The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority voted Monday (Dec. 16) to award its executive director with a $25,000 bonus he requested during an executive session used to evaluate his performance during the last year.
FCRA Executive Director Ivy Owen, who earns an annual salary of $136,500, said the request was a result of a successful year for the redevelopment authority, tasked with redeveloping land that was once a part of the Fort Chaffee U.S. Army installation.
"My performance is based on actual accomplishments," he said. "We have a strategic plan with specific objectives that we are judged by, particularly me. So at the end of the year, if we met those, then I request a bonus based on meeting those objectives."
Owen said it was an "understanding" he and the FCRA Board of Directors had when he was hired nearly six years ago. The purpose, he said, was to push him to perform at his best while on the job because "I want to be judged on performance. And if I'm worth that, they give it to me. If not, they don't."
The bonus is the same amount Owen received in December 2012, and an increase of $5,000 from his $20,000 bonus for 2011.
During the same closed door executive session, Owen requested a 5% annual increase in his salary. The salary increase would total $6,825 annually, bringing Owen's salary to $143,325 per year.
"I had a raise in 2008, I think it was, and hadn't had one since. I'm requesting a 5% raise today in my salary," he said.
Owen is the highest paid individual at the FCRA, also known as Chaffee Crossing. The second highest salaries are given to Director of Finance Janet Menshek and Director of Operations Larry Evans, who both earn $78,758 annually. The lowest salary at the FCRA is an executive assistance salary listed at $32,156 annually. A golf course owned by the FCRA has annual salaries that range from $18,316 to $42,000.
No action was taken on Owen's request for a pay increase, with FCRA Board Chairman Dean Gibson explaining that the board would like to review the authority's budget for the next fiscal year before committing to any sort of salary increase for Owen.
Owen did say that he was not the only staff member awarded bonuses and pay raises. The budget for FY2013 itself includes a line item allocating $36,000 in salary incentives in addition to the $865,000 allocated for regular salaries for the year, of which Owen's current salary equals 15.78% of the authority's salary expenditures. As for what each individual's pay raise or bonus was, Owen said it was not a set amount.
"Each person's was different. It wasn't the same. Bonuses are different based on performance," he said.
Monday also saw the release of the FCRA's annual report, which detailed 2013 operating revenues of $6.138 million against expenditures of $5.168 million. The result was net income of $970,000 for the authority.
"Projected revenue is 37% higher than the previous year, primarily due to increased land sales," the report read. "Overall expenses increased including capital expenditures. Capital improvements represented 84% of the total capital expenditures. Excess revenue was reinvested in the property for demolition, water and sewer line replacements, street construction, site preparation, building improvements, vehicles and various property maintenance projects."
In all, the FCRA posted assets totaling $21.588 million, while liabilities totaled $194,000.
"Year-end total assets will be approximately $212,000 less than prior year," the report read. "This can be attributed to land sales. The Fort Chaffee Redevelopment Authority does not operate for profit. The $970,000 net income projected for 2013 will ultimately be reinvested in future marketing and development of the property."
In other business, the FCRA board:
• Re-appointed Trustees Drew Williams and Janie Glover to five-year terms on the Board;
• Re-authorized a contract with Beall Barclay & Company for 2014 accounting services;
• Re-authorized a contract with Jones, Jackson & Moll for 2014 legal services; and
• Approved a request to amend the site that was set aside for the construction of a new high school in the Fort Smith Public School district.