September 22, 2010 Edition

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Tax not part of planning
for proposed golf course

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

"This golf course will not be funded by a tax," Walnut Ridge Alderman Michael "Button" Wallin said at the city council meeting on Sept. 14, speaking of a proposed municipal golf course the city hopes to build. "It will be funded by donations and volunteers, and it will be for the entire community, county and our schools."

The proposed golf course, equipment for mosquito control and the city's observance of Halloween were among issues discussed at the meeting.

A golf course for Walnut Ridge is in the planning stages with Wallin heading the effort. He presented the council with a preliminary drawing of the course, which will be located on airport property if the city receives approval from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The property lies outside the airport's safety zones, but the proposed course would still have to meet FAA criteria. A copy of the drawing has been sent to the airport's engineer and will then be forwarded to the FAA.

"Walnut Ridge needs a country club and a golf course," Wallin said. "The donations and volunteers' assistance can make this course a reality, and it will not cost the citizens of Walnut Ridge anything. It will be a community service we can provide and help make our area more attractive to potential citizens and businesses."

Halloween to be observed Oct. 30

The council discussed the city's observance of Halloween, which falls on a Sunday this year. They agreed to celebrate the holiday on Saturday night, Oct. 30 following the Iron Mountain Festival, which will be held during the day on the 30th.

Equipment for next year's mosquito control was also discussed by the council. One of the city's fog machines needs to have its engine overhauled and another needs to be replaced.

"We need to have it repaired, and I think we need to buy another unit and run three trucks next year," said Wallin, chair of the mosquito committee. "We have another truck we can use, and a new unit would cost around $9,000."

He said he felt that running three trucks to spray for mosquitoes would save money since three sprayers could get the job done in less time and also do a better job in controlling the mosquito population.

"Newport runs six trucks and they are not that much bigger than we are," Wallin said. "I just wanted to bring this information to the council's attention so they can be thinking about it for next year."

Alderman Paula Haskins asked if the trucks are more effective than a helicopter, and Wallin told her the trucks do a better job because they can get into alleys and other places where a helicopter can't go.

In other business, the council:

  • discussed trimming trees and bushes that are blocking road signs along city streets. "If the homeowners won't trim them, the city will," Mayor Michelle Rogers said. "People just need to let me know where there's a problem."

  • approved several resolutions that need to be in place before the city can receive the grant money they have been awarded through the Arkansas Community and Economic Development Program to extend the city's sewer line to Luther Bridge, Highway 34 and Midway Road. The grant is a Water or Wastewater Infrastructure Grant from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission.

  • told Darrell Blalock that the portion of Old Main Street in the Lane Addition which he asked the city to close at last month's meeting was closed in the 1960s or 70s.

  • was praised by Alderman Paula Haskins for keeping their committees under budget. "Everyone is doing a good job ," she said.

  • heard a suggestion from Jim McMillon that the city purchase a bucket truck for tree trimming, replacing street lights and hanging Christmas decorations. "The front end loader now being used for those purposes is dangerous for employees" he said. "You might be able to get one from AP&L or SuddenLink."

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