December 14, 2011 Edition

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NEA water board
merits our gratitude

The grand opening of the Northeast Arkansas Water Authority's new water treatment plant was a high point for Lawrence County, as well as various towns in eastern Lawrence County.

It was fitting that the board of directors chose to surprise their chairman, A.J. Henry Jr., by naming the new water plant after him.

We agree with the dignitaries, such as Randy Young, executive director of the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission, who said it is rare to see this level of cooperation from so many entities. We also second Gov. Mike Beebe's praise that the water authority had vision to construct a facility "built with the idea of growth and prosperity."

Matt Dunn, of Crist Engineers, noted that the plant was "built with the future in mind." It is now pumping one million gallons of water per day but has the capacity for three million gallons per day. The plant has a backup generator and is completely self-sufficient and has over 16 miles of transmission lines.

Others saw the event, the culmination of over 12 years of work and planning, as an important event. Among the others present included State Senator Robert Thompson, State Rep. James Ratliff, State Rep. Linda Collins-Smith and several others representing the offices of other state elected officials.

Senator Rick Crawford's spokesman reiterated the other remarks, stating that the NEA water authority is special. "Those people have done something very unusual. They banded together and created a system to alleviate a problem."

Sen. Thompson gave a special thanks to Mr. Henry for his hard work on the project. "I'm so happy to see this project come to fruition."

Rep. Ratliff expresses optimism. "I think you're going to see more expansion (in the near future) than we've seen in the past 30 years."

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