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Council hears about new water meter system

Allison Goodman The foundation for the new police and court was poured on Wednesday morning. AMB General Contractors of North Little Rock is constructing the facility. The building is scheduled to be completed in August.Buy Photo
Allison Goodman The foundation for the new police and court was poured on Wednesday morning. AMB General Contractors of North Little Rock is constructing the facility. The building is scheduled to be completed in August.

Jeff Bonee and Blake Culbreath of Henard Utility Products, Inc. of Searcy presented two options for satellite read water meters during the Carlisle City Council meeting Tuesday.

Bonee, a technician for Henard, began the presentation by showing the council two different types of meters — a bronze and stainless steel meter. He said the law has now changed concerning lead products or components in water systems. He said after January 2014, no meter can be installed or removed and reinstalled for repair if it contains more than .25 lead content. Bonee said although the bronze is still available at this time, it will no longer be made after June 2013. He said the lead in a bronze meter is five percent. The bronze meters do have a five year warranty, but they can not be removed from the ground for maintenance and reinstalled according to the new law.

Bonee told the council they should consider a low lead type of meter, plastic or stainless steel. He then presented the council with the new stainless steel e-meter.

“It is the latest and greatest revolutionary product in water meters,” Bonee said.

According to Bonee, the e-meter has a 20-year warranty with a 99.5 percent reading accuracy, 10 years being a replacement warranty and 10 years a pro-ration warranty. He said the reason the e-meter has such a long warranty and can offer a guaranteed high percentage in reading accuracy is because it has no moving parts and it can not come apart. He said if the city decides to go with the satellite read meters, the meter will be able to detect any active leaks, PH levels, and even water temperatures in the event the meter is near freezing temperatures.

“It alerts you of any situation that can occur,” Bonee said.

Bonee also said with the satellite reading system, customers can access their data reports online to view water meter status, latest bills and history of consumption. He said customers can also be alerted via phone, e-mail or text if an active leak occurs. He said because of the warranty and longevity of the e-meters, they are worth the money.

If the city were to go with the new satellite read meters, the city would need to mount four towers throughout the city. To best benefit the city and for the most coverage, Bonee suggested the city mount a tower on both Rivianna Foods and Stratton Seed. He said this would only be possible if the city were to come to an agreement with contracts to both companies. Boone said the other two towers would be mounted on the city water towers.

The council said they were not interested in purchasing a product which will soon be obsolete and unable to maintenance in the future. The estimated cost to install all new low lead meters is $309,700 and $363,000 for the e-meters.

“The city of Carlisle has been really good to us,” Bonee said.

Bonee told the council even if they chose not to go with Henard Utility for their meter purchase, they will still do business with Carlisle for many years to come.

After Bonee’s presentation, the council then inquired about the option to have radio read meters which are read by radio rather than satellite. Bonee said that is another option the council may want to consider.

Mayor Ray Glover asked Bonee and Culbreath to get figures on the cost of radio read meters and its pros and cons versus the satellite read meters. Bonee said he will have the new figures for the council by the next meeting. If the city approves the installation of the new water meter system, each resident will be responsible for any damage made to the meter, as they currently are. No action was taken by the council at this time.

In other city business, City Attorney Mike Stuart said the district court clerk has not yet been served for the class action suit that was filed Jan. 17 in Mississippi County against 75 district courts in Arkansas, including the Carlisle District Court. The suit filed pertains to a discount not being given by district courts on fees accumulated during moving violations and other offenses made while in control of a motor vehicle. State law requires a $10 discount be given when motorist are wearing a seat belt. The complaint filed states that over the past five years since the law went into effect, the $10 deduction was not reflected in any fees assessed.

Stuart said the Carlisle District Court’s software program seems to be correctly giving the credit. He said when an officer writes a ticket, they check a box to indicate if the motorist was indeed wearing a seat belt at the time of the stop so the program automatically deducts the $10 fee when tickets are entered into the program.

According to Stuart the case maybe dropped on the grounds of venue and motorists have 30 days to file an appeal.

In the event the suit does take place against the city, the Arkansas Municipal League or lawyers hired by the municipal league will defend the city. The city pays an annual fee for these services. Stuart said there is no reason to pay the municipal league at this time to defend the city if they have not been served.

“If we get served… we will discuss it at that council meeting,” Stuart said.

At this time, no action was taken by the council.

The council approved a lease with Doyle Oden at $100 per month for rental of the shooting range located at the City Dump. Approval of the lease is subject to Oden providing proof of insurance in the amount of $1 million prior to April 1 and naming the city as co-insurer on the policy.

According to Parks Director Ronnie Ashmore, the parks and recreation department is hard at work. He said there are currently 162 children signed up for baseball and softball this year, compared to last year’s 120. Ashmore said uniform sizing, ordering and practices are already underway. He said games are scheduled to begin in April.

Ashmore, who is also the Civic Center Director, said there have been nine events at the center in the past three weeks with three upcoming this week. He said they have already brought in $3,400 in rental income this year and continue to receive bookings for the facility.

The city is now accepting bids for the upcoming aerial mosquito contract. Bids will open at 10 a.m. March 25.

Glover told the council he spoke with three bond companies about re-issuing water department bonds to make some much needed water and waste water improvements.

During the February council meeting, City Water and Sewer Engineer Jason Stone with Civil Engineering Associates LLC of Jonesboro provided a list to the council of water and waste water improvements that need to be addressed. Water Superintendent Jeff Ward discussed the priority of each item. According to Ward, the top priority is the replacement of the existing filter media and painting of the pressure valves for $69,500. Ward said the filters have not been replaced since 1993.

The second priority, according to Ward, is the replacement of 18,565 tons of filter media in the existing rock reed filters for the waste-water system, estimated to cost $395,000. Ward said the cost can be cut in half if the council preferred to do half of it. There was an additional cost of $17,500 to rip rap 500 linear feet of existing levee on stabilization lagoon with material from the existing rock reed filters, as a second part of replacing the rock reed filters. Ward said the additional cost is to rent a equipment such as a trackhoe and dump truck and labor to have the current rock put on the pond levels.

The last three items on Stone’s list were to furnish and install 21 electrical actuators, valves and controls for the water plant filters for $195,000; replacement of four chemical pumps for $27,000; and replace electrical starters and phase monitors on wells for $24,000. Ward said these items were more modernizing than necessity.

Glover said the bond companies advised him to wait until the most current water and sewer audit was in. He said the new audit has not yet started but should be completed in the fall. Ward said the water department does have some funds put back for emergencies, which can be used to address the major problems areas at this time.

The city will soon have 50 new city streets paved. Bids opened at noon Tuesday for 3,000 tons of asphalt paving. Five bids were received, the highest from Tri State Asphalt of Lockesburg for $96.25 per ton totaling $288,775 and the lowest from Cranford Construction of North Little Rock for $67.90 per ton totaling $203,700. Glover asked the council about how they felt about paving old State Highway 13, which has now been incorporated as a city street, if he is able to negotiate an additional 1,000 tons at the same price. The council agreed they should pave the street if they can get it at same the low price. In an unanimous vote, the council approved the bid from Cranford Construction for $203,700 and authorized Glover to negotiate an additional 1,000 tons at $67.90 per ton.

Glover gave a small update on the construction of the new police and court building. He said after the slab is poured on Wednesday and the rain moves out, the frame for the building will be erected. The building is scheduled to be completed in August.

At 6 p.m. April 1 in the Civic Center, the Carlisle Economic Development Corporation (CEDC) will host a business retention banquet, according to Glover. Glover said every business that has paid occupational taxes in the city, will receive two invitations to the dinner. Those in attendance will hear what the CEDC has done in the past five years, what the plans are for the future and be introduce to some of their economic partners. Keynote speaker for the dinner will be Christopher Crane with the Arkansas Film Commission. Glover asked that every alderman attend.

Also during the meeting, the council reappointed Jerry Kelly to the Airport Commission. Kelly’s five year term was up.

Jon Plafcan was absent from the meeting. The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on April 16 in the boardroom at the Civic Center.

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