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Commitees & Commissions

DISCLAIMER:  These definitions are for information purposes only and are not for the purpose of providing legal advice. These definitions have been provided solely for the purpose of providing information about commonly used real estate and land use terms.



Acceptance:  The written approval of the Buyer's offer by the Seller.

Affordable Housing: The generally accepted definition of affordability is for a household to pay no more than 30 percent of its annual income on housing. Families who pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing are considered cost burdened and may have difficulty affording necessities such as food, clothing, transportation and medical care.

Appraisal:  A document from a certified appraiser that gives an estimate of a property's fair market value based on the sales of comparable homes in the area and the features of a property.

Appraised Value:  An estimation of the current market value of a property.

Appraiser:  A qualified individual who uses his or her experience and knowledge to prepare an appraisal estimate.

Assessed Value:  The value that the County Assessor places on any asset to determine property tax amount.

Assessor:  The government official who is responsible for determining the value of a property for the purpose of taxation.



Borrower:  The person who has received a loan and is then obligated to repay the loan according to the loan terms.

Building Code: The regulations governing the required safety standards, construction and rehabilitation of buildings.



Community Housing Development Organization: A non-profit, community-based organization whose primary purpose is to develop affordable housing.

Clear Title: A property title that has no defects, liens, or encumbrances.

Commercial building: A building constructed for business, industrial or public purposes.

Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG): A Federal grant program that provides grant funds to local and State governments to be used to develop affordable housing for low to moderate income residents.


Construction Loan: A loan to finance the cost of building a new home. The lender disburses the loan amounts over a short period of time to cover expenses, such as materials, suppliers and contractors.

Credit Counseling: Education on how to improve poor credit and how to avoid generating more debt than can be repaid.

Credit Score: The score calculated by using a person's credit report to determine the likelihood of a loan being repaid on time. Scores can range from about 360 (poor credit) to 840 (excellent credit).


Deed: A document that legally transfers ownership of property from one person to another. To be valid, a deed must be recorded in public record with the property description and the Grantor's signature.


Encumbrance: Any interest in or legal liability on real property that does not prohibit passing title to the property but that reduces the property’s value.


Fair Housing Act: A Federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status, or disability when obtaining housing.

Foreclosure: The legal process in which property is sold to pay an outstanding loan or lien amount.


Grantee: The individual who receives an interest in real property by deed.

Grantor: The individual who gives an interest in real property by deed.


Homebuyer Counseling Class: A class that offers information about how to get a mortgage approved, qualify for a loan, choose an affordable home, go through financing and closing processes, and avoid mortgage problems that cause people to lose their homes.

HUD: The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; A Federal agency that works to address the housing needs and enforcing fair housing laws.

HUD Income Guidelines: An annual chart created by HUD which sets income limits for qualifying a household for federally-funded housing options. The chart is based on County income data.

 Interest:   A fee charged during a repayment period that is in addition to the amount of the actual loan, mortgage, or credit line. 





Judgment:   A legal decree or order against a person or property in favor of a creditor; when referring to property, a judgment gives the creditor an interest in the property.


Land Transfer Application:  The application created by the City of Osceola Land Bank Commission that must be completed to request an available Land Bank-owned property.

Lien:  A legal claim and defect against a property, where the value of the property can be used as security in repayment of a debt.  Examples include a mechanic’s lien for the unpaid cost of building supplies, a tax lien for unpaid property taxes, or a municipal lien for property maintenance. 

Listing Agreement:  A contract between a seller and a real estate professional to market and sell a home or property. 

Low Income:  A household whose income does not exceed 80 percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD.  Income limits are adjusted based on household size. 


Moderate Income:   A household whose income exceeds 80 percent of the median income for the area, as determined by HUD, but is below 95 percent of the area median income.

Mortgage:  An agreement between a lender and a buyer in which the property itself is collateral for the loan amount. 

Mortgagee:  The person or organization (such as a bank) that lends money to someone for buying property.

Mortgagor:  The person who borrows money to buy a property.


Notary Public:  A person who serves as a public official and certifies the authenticity of signatures on a document by signing and stamping the document. 


Offer:  A proposal presented by a potential buyer, general in writing, to purchase property at a specific price.


Pre-Approval:  A lender’s commitment to loan a potential borrower a fixed amount of money based on qualification requirements, such as a completed loan application, credit score, debt, and savings.



Pre-Qualify:  A lender’s informal determination concerning the maximum amount an individual is eligible to borrow.

Property Tax:  The annual tax charged by the County Treasurer for property owned by an individual.

Purchase Offer:   A detailed, written document that makes an offer to purchase a property. Once the purchase offer is signed by all parties involved in the sale, the offer becomes a legally binding contract.



Quitclaim Deed:  A deed which transfers ownership of a property but does not make any guarantee of clear or marketable title.


Real Estate Agent:  An individual who is licensed to advertise, negotiate and arrange real estate sales.

Redevelopment Plan:  A detailed, comprehensive construction plan, which includes the costs of building or improving a structure and the timeframe in which the construction will be completed.

Rehabilitation Mortgage:  A mortgage for the cost of rehabilitating (repairing or improving) a property.

Rehabilitation:  The labor, materials, tools, and other costs of improving and repairing a building or structure in compliance with municipal building codes.


Seller:  The individual which offers title to a property in exchange for money.


Title Company:  A company that specializes in examining and insuring the titles of real estate.

Title Defect:  An outstanding claim on a property that limits the ability to transfer the property. Also referred to as a “cloud” on the title.

Title Insurance:   Insurance that protects an owner against any claims or defects that arise about the title or ownership of the property.



Title Search:  An in-depth examination of public records which ensures that the seller is the recognized owner of the real estate and that there are no unsettled liens or other claims against the property.





Transferee:  A person who receives property.


Transferor:   A person who gives or conveys property.





Warranty Deed:   A deed that transfers title and guarantees that the seller of the property is the true owner and has the right to sell the property and that there are no claims or defects against the property.






Zoning:   Local laws established to control the uses of land within a particular area. Zoning laws are used to separate residential property from non-residential properties, such as industries or businesses


Community Improvement Taskforce

The primary purpose of the Osceola Community Improvement TASKFORCE is to work with businesses, residence, property owners, and other progress-oriented COMM IMP TFORCEcommunity boards, commissions, schools, and other entities to improve the appearance and image of the City of Osceola, Arkansas. However, the Osceola Community Improvement TASKFORCE should not and shall not attempt to address social issues affecting the City of Osceola, Arkansas. The responsibilities of the Osceola Community Improvement TASKFORCE would include, but not be limited to identifying areas that are in violation of existing city ordinances. Power and authority to enforce existing city ordinances rest and shall remain with the Code Enforcement Officers of the City of Osceola, Arkansas. The Osceola Community Improvement TASKFORCE is purely an advisory body with no power or authority to act on its own.

The current task force is chaired by Osceola native Shawn Chafin.

The community is encouraged to participate. ALL meetings are open to the public.


Meeting Schedule HERE

Meeting location: Osceola City Hall | 303 W. Hale | Osceola, AR 72370


CIT | 12.19.2019

The Community Improvement Taskforce (CIT) met today at Osceola City Hall. Shawn Chafin led the brief meeting as Chairperson. Others in attendance were Stacey Travis, Ed Richardson, Donna Lorino, Luther Wakefield, Mayor Sally Wilson, Steve Choals and Ray Fulmer.

The CIT was informed by Chafin of the final installation of trail cameras. Two cameras are now active in areas identified as being prone to dumping. Earlier this year the group researched and identified this practice as a key source of downtown litter. Images captured from the cameras will provide the necessary legal evidence for effectively prosecuting offenders.

The cameras were purchased by the City of Osceola through a grant facilitated by Main Street Osceola.

Ed Richardson provided the group with an update on a recent survey of businesses located within the city limits. The majority of the businesses surveyed complied with a long-standing municipal ordinance requiring payment and public display of a City Privilege License. Non-compliant businesses were provided with an abbreviated copy of the ordinance, instructions, contact information and an application form. At this time, no current businesses have been ticketed or fined for failure to comply wiIMG 20191219 1059009 2th Ord. No. 1993-690.

Positive progress reports were also made regarding

  • efforts to repurpose two eyesore properties within the I55 - Hwy.140 entrance area
  • an opportunity to acquire a derelict property with historic significance
  • an expansion of the Mayor's placemaking initiative

A major project being planned by the CIT for 2020 is the implementation of a Local Foods | Local Places initiative. Phase one of the program is the establishment of a certified commercial kitchen. Two municipal properties are currently being considered as test sites.

Partial funding for the LFLP initiative will come from a USDA/DRA grant. 

CIT meetings are open to the public.


The City of Osceola Public Works Committee, chaired by Councilmember Gary Cooper, held a special meeting on Friday, February 7th at city hall. Guests in attendance were State Senator David Wallace, Brad Smithy of the Arkansas Highway Department and Randy Ferguson of the Drainage District.

Flooding, inadequate drainage, and railroad related issues were discussed.

A full audio file of the meeting is available.


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Public Works CommitteesPubWrks

Gary Cooper - Chair 

  • Linda Watson
  • Tyler Dunegan


  • Edward Richardson



PUBLIC MEETING RULES: Committee meetings fall under the same FOIA/Public meeting guidelines as City Council meetings. The chairman should provide the designated administration personnel with the meeting agenda that will be fax to the media as the required public notice to the press. The meeting will be posted on the city’s website. Administrative staff will make available a recording device, such as a tape recorder, backup batteries and blank cassette tape for the meeting. The chairman is responsible to record the meeting. Afterward, the chairman should write the date and committee name on the cassette tape and give the tape to the designated staff member. If the chairman wants the committee’s staff member(s) available, and the meeting is during regular business hours, please contact the mayor to make arrangements.

1517667 820299231329769 325264160 nThe Osceola Historic District Commission is in place to ensure the preservation of historic buildings related to the history of Osceola, Arkansas. The Commission operates on grant funds from the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program in collaboration with Main Street Arkansas, both affiliated with the Department of Arkansas Heritage.

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