March 22, 2017 Edition

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WR Drainage regulations set

Megan Heyl
Staff Writer

An ordinance concerning drainage installation was approved at Monday night's Walnut Ridge City Council meeting.

The ordinance established the procedure required for landowners to make changes to drainage around all existing or new construction. Any work will require a permit and the landowner is responsible for assuring the work is done correctly.

If a drainage system is improperly installed, the city has the option to remove and replace the materials at the cost of the landowner. Likewise, should the system fail within 24 months of the final inspection, the landowner bears the responsibility for the repairs or replacements.

The ordinance then details the requirements for drainage systems and cleanout boxes. Alderman Allen Smith inquired about a line that read the city could determine other requirements.

Mayor Charles Snapp said that some jobs might have more specific requirements or the city might have additional requirements determined in the future, all of which are to assure jobs are done right and avoid spending tax money on replacements.

With multiple creeks available to drain to, Snapp said the drainage issues the city has now should not be a problem if new drainage is installed correctly, preventing compounding of poor drainage.

Council OKs
community center
ownership transfer

In other business, the city authorized the transfer of ownership of the Walnut Ridge Community Center to the Lawrence County School District.

Expenses related to the building were meant to be shared between the school district and the city.

"It became where it was just too costly for the city to abide by their half," said Smith, who worked with the committee looking into the transfer.

An estimate of around half a million is owed by the city. The transfer of ownership will satisfy all debts owed. Additionally, the school will be offered lower trash rates to be negotiated and upheld at least through the remainder of the current mayoral term.

Citizen Bobby McDaniel, who brought the issues surrounding the community center to the city, express concern about the trash rates.

Smith confirmed that while utility discounts are unlawful as mandated by state statutes, trash pickup is considered a service. He added that he felt the discount was a kind gesture to help make up for the debt owed by the city.

McDaniel did request an opinion from the attorney general, which none present were able to ask for as only specific officials are authorized to request opinions of the attorney general. Snapp did confirm in their research, when it has gone to court in the past, trash pickup was ruled a service.

Also at the meeting, the council:

approved the first reading to release land at the Walnut Ridge Regional Airport located between Fulbright Avenue and Miller Drive to be sold for industrial use. The airport commission has already released the land and the Federal Aviation Administration has approved the land for non-aeronautical use.

heard from Police Chief Chris Kirksey on concerns about electric fences for dogs. Kirksey said there have been reports of dogs on such systems getting out and some bites have occurred. The Dog Laws Committee will do more research on the fences.

did not ratify an ordinance to grant former College City Treasurer/Recorder Joy Ring retirement. The ordinance was determined statutorily inappropriate due to it being approved within 60 days prior to consolidation. It was reported that Ring has made no formal request to the Walnut Ridge City Council for her retirement.

approved the alley closing at 122 Southwest Seventh Street. No visitors spoke at the public hearing or city council meeting regarding the closing.

approved ordinances authorizing raises for city clerk and city attorney, which were already approved by the council but required to be passed by ordinance.

discussed increasing the planning commission to seven members. More research will be done before it is brought back before the council.

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