a code violation while canvassing the area.

 

Please take the time to read the warning that you have received and address any and all violations that may be listed on your notice. If you are not sure of what is required don’t delay in contacting us so we may further assist you in explaining what needs to be done to bring your property into compliance.

 

You as either the Owner or the tenant are responsible to maintain your property in clean and sanitary condition. This includes the following but not limited to all grass and weeds must be maintained less than 6 inches in height, no trash or debris may be left outside unless it is in a proper trash receptacle. Indoor furniture, appliances, building materials, will not be permitted to remain outside even if under a carport or on a porch. Dead limbs and trees must be removed from the property. You are required by ordinance to maintain the alley or easement that adjoins your property.

 

Graffiti is a problem that plagues exterior walls, fencing, garages and sidewalks and commercial businesses in our city. This problem begins as an eyesore and can result in serious consequences, including increased crime activity, declining property values and the degradation of the structures ability to repel rain and snow. It must be the property owner responsibility to restore said surface to an approved state of maintenance. We encourage anyone that has been tagged with graffiti to please file a report with the Fort Smith Police Department.

 

If you have received a 30 day inoperable vehicle you must contact the Neighborhood Services Division and show that the vehicle is operable. It must be able to start and move under its own power forward and backward. It must have a current registration and not be in a state of disrepair, i.e. flat tires, broken windows, broken head light/tail lights or missing any parts that deem it unsafe. If you fail to contact us we may take further enforcement action and have the vehicle towed from the property at the owner’s expense. We wish to avoid this so please contact us as soon as possible.

 

If you have received notice that you have a violation(s) against the city Property Maintenance Code and fail to comply within the allotted time the following action may be taken. Once legal notification has been placed on the property and the certified letter receipt has been returned to our office and the property still remains in violation it may be assigned to a contractor to abate the property of the violation at the owner’s expense. Our desire is to have the citizens of Fort Smith to maintain their property in compliance to avoid this from happening.

 

If you have been issued a warning more than twice in a calendar year that on the third time under city ordinance an affidavit for Failure to care for premises may be filled out and a Criminal Summons served for you to appear in court before the District Judge to give testimony as to why your property can not be maintained in accordance with the City of Fort Smith Property Maintenance Code that has been adopted by the city Board of Directors. We strongly encourage you that if you have been issued a warning to avoid receiving another please maintain your property within the guidelines of the code.

 

We understand that there are extenuating circumstances that happen sometimes and additional time may be needed to comply. We are more than willing to work with the citizens of Fort Smith if they are making a valid effort to bring their property into compliance. If you find that you are in a situation that may prohibit you from complying by the allotted time please contact our office.