City and County

No buried utilities on wider Pine, says city manager; Entergy ‘ignored’ option

By Joel Phelps
The Arkadelphian

In a short and sweet meeting of the Arkadelphia City Board of Directors, questions were brought up regarding utilities along Pine Street once that thoroughfare becomes widened.

Ward 3 Director Keith Crews asked is the existing electrical lines, which run between power poles, would remain above ground or be buried.

At least the electrical lines will remain above ground, City Manager Gary Brinkley assured him. “We couldn’t make any of that work,” he said. “They [Entergy] were not interested in that. Entergy gets to do what it wants to do, and they wanted it above ground.”

Crews noted the condition of the light poles along Pine Street: “Everything on that street is about to fall down anyway, in the electrical department.” Brinkley said the poles, whether they’re re-used or replaced, would be relocated on either side of the widened highway.

Crews asked if the city had any authority in the matter. “Not with Entergy,” Brinkley responded, adding there were talks about subsidizing improvements like buried utilities. “Entergy ignored those suggestions. Entergy does what Entergy wants to do, when they’re going to do it and how they’re going to do it.”

Directors Taylor Chaney and Chris Porter also brought up street lights in their wards, asking that some of them receive repair. Those comments were made following Brinkley’s city manager report that included fixing street lights that have been out on Thompson Road near the Youth Sports Complex.

Brinkley reported the street department was able to finish all of its crack-sealing jobs for the year during the first week of March thanks to the warm weather.

In finishing the budgeted purchases of vehicles for the Arkadelphia Police Department fleet, Dodge rejected the city’s orders for two cars and two trucks. The police chief, however, was able to find two 2021 Chargers in Oklahoma, and purchased them. The Rams, Brinkley added, “will have to wait until the state purchases contract reopens, hopefully by October 2022 for receipt in 2023.”

City officials had a meeting with the contractor and engineer on the Feaster Trail rehabilitation project. Brinkley said work should start April 11 on that phase, from North 26th Street to Ross Family Dentistry.

Work on a drainage project at 27th and Caddo streets is on hold for now because the pipe wasn’t delivered, Brinkley reported. Work will commence once it arrives.

In city business, directors approved the second readings of a trio of ordinances pertaining to state plumbing, mechanical and fuel codes. Those ordinances are now set for their third and final reading before approval at the next board meeting.

Following the meeting, an Elaine Circle resident addressed the board regarding the bypass project, saying he was unhappy with its proximity to his house. The resident also voiced concern over the potential for flooding in his neighborhood once the raised bypass is constructed.

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