City & County

Water rate hike to wait until 2023

The Arkadelphia Board of Directors will hold the first of two monthly meetings at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 4, in the upstairs boardroom of Town Hall. The meeting is open to the public.

Water rates will have to wait

Although the Arkadelphia City Board had originally agreed to implement a rate increase for water and wastewater usage this fall, residents have confusion in the legal process to thank for the hike to be pushed to January 2023.

“We wrongly assumed it to be a resolution that set the rates rather than an ordinance,” Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley wrote in a memo to city directors. The original start date for the new rates was Oct. 1, but language in the ordinance notes a Jan. 1, 2023, start date. The pair of ordinances — one for water rates and one for wastewater rates — will require three readings.

Condemnations proposed for three homes

Also on Tuesday’s agenda is a resolution to condemn and raze three properties “that need demolishing” according to city officials.

The properties in question are located at 121 Clinton St.; 1516 Logan St.; and 126 S. Clark St.

If approved, the resolution will authorize city attorney Ed McCorkle to pursue a court order removing the buildings and to place a lien on the property for the cost of the work.

Dumpsters needed in city

The city’s Sanitation Department has replaced 10 Dumpsters per year the last several years, but new department supervisor Daymond House is requesting that the city buy 30 trash bins before the next round of bins gets phased out.

House “personally inspected the city’s entire Dumpster inventory and found a need that exceeds our current replacement program,” Brinkley wrote to directors, noting there are “immediate needs that cannot wait until next year’s rotational purchase.”

The total cost to order the 30 requested trash bins is $32,190, including freight, based on a quote from Roll-Offs USA, the company that provides the city with its trash bins.

Action to pay for engineers’ on-call services

City directors have to consider a task order for on-call services from Crist Engineers, which performs most major preliminary work on the city’s major sewer or water projects. “This [measure] addresses those items outside major projects,” Brinkley wrote to directors. “It’s more of a housekeeping item with a pathway for coding and expensing work performed outside of a major defined project.”

Engineering and technical services provided include surveying, mapping, water distribution system, wastewater collection system, environmental documentation, funding application preparation, computer-aided design and drafting, utility services and rate analysis, construction support, cost estimating, water treatment plant and wastewater treatment plant.

The agreement does not include subsurface exploration, testing of construction materials or contractor equipment, payment for publication of legal notices, payment for any legal services, bond counsel or other related field, fees or taxes, costs associated with securing easements, or costs associated with environmental studies required for permits.