City of Monette receives update on Sewer Plant progress

Monday, July 3, 2017

The Monette City Council discussed several agenda topics at the regularly scheduled meeting Monday, June 26, ranging from from the progress of the sewer plant, proposal of possibly closing an alley, laws regarding burying old buildings as well as the discussion of the Colson property lease agreement.

Wayne Menley, of Miller Newell Engineers, was in attendance to provide updates for the sewer plant project.

“As far as our project goes (budget wise), we’re still on task to hopefully stay within our budget,” Menley said. “The last time I was here we discussed a few change orders and your packet summaries pretty much give you a breakdown as to what’s going on.”

Menley proceeded to break down the numbers provided by the summary.

“According to the change order and contingency summary, we started out with a beginning amount of $50,609 in contingency...after the second change order (a deductible change order) from last month of $51,883 that left us with a subtotal of $102,492 after that second change order,” Menley added. “After deducting change order number three in the amount of $8,251.20, that left us with a total of $94,240.80 in contingency...we also had a geotechnical report that cost $4,942. as well as a review fee from the Arkansas Department of Health for $500 that are both reimbursable...so after both change orders and reimbursements, we are left with $89,798.80 in contingency.”

After breaking down the contingency summary, Menley then proposed change order number four.

“This order stems from the heavy rainfall that the city of Monette has recently received. Because of this rain, we had some accumulation of water in areas of the sewer plant that required immediate attention,” Menley said. “We had to raise the UV wall and Parhsall Flume by two feet to compensate the need to keep the water from flowing into the treatment plant...ultimately, this fourth change order will cost us roughly $4,482 and after doing so, this will leave us with a little bit over $82,000 left in contingency.”

Finally, Menley provided an update on the time span to complete the project.

“The guys are working very hard and are doing a great job. I talk to them at least twice a week,” Menley replied. “We’re about 35 to 40 percent complete both financially as well as construction and we’re looking for a complete date around October or early November. We have a contract date to be done around January, so they’re well on their way to being complete ahead of schedule.”

Also discussed was the proposal to possibly close an alley located between the streets of Braden, Honis and Texie. Norma Martinez and her family were in attendance to present their proposal to the board.

“We would like this alley to be closed to prevent foot traffic on and around our property. The alley hasn’t been used since the '70s or '80s and we would like to put a privacy fence up,” Martinez stated. “We’ve lived in the city of Monette for 16 years and are buying our home as well as a few lots surrounding our home, so closing off this alley would provide a sense of safety for our family. I have my children and grandchildren in my home and to have strangers walking around and through my yard isn’t something that I would like to keep experiencing.”

Ultimately, the council decided to keep the alley open due to the fact they may need it to access properties for utilities as well as possible water meter installations. However, the council did approve a permit for the Martinez family to build a privacy fence with a stipulation that requires the family to provide a gate at the north end of the fence so that utility workers may have continuous access to the area.

The council also discussed laws regarding the burying of buildings on their own properties within the city limits.

Monette Mayor Jerry "Chub" Qualls said, “We’ve been getting a lot of calls and complaints about people wanting to bury buildings on their own properties so I would like for us to come up with a resolution regarding this, if possible.”

Council comments included, “We shouldn’t allow people to bury buildings on their properties because it creates an impossible foundation to build on for future homes. We have homes now that have been buried around town that aren’t even completely buried, and with burying these buildings, one could run into potential problems such as mice infestation.”

Ultimately, Qualls said he felt more information is needed to be gathered from other towns that have passed the ordinance before making a decision.

In other business:

*The council approved hiring someone for maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery as well as the entering the bid process for a lawnmower as well as two commercial grade string trimmers.

*The council approved the motion to accept Colson property lease agreement with a payout purchase of $100.

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