October 20, 2010 Edition

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WR City Council renews
Firemen's Pension millage

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council voted unanimously to renew a one-mill tax designated for the Firemen's Pension Fund. An ordinance for the millage was passed in 1979 and has to be voted on for renewal each year. The tax is included in the real and personal property taxes within the city for the purpose of paying pensions to retired firemen and widows and minor children of deceased firemen.

Mayor Michelle Rogers reminded the council that Walnut Ridge will celebrate Halloween on Saturday, Oct. 30, following the Iron Mountain Festival. Opening ceremonies for the festival will begin at 8:45 a.m., with festival activities beginning at 9 a.m.

Alderwoman Paula Haskins told council members that several of the booths at the festival will be giving out candy between 3 and 5 p.m.

It was noted by Alderman Dirk Davis that Walnut Ridge's City Water Works has been fined $6,600 by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) for minor violations following a public water supply sanitary survey conducted in September on the wastewater treatment plant.

Mayor Rogers told the council that the city's drinking water was at no time compromised, and that the water commission has asked the ADEQ to allow them to pay the fine in installments.

Lester Herring, manager of City Water Works, told The TD on Thursday that the ammonia levels at the plant have been difficult to keep within the allowed parameters since 2006.

"January and February seem to be the months that give us the most trouble," Herring said. "Garner and Garner Engineering of Little Rock is in the process of examining the plant. They will recommend changes we need to make to correct the problem."

Special meeting held Oct. 7

At a special meeting on Oct. 7, the council passed an ordinance closing and vacating the portion of Arkansas Street between State Street and Southeast Sixth Street, Fourth Street between East Free Street and Southern Avenue and the alley through block 12 of Sharum's addition to the city of Walnut Ridge.

According to the ordinance, the areas vacated are not needed by the city or for public use and have been abandoned for many years. The Walnut Ridge School has planned new buildings in that area and needed to have the streets and alleyway legally closed before construction can begin.

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