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Little Italy Incorporation Town Hall Meeting Discussions Q&A Petition Signing Welcome.

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Presentation on theme: "Little Italy Incorporation Town Hall Meeting Discussions Q&A Petition Signing Welcome."— Presentation transcript:

1 Little Italy Incorporation Town Hall Meeting Discussions Q&A Petition Signing Welcome

2 Background This is a grassroots effort – who? –Your neighbors Started over 2 years ago – why? –To preserve the 100-year history – keep the community intact –To improve services –To have a voice and protect our interests

3 What does incorporation mean for me? Increased involvement in regional decisions –Municipal League/MetroPlan Having a voice in local decisions –Town Council elected by residents to serve residents Increased property values Increased negotiation rights with utilities –Lower rates due to competition

4 Increased public services –Police, Fire, Road Maintenance, etc. Developing laws that meet the needs of local residents, not what Pulaski County or Little Rock leaders deem appropriate “for our own good” Creating a local disaster plan to aid residents if a disaster occurs

5 Increased Public Services Pulaski County receives state “turn-back” funds for each mile of highway –Little Italy would receive those funds Pulaski County receives property taxes on land parcels –Little Italy would receive portions of these funds Pulaski County receives Franchise fees from utilities who operate in our area –Little Italy would receive these funds

6 Now that you know what funds the county receives on your behalf, think about how often you have seen the county use these funds to your benefit… It’s pretty hard to think of examples, isn’t it?

7 What could the town of Little Italy do with these funds? Establish a local police force –Faster response times –Increased protection –Enforce speed zones (produce further revenue from citations) Increase efficiency and capability of local Fire Department –Faster response time –Possibly lower insurance rates –Decrease property damage due to better equipment Establish City Works Department –Maintain local roads often neglected by the County (clearing ditches, tree trimming, etc) –Help ease burden of AR Hwy. Dept by plowing snow in the winter from highways and other roads –Eventually pave unpaved roads for easier access

8 Municipalities are eligible for State and Federal grants Grants could be written for: –Waste-water services –Local Historical Preservation –Recreational Services Bike-lanes to increase highway safety, Parks, etc. –Safety Concerns Public Tornado Shelters, Emergency/Tornado Sirens, Community Crime Watch, etc.

9 What does incorporation NOT mean for me? NO new taxes or increased taxes UNLESS our residents choose NO loss of rights, whether personal or property NO negative change in current services, only an increase NO additional cost to residents

10 Maybe you want things to stay the way they’ve always been. Too late. The city of Little Rock is moving this way according to Pulaski County Judge Buddy Villines and has already enacted zoning on you effective this April Zoning makes annexation easier for the city, which could come at some point in time... but incorporation would prevent annexation by another city or town.

11 Town of Little Italy BUSINESS PLAN Specifically, the business plan is intended to do the following: State clearly the mission of the town of Little Italy. Set the direction and priorities that a Mayor and Town Council will follow. Act as a basis for determining resource management of the Town. Serve as an accountability framework for the Mayor and Town Council. Detail what the Mayor and Town Council will be held accountable for and how each requirement will be measured. Provide a clear direction to ensure a strong and protected future for the town of Little Italy.

12 Mission Statement The town of Little Italy will establish and maintain an honest, fair and transparent system of self-governance for its people, grounded in the inalienable rights of civic participation and equality for all citizens to freely choose what is most appropriate to ensure their rights of life, liberty and property, while preserving the cultural and historical heritage of our area’s founders.

13 LITTLE ITALY ADVANTAGES Rich and proud 100 year history Strong community spirit Beautiful views of Maumelle Reservoir, natural and unspoiled wooded areas, wildlife Close proximity to Little Rock, Roland, Bigelow Safe, secure water supply from Thornburg/Perryville Water and the city of Little Rock’s Central Arkansas Water Safe community with existing county’s police, fire, and emergency services Utility services such as Electric, Telephone, Internet Committed volunteers who are deeply rooted in the community Historic Catholic Church of St. Francis of Assisi, the spiritual center of the original Italian settlers, their descendants, and the community for over 90 years; as well as a community gathering place for their well-known annual spaghetti dinners and bazaars Martindale Baptist Church, Soul’s Anchor Church, Fellowship Assembly, Wye Mountain Methodist Church – all providing spiritual and community enrichment

14 LITTLE ITALY OPPORTUNITIES Prevent annexation by any city Protect property rights Clearly define Little Italy objectives and expectations by people who live in Little Italy and not bigger city government Make decisions about town planning/development of the area with a Little Italy Planning Board and not by the Pulaski County Planning Board by adopting own municipal zoning plan by following the legal statutory process Revenue potentials from State Turnback funding, highway, franchise fees, grants Encourage active participation in local and national politics through voter registration drives and involvement Enhanced tourism potential (nature trails, museum shop) If desired, join the Arkansas Municipal League which provides services to towns in the state of Arkansas (i.e. legal protection services, consulting, benefits services etc.) Support and encourage Exxon pipeline relocation from the Watershed

15 LITTLE ITALY OBJECTIVES After incorporation, the new town of Little Italy’s initial objectives: Objective 1:Secure Signed contracts with Patrol, Emergency (fire), Public Works, Utilities Objective 2:Hold elections for Mayor, Recorder/Treasurer, and 5 Town Council Members or Aldermen. Objective 3:Become a member of the Arkansas Municipal League. Objective 4:Update Business Plan. Objective 5:To annex the Perry County side of Little Italy via vote of the people being annexed.

16 Sample Budget: based on a similarly sized town of Bigelow 2015 CITY GENERAL BUDGET Estimated Balance Dec. 31, 2014$ 2, INCOME: County Tax Collected$ 8, State Municipal Aid$ 5, Franchise Tax Collected (optional)$ N/A Sales Tax Collected (optional)$ N/A TOTAL ESTIMATED AVAILABLE FOR 2015$ 16, EXPENSES: Salary/Labor/Payroll Taxes (optional – planned to use volunteers)$ N/A Utilities/Phone$ 2, Supplies/misc.$ 6, Insurance (optional)N/A TOTAL ESTIMATED EXPENSES FOR DEC. 31, 2015$ 9, ESTIMATED BALANCE Dec.31, 2015$ 7,350.00

17 Sample Budget cont STREET FUND BUDGET Estimated Balance Dec. 31, 2014$ 2, INCOME: County Road Tax Collected$ 2, State Municipal Aid$ 15, TOTAL ESTIMATED AVAILABLE FOR 2015$ 20, EXPENSES: Repairs/Supplies/Misc.$ 3, Labor$ 1, Insurance$ 3, Utilities$ 4, Fuel$ TOTAL ESTIMATED EXPENSES FOR DEC. 31, 2015$ 12, ESTIMATED BALANCE Dec. 31, 2015$ 7,392.85

18 Incorporation Facts The State of Arkansas recognizes its incorporated communities in three separate categories: cities of the first class (or first-class cities), cities of the second class (or second- class cities), and towns. These categories are mostly determined by the population of the communities and the size of the city or town government. A town will have fewer than 500 residents, and therefore an incorporated Little Italy will be proposed to be a town.

19 The newly incorporated town of Little Italy does NOT have to collect taxes from its residents; however incorporated cities and towns can collect taxes, if so desired, from their residents, but only by an approved vote by the people of the town. The newly incorporated town of Little Italy can continue to use the police, fire, emergency services, and current utilities; however, towns can offer their own city services, including police and firefighter protection and the maintenance of roads.

20 A town has a mayor, a board of five aldermen, and a recorder-treasurer. Little Italy does NOT have to appoint a marshal; however, a town may elect or appoint a marshal. Cities are divided into wards, with one or more aldermen elected by each ward, but the five aldermen of a town are elected by all the voters of the town, as will be the case with Little Italy.

21 Incorporation Process A group of people in Arkansas not living in an incorporated city or town may seek to become incorporated, provided that they are at least five miles from the nearest incorporated city or town. –If that nearest city or town is less than five miles away, a physical barrier between the community seeking incorporation and the nearest incorporated city or town is considered sufficient reason to permit incorporation. Permission from the existing city or town can also permit incorporation within the five-mile limit.

22 Because there is no physical barrier between the proposed Little Italy boundary and the towns of Bigelow and Fourche, a five mile resolution was required both from Bigelow and Fourche, since they are within the five mile limit of the proposed Little Italy border. These have been obtained and acknowledged before a notary public.

23 The group seeking incorporation must present a petition signed by at least two- hundred qualified voters living in that community to the clerk of the county in which they live. The county clerk will then make the petition public, announcing that a hearing will be held before the county court and publicizing the date of that hearing.

24 Any citizens opposing the incorporation may then make their objections known to the county judge. On the date of the hearing, the county judge will weigh the petition and any objections given toward incorporation.

25 If the judge determines that the incorporation should proceed, an order will be issued by the judge, with a copy given to the petitioners and a copy sent to the Arkansas Secretary of State’s office. Receipt of that copy of the judge’s order at the Secretary of State’s office is the final step in the process of incorporation, so the date that order arrives (rather than the date it was issued in the county court) is the official date of incorporation for the city or town. The first election for city officials can be held one month after the incorporation is official.

26 Incorporation doesn’t happen unless 200 of YOU want it to. To sign the petition: You must be a registered voter. You must live within the proposed boundary as your primary residence. –If you don’t know if you are in the proposed boundary, we will find out.

27 PETITION FOR INCORPORATION IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION/RESOLUTION OF THE COMMUNITY KNOWN AS LITTLE ITALY FOR INCORPORATION PURSUANT TO ARKANSAS STATUTES § _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ TO:Pulaski County Court 201 S. Broadway St. Little Rock, AR PETITIONERS STATE: This petition is filed under Arkansas Statutes § The petitioners are qualified voters residing within the area subject to incorporation and have attached signatures to this petition. Two-hundred qualified voters are required to sign this petition in order to initiate an incorporation proceeding, and ________(number) have signed.

28 2.The petitioners request incorporation of the following described area: LEGAL DESCRIPTION - AREA TO BE INCORPORATED SECTION 2, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS SECTION 3, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE NORTH 1/2; THE EAST 1/2 OF THE SOUTHEAST 1/4 ; THE EAST 1/2 OF THE WEST 1/2 OF THE SOUTHEAST 1/4; ALL IN SECTION 4, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS LOT 15 REECE CREEK SUBDIVISION, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS SECTION 5, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS SECTION 6, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE NORTH 1/2; THE NORTH 1/2 OF THE SOUTH 1/2 AND THE FRACTIONAL SOUTHWEST 1/4 OF THE SOUTHWEST 1/4; ALL IN SECTION 7, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE NORTH 1/2 AND THE NORTH 1/2 OF THE SOUTH 1/2, SECTION 8, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE SOUTHEAST 1/4 AND THE EAST 1/2 OF THE NORTHEAST 1/2, SECTION 10, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE FRACTIONAL WEST 1/2 OF THE NORTHWEST 1/4, SECTION 18, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 15 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS SECTION 13, LESS AND EXCEPT THE NORTH 1/2 OF THE SOUTHEAST 1/4 THEREOF, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 16 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS SECTION 14, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 16 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE SOUTHEAST 1/4 OF THE SOUTHEAST 1/4, LYING NORTH OF ARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY 10, SECTION 22, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 16 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE WEST 1/2 OF THE WEST 1/2, LYING NORTH OF ARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY 10, SECTION 23, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 16 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS THE SOUTH 30 ACRES OF THE SOUTHEAST 1/4 OF THE SOUTHWEST 1/4, LYING NORTH OF ARKANSAS STATE HIGHWAY 10, SECTION 23, TOWNSHIP 3 NORTH, RANGE 16 WEST, PULASKI COUNTY, ARKANSAS. LESS AND EXCEPT ALL STATE HIGHWAY RIGHTS OF WAY

29 3.Enclosed is a proposed corporate boundary map. 4.The area proposed for incorporation presently lies within five (5) miles of TWO existing municipal corporations and within the area in which that existing municipal corporations are exercising their planning territorial jurisdiction; however the municipal corporations have BOTH affirmatively consented to the incorporation by written resolution and are attached to this petition. 5.The proposed name of the new municipality is: Little Italy

30 6.The person authorized to act on behalf of the petitioners in prosecuting the petition as agent: Timothy W. Grooms QUATTLEBAUM, GROOMS TULL & BURROW PLLC 111 Center Street, Suite 1900 Little Rock, Arkansas The reasons that incorporation is being requested are as follows: To preserve its 100 year history, to mark the 100th year anniversary of the community in 2015 by becoming an official town, to preserve the beloved name of “Little Italy”, to encourage community involvement, to improve services, and the town of Little Italy will establish and maintain an honest, fair and transparent system of self-governance for its people, grounded in the inalienable rights of civic participation and equality for all citizens to freely choose what is most appropriate to ensure their rights of life, liberty and property, while preserving the cultural and historical heritage of our area’s founders. Dated:_____________Signature of Agent:___________________

31 Get More Information – and Stay in the Loop To Register to Vote (we have the forms): –Secretary of State’s website: –Secretary of State’s Elections Division number: Little Italy Website and Newsletter Signup: Little Italy Facebook Page:

32 Proposed Incorporated Boundary

33 Proposed Boundary to Annex after Incorporation

34 Q&A

35 Please Sign the Petition


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