October 19, 2016 Edition

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New wastewater plant
discussed at WR meeting

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

The Walnut Ridge City Council heard an update from City Water Works Manager Jon Kopp at Monday night's meeting. Kopp said he is working with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality on correcting some violations with the city's wastewater treatment plant.

Kopp expressed that the city should be prepared for some major expenses in the coming years. While nothing has been requested yet, he said he expects a master plan to correct issues with the plant will be required.

A new plant was Kopp's recommendation as he said the current wastewater plant has had issues since it was built. He also added that the current treatment method, activated sludge, is more costly to operate than the alternative lagoon system, which is the method he would recommend if a new plant should be built.

Kopp stressed that nothing has been put into motion yet and many meetings would be held and paperwork have to be filed before any major actions on the city's part would be required. However, with the cost of a new plant being upwards of $5 million, he wanted to inform the council early.

Mayor Charles Snapp said this is just one of the reasons why the city requires a sewer rates increase, which was passed at the meeting on its third and final reading.

The sewer rates are now at a flat $4.40 per 1,000 gallons. This represents a 90-cent increase on the first 2,000 gallons, which were previously set at $3.50 per 1,000.

Also at the meeting, the council reviewed a resolution for the sale of an airplane the city acquired in a contract entered into several years ago. While there is no title and attempts to secure one over the years have been unsuccessful, the resolution was to sell the aircraft for scrap.

However, with no bill of sale and nothing substantial recorded that the city owns the plane, even that proved a liability. A committee of Aldermen Robert Combs, Everett Hart and Wendell Jones was formed to determine how to legally sell the airplane.

In other business:

aldermen approved a resolution on the purchase of a tornado siren to expand coverage to College City, the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport and the industrial park. The cost of the siren will be split between Walnut Ridge and College City.

Snapp said that due to the success of having non-emergency police department calls run through the city hall, the police department has been able to use the money that was allotted for a clerk position to promote officer Brian Archer to a full-time position.

the council approved the third and final reading of an ordinance setting fines for the misuse of the city's recycling bin.

Fire Chief Frank Owens said the department, in partnering with Red Cross, distributed 54 smoke detectors on Saturday. He said those in need of a new smoke detector can call the department to get on the list for the next distribution in April. The fire department will install the detectors.

Snapp announced that the Christmas parade has been scheduled for Dec. 6.

the council reviewed a list of equipment that will be put up for auction.

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