Monette Council chooses alternate route

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Monette City Council choose an alternate line route for transporting sewage from the City of Black Oak to the new Monette treatment facility during the city council meeting Monday, May 21.

Black Oak Mayor Eddie Dunigan and Project Engineer Wayne Menley met with the Monette City Council on April 23 to discuss potential sewer line routes for laying pipe from Black Oak to the Monette sewage treatment plant, east of the city. The first choice by the City of Black Oak was to go north of Black Oak along Highway 18 to County Road 506, turning eastward along the edge of Monette city limits to the sewage facility. This route would allow Monette residents, who currently have private septic tank services, to hook on to the lines during construction. Alternate line routes were discussed at that time, which would allow pipe to enter Monette city limits from County Road 543.

After a lengthy discussion the council voted to select a revised alternate route from County Road 543 and not entering Monette city limits except to tie onto the treatment station on the east. The revised route would require final approval from the Monette Council.

Several city aldermen reported contacting County Road 506 residents during the past month, and they did not receive favorable agreement as to their desire to connect onto the proposed lines at this time.

“We hope to offer sewer service to our citizens at a later date,” said councilman Bob Blankenship. “We have agreed to allow Black Oak to hook on to our system but have not yet set the price for doing so. Picking up 100 new customers would help but we can’t do it for nothing.”

“It helps us none at all to provide our people with the service in this way, and the ones we talked to haven’t been in favor of it,” said councilman Kristian Nuckles.

“We would not be getting anything for wearing out our equipment, at the estimated $55 a month per customer to them,” said alderman Mark Rolland.

The council will notify Mayor Dunigan and engineer Menley of their decision and need for revision of directional outline.

Monette Mayor Chub Qualls and the council discussed dissatisfaction with removal of debris from the old sewer plant demolition by McClanahan Construction.

“We were misled,” Blankenship said. “Now it seems we have to accept what has been done, as going out and digging things up would just create more problems. It is okay if the hazardous materials were removed. I think we just need to forget it.”

“The contract said they were to remove, which means to take away,” Nuckles said. “They did not take away. We need to send a letter voicing our opinion of being taken advantage of, just for the record. We had a $2.5 million project and are still having trouble getting it to work.”

Alderman Aaron Uthoff read a list of roadway concerns compiled by the council for a proposed meeting with the Arkansas Highway Department. Concerns include: stop/turn arrows at entrances and the school; completion of bridge #10; culverts; property completion east of town; equipment needed to maintain; road aprons from Highway 18 to County Road 510; drop-off to Edmonds Street; and shoulders need to be redone on both sides of Texie Street.

“There have been 27 wrecks on the Highway 18 bypass and exits so far,” Qualls said. “We will send the Highway Department a letter listing our concerns before we meet with them.”

The council approved the comprehensive extended sewer generator warranty with MTU Onsite Energy for five years and 3,000 hours for $1,669 but declined the United Engines maintenance and repair agreement.

The council discussed ongoing problems for proper sewage separation operation at the new facility.

“We paid for them to design a system that works and it doesn’t,” said alderman Tom Carroll. “This has got to be fixed.”

Mayor Qualls agreed to contact project engineer Wayne Menley.

Any remaining funds left after the construction of the Veterans Memorial revert back to the Monette American Legion, according to the will of benefactor John Paul Masner. American Legion Post Commander and Alderman Brandon Decker expressed the desire to redirect funding back to the Veterans Memorial Committee with designated use for maintenance, upkeep and additions when needed.

City Treasurer Vickki Carroll reported the memorial balance was currently $33,448, but not all of that amount was from the Masner will, as some other donations were made. When separation of funding was complete, the remaining funds from the Masner donation will be given to the American Legion, who agreed to return it to the Veterans Memorial Committee with designations for spending.

Veterans Memorial Committee Chairman Henrietta Qualls addressed the council saying the committee wanted to erect a sign on the new Highway 18 loop to advertise the monument and Buffalo Island Museum, so passersby will be encouraged to visit both.

With several requests for posting advertisements in the city, the council reviewed an ordinance prepared in 2013, but never passed, concerning guidelines for use of billboards and signs. The council revised the original ordinance plans, leaving out the section exempting sign regulations, and adding that all signs must be approved by the city. An emergency was declared, and Ordinance 2018-1 was passed on all three readings. The ordinance regulates the use and erection and placement of signs and for other purposes.

The council discussed annexing three pieces of land on the Highway 18 loop, naming or renaming city streets, spraying for mosquitoes, and providing water and sewer to property on Highway 18/139. No final decisions were made. Estimates for installing street lights on Drew Avenue and Highway 18 have been requested.

Emerson Ambulance Service has changed plans to build a new facility on the old City Hall property and will advertise for new bids on structure.

The bid of $137,000 was accepted from Michael Stracener Construction to build the new Monette Police Station. The city will stub in water and sewer lines and fire hydrant for Police Department and Fire Department.

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