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Council discusses oxidation pond filters

Carlisle alderman Mike Walker presented the Carlisle City Council with photos and price quotes for replacement of rock reed filters at the city oxidation pond, during the Tuesday night council meeting.

Walker told the council that the rock reed filter will need to be replaced in the next year. While showing pictures of the filters, he pointed out the vegetation that has taken over due to settlement of the current rock filters.

“There is no filtration where the vegetation is,” Walker said.

All the areas covered in vegetation will need to be dug out and replaced, according to Walker. He said the water filtered through the rocks is wastewater but when tested it must be “basically drinkable.” Walker said the old rock removed will be used to build up the ponds levee, where the water has beaten the levee away over the years.

Another item Walker brought to the council’s attention was that the pressure filters and water tank at the water treatment plant are in need of painting. He said this will need to be done within the next two years.

According to preliminary budget numbers by the city engineer Jeremy Stone, replacement of 9,810 rock reed filters will cost $205,000. Stone said “the furthest filter, which is in the worst shape would cost approximately $114,000 of the total cost.”

Stone also said stabilizing the levee with the old rock reed would cost $14,900 and painting of the pressure filters and water tank would cost $178,000.

Alderman Chad Bennett suggested the work be done a little at a time. He said not only for the money cost, but for the future. He said if work is started on the worst filter first, and then work is done on the remanding filters over the next few years, the city could then be on a rotation where they were not caught in the dilemma of needing a large sum of money in a short period of time.

Walker, who appears to finds himself torn, wants to save the city money by reissuing its current water bond at a lower interest rate but doesn’t want to lose the option use reissue the bond in the future to raise money to replace the rock reed filters at the city’s oxidation pond.

“I’d love to save the city money,” Walker said. “But we can’t borrow money against them in the next five years.”

Mayor Ray Glover said, at this time, he believes interest rates have risen some. He said the only way he would recommend the bond be reissued would be if the rates are lower than two, which would save the city $100,000 over the next 10 years.

“We don’t know if we will be able to do it or not,” Glover said.

The council agreed to have Stone come to the next meeting so that he and the council can devise a plan for the water and wastewater improvements. No action was taken by the council.

Parks Director Ronnie Ashmore said the city baseball and softball league wrapped up its final game Tuesday night. Despite the long season, which began April 6, Ashmore said there have been no major problems this year.

“Everything has been going smoothly,” Ashmore said.

In preparation for next year, Glover said the city plans to make some improvements on the parks. He said yellow fence capping will be put on the field at Rockerfeller and metal roofs will be put on the concession stands and outdoor building.

Ashmore said he will begin working the fields now, filling in holes and fertilizing the grass so maintenance next season will be much easier.

Glover said work continues on the police and court building. He said sheet rock is going up, but they have ran into a problem. The “drunk tank,” which is a cell used to hold an intoxicated person until sober, must have a flushable drain according to jail standards. The cell does currently have a drain, but it is not flushable one. Glover believes at some point when trying to cut costs down on the building plans, the flushable drain was replaced with a standard ball valve and drain.

The change order proposal submitted by R. Crossfield Plumbing LLC of North Little Rock is for $2,232. This will cover removal of the concrete, installation of the new drain and flush valve, and to connect water to the valve. This cost will not include replacement of the concrete.

In a unanimous vote, the council approved the change order of $2,232.

A pay request for $26,837.50 to AMB General Contractors of North Little Rock, who is overseeing construction of the building, was also unanimously approved.

Glover said the building is expected to be completed by the end of July. He informed the council that the Chamber of Commerce is planning an grand opening for the facility after school starts.

In airport business, Glover said the airport has submitted for another eight bay t-hangar. He said there is a waiting list of pilots wanting to store their planes there, so he is hoping the airport receives the fund.

Code Enforcement office Robin Rountree will soon be taking court action on the Audrey Farrell property, located at 215 N. Williams. According to City Attorney Mike Stuart, no action is needed by the council. He said, according to the city ordinance, the property owners have been notified by certified mail that the property must be cleaned up. Because no action was taken by the property owners, the next step will be to prepare an affidavit for the court. The property owner will then be summons to court on a particular day. The judge will then give the property owners a time limit to clean up the property before fines begin accumulating.

Stuart said the property owner could be fined $100 per day until the property is cleaned, after the initial time limit is up. If no progress is then made, the city can then clean up the property and place a lien against it for cost of the clean up.

The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on July 16 in the Civic Center.

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