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Council OKs new water billing system

The Carlisle City Council approved a new billing system Monday night during the council meeting.

According to Mayor Ray Glover, the new system will allow the city to have better communication with its residents. He said because the new bill will be a letter format, rather than the previous, residents can be notified of upcoming city events, code enforcement issues and when the city offices will be closed.

Glover added that with the new software system, if a resident has an outstanding debit from an unpaid water bill and moves into another town that uses the same software, the new city will be notified of the outstanding debit and services will not be granted until the debit is paid to Carlisle. With the start-up costs and yearly postage alone of an additional $1868.28, the new system will not be as cost efficient as the current post cards. Glover said with better communication to city residents and the ability to recuperate outstanding water bill debts, it was his recommendation that the council approve the billing change.

Aldermen W.H. Kittler, Mike Walker, Jon Plafcan and Chad Bennett voted to move forward with transitioning into the new billing services. Eddie Moore and Anne Anderson were against it. The motion carried 4-2.

Glover said there will be about a two moth transition before the new bills are distributed.

Jim Curley with BTE Management Group with Verizon Wireless asked the council to approve a location of a flag pole wireless tower for the town. According to Curley, there will be a receiver inside a 125-foot flag pole. He said there has been 40 by 40 foot area east of Glover’s Insurance/Depot selected as the ideal location for the pole, as well as an alternate location on the west side of the fire station.

Curley asked the council for approval of the site, so that further investigation can be done to see if there is any historical significance to the location. After further discussion, the council unanimously approved to place the power east of the depot, subject to a lease agreement.

Phase three of the north and south runway at the Carlisle Airport will soon be under way. Airport Commissioner Larry Pasley said this will be the final step to complete the overlay project. The project is being supported by a $190,964 grant received through the U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Aviation Administration. The council unanimously voted to authorize the mayor to enter into a a grant agreement with the U.S. Department of Transportation-Federal Aviation Administration for runway 18-36 overlay-phase III project.

Bids will open at noon on Sept. 16 for sale of the Federal Emergency Management Assistance trailer that currently houses the Court Clerk and Police Chief offices. Sealed bids will be accepted two weeks prior to opening bids. The council will review, accept/deny bids during the September council meeting.

After last month’s discussion of inappropriate activity to the city park, Park and Recreation Director Ronnie Ashmore presented the council with a solution to the problem. Ashmore said he met with Entergy to increase lighting of the park. He said in order for the park to have adequate lighting, four additional light poles must be installed. Ashmore said the four poles will cost $70 per month and a two-year agreement with the city must be signed. The council voted unanimously to approve a two-year contract with Entergy for additional lighting of the city park, subject to a contract.

In the parks and recreation department, Ashmore said football season is currently under way. He said there are currently 38 players signed up. Ashmore also said they would like to apply for two grants through Central Arkansas Planning and Development District.

According to Ashmore, if he receives the grants, due scheduling conflicts of the seven and eight year old boys, softball and tee ball teams; he plans to create an additional softball and t-ball field at Rockefeller Park to help with scheduling. He said there are also upgrades that need to be done to the city park equipment. The council unanimously voted to authorize Glover to enter into a grant agreement with CAPPD.

A new video will soon be shot of the city Industrial Site. Glover said he attended a Metro Little Rock Alliance (MLRA) meeting last week, to discuss preparing a 3D video of Carlisle’s select building site.

“We are moving forward here,” Glover said. “If Carlisle is to grow, we’ve got to get some industry in Carlisle.”

According to Glover, the three minute video will come with a hefty price tag. He said video will cost $45,000 and half must be local money. Despite the cost, Glover said he has found the money to have it done. He said half the cost will be paid by the MLRA, $5,000 has been given from Entergy-Team Work Arkansas, $7,500 will be appropriated by Rep. Walls McCrary and $10,000 will be appropriated by Sen. Jonathan Dismang.

The video will feature the industrial site as well as the surrounding community, Glover said. He said it will also show super-imposed distributions centers on the cite, giving site developers a visual perspective of what can be done there.

“Some people say we will never get industry in this town,” Glover said. “But you never will unless you try.”

Also during the meeting the council unanimously voted to:

•To hire a person to clean the Civic Center bathrooms for $20, on a as need basis.

•Approve the 2013 water audit

•Pay Architect Ray Lindsey $2, 375, holding a $2, 375 retainage fee for his architectural and engineering services on the police and court building.

Anderson informed the council that the paper compactor is now fixed and ready to use.

The next city council meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Sept. 17.

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