Caraway Council talks sewer repair, rates

Tuesday, August 16, 2016
Terry Couch, Caraway water and sewer superintendent, thanks the city council for providing equipment needed to install new sewer pipes. (Town Crier photo/Revis Blaylock)

Terry Couch, Caraway Water/Sewer supervisor, expressed his appreciation to the Caraway Council for the purchase of the trench box being used in the sewer line replacement project.

The council voted at the first of the year to purchase the trench box for $5,500.

"I talked to a construction representative this week on what the cost would be to have the pipes replaced," Couch said. "When we put in the first four sticks of pipe, the trench box paid for itself."

In addition to the cost saving, it keeps the workers safe as they are replacing the 60 year old sewer pipes.

"We are saving as much of the street as we can," Couch said. "What we are putting in is better than what was put in in 1962. This should last 80 or 90 years. Mitchell did a great job finding the trench box."

Couch again commended the council for getting him the equipment needed to do the job.

The Council reviewed bids for the creation of a city web page.

Mayor Barry Riley said Eursel Booth of Mt. Home, widow of Carl Booth, formerly of Caraway read in the newspaper about our plans for a city web page. She has volunteered to contribute the start up money if we use Brooks Jeffrey Marketing, Inc.

Mayor Riley said the web page would be a good avenue for people to advertise their real estate, the city can have their ordinances and resolutions listed, calendar of events can be updated, etc. Also there will be links to the school and other points of interest for the area.

The council agreed it was a generous offer and they accepted it unanimously.

Mayor Riley updated the council on the clean-up efforts informing them 21 clean-up ordinances had been served last month and more this week.

"I comment Pete (Chief of Police Pete Hicks) on getting it done," Mayor Riley said. "I also commend the fire department for the excellent job they did on the recent house fire. They did a wonderful job."

The fire department asked for the approval to use $200 of the Act 833 funds to purchase a desk and chair. The council voted unanimously to approve the request.

The council discussed the status of the video camera to be installed. Mayor Riley said it is in and he was waiting on the weather to get a little cooler before installation. They also discussed vandalism in the park and agreed the cameras may serve as a deterrent.

Councilmam Williams said Riverside Superintendent Jeff Priest said flashing lights will be installed at the East elementary School.

"I think he (Mr. Priest) will do a good job for our school," Williams said.

Councilman Bo James said he had received several complaints on the price of water.

Couch asked the council to allow him to reevaluate to see if the rates can come down.

"When you paid of the waster water plant that gives us $30,000 a year to work with," Couch said. "I showed you what it would cost and you listened to me. With the $30,000 a year maybe we can try to give a little relief back. Johnny and I have talked about it and we will study it out. Maybe when we get the work done this summer we can cut back. We don't want to build a big cushion."

James said he wants the people to know they are looking at it.

"We know it is high I just want the people to know we are looking at it," James said.

One resident attending said his bill had gone from $39 to $76.

Council went into executive session to discuss promotions.

Following the closed session, Councilman Williams made a motion to appoint Johnny Boatman assistant water/sewer manager at $16.50 an hour.

"Johnny has gone through the classes," Williams said. "He is qualified to take care of the city. If Terry retires in a few years we need to have someone who can take care of the city."

The motion passed unanimously.

Mayor Riley said they discussed promoting Shannon Kelems, police officer but decided to give him a $1,000 raise and end his probationary period.

Councilman Williams commented to the other employees who did not get a raise.

"I hope there are no hard feelings," he said. "We do appreciate all of our employees."

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