Sewer services tabled at Lake City meeting

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Town Crier News Staff

Lake City councilmen set dates for an Easter egg hunt, approved two new firemen, and discussed supplying sewer services for annexed properties at the regularly scheduled council meeting.

The annual Easter Egg Hunt was held March 31 at the city park south of town. Prizes were given away.

The council approved two new firemen, upon recommendation from the Lake City Fire Department. Nathan Oneal and Bengi Wright will serve as rural firemen. Wright has already received his firefighter certification.

Attorney Johnny Dunigan spoke on behalf of his client Danny Dunigan, for the installation of sewer services on annexed property.

"The annexed property and ordinance provides rights and privileges, and a sewer system is one of these privileges," Johnny Dunigan said. "This would be good for residents. The city sewer budget has enough in it to cover the cost. By adding new customers this will bring in additional revenue."

Mayor Billy Anderson handed Dunigan a copy of a letter from their attorney concerning the matter and a recommendation.

"We are not trying to force you to do it but are asking the council to at least bring it to a vote," Dunigan said.

"I don't know where you get that there is plenty of money in our budget to do this," Anderson said. "We have $23,778.20 left at the end of the year. One major breakdown and it will be zero."

"You could always amend the budget if you had a major breakdown," Dunigan said. "This is nothing but a benefit to the city. We should do things that would help our city, to progress it."

"Several other people, who were already annexed, are waiting for service," Mayor Anderson said. "We do this on a first come, first serve basis."

"We are the first," said Dunigan.

"No you are not," Mayor Anderson replied. "The money is not there."

The council and members of the audience discussed the feasibility of annexed residents paying all or part of the cost to put in the sewer service.

"Every annexation is different," Danny Dunigan said. "We are concerned about ours, not everyone else's. Your ordinance lists other benefits, and we do not know what those are, if they are not sewer service. You didn't have any trouble taking my $350 for a building permit."

"We can reimburse you for your building permit," Anderson said.

"I don't think you can do it," Dunigan said.

"Yes we can," Anderson said.

"Would you be able to pay for the sewer manholes and pipes if we paid for the labor and equipment?" asked alderman Mark Mann.

"If Jim Bowman doesn't want to come in would you be willing to pay his part?" Anderson asked.

The council tabled the issue allowing time for all parties to do more research.

Lake City Clean Sweep is set for the first week in April, and limited to two tires per household and no batteries. For more details on items allowed, citizens are asked to call city hall.

Mayor Anderson announced the $1,000 donated to the city from CenturyTel will be deposited in the Parks and Beautification Fund, for small park and items to improve the city.

The council voted to donate $250 to the D.A.R.E. program, and $500 toward the appropriation of a new drug dog for the Eastern district. Monette Policeman Aaron Davis will train with the drug dog and has promised the Leachville council he will be able to respond to their call within a 15-minute time frame.

"Policemen have only 15 minutes after stopping a suspect to check for drugs, or they have to let them go," Mayor Anderson said. "The dog and training will be paid for out of collections taken in. This can be a one time thing, if we want."

"Doesn't the county have a drug dog?" asked councilman Mark Mann.

"Yes, but we can't get him down here, before it is too late," Mayor Anderson said. "One big drug bust will bring in $500, and they have assured us they can be here in 15 minutes."

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