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City foots bill for shoddy work

Water and Sewer Superintendent Brian Whitworth told the council on Monday night during meeting the Lonoke City Council meeting that the source of the sewage problem on Rosemary Lane has been identified.

Whitworth said after having a camera run through the sewer line on Rosemary, it appears that although the sewage pipe is old, it is holding up well. Instead of a faulty sewage line, the camera revealed that nine service lines to houses on Cotton Lane were attached to the sewer line improperly. Whitworth said it looked as though someone knocked a hole in the sewer pipe with a hammer and then put the service line into the pipe.

According to Whitworth, the north side of the pipe appeared to be fine, but everyone on the south side, with the exception of one home, did not have a “saddle.” A saddle is required and is used when attaching a service connection from a home to a sewer line.

The councilmen were in agreement that due to the depth of the line, bids would need to be taken to fix the problem.

Mayor Wayne McGee said although the damage was done by the contractor that installed the service line, statute of limitations on the work has passed. He said most of the people who bought the houses, purchased them after the fact, so they were just as oblivious to the problem as the city was. McGee said this is something that should have been caught by the city inspector at the time it was done.

There was no mention of the contractor or city inspector names, during the meeting.

Alderman Koy Butler suggested the council consider hiring a code enforcement officer. He said if the city had a code enforcement officer, that person could keep up with the old cars, grass height, dilapidated houses as well as be an electrical and plumbing inspector. Butler said he believes with all the fines and fees given for violations, it would more than pay a salary.

On condemned properties, the council voted unanimously to allow until the next meeting for cars to be removed from the property located at 519 Hamburg. Properties located at 519 Renyolds, 302 Teresa Lane and 521 England Street were unanimously approved to be removed from the condemned property list.

Cynthia Harrison, owner of 903 Court Street will be sent a letter for not mowing the entire yard. If Harrison fails to mow the lot, the property will be mowed and she will be sent a bill.

For other property issues, 3rd Street Apartments and the home at 320 Wright Street owned by the county was tabled until the next meeting. Mallard Point Golf Course will be sent a letter, allowing an additional seven days to finish mowing the property before a $50 per day fine is applied.

The city is also looking for contact mowers to mow yards in violation of the eight inch grass height requirement of the city ordinance. Contract mowers will have 24 hours to mow the property before. The list will be rotated throughout the mowing season. Anyone interested in being on the city’s contract mowing contact list, please contact City Hall at 501-676-4300.

Mosquito season has arrived, according to Parks Director Roy Don Lewis. Lewis said there has been tests conducted on the mosquitoes in town. He said 5,000 mosquitoes were captured in one trap after being set out for three hours. On that trap, the chemical sprayed by truck has had a 97 percent kill rate after eight minutes. While many believe it only makes them mad, Lewis said it actually sends the mosquitoes into a feeding frenzy for the first five minutes before it kills them.

During a second test, six traps were set out and by airplane, Lewis said test results have shown a 77 percent kill rate.

Lewis said the only thing left to do for mosquitoes now is to place Vetropack into the rice fields surrounding the town as they are flooded. The council unanimously approved the purchase of 294 gallons of Vetropack for $16,370.60.

Baseball season will wrap up this weekend, according to Lewis. Lewis said the 13-year-old state tournament will kick off at noon Friday and run through Monday or Tuesday of next week. He said there are currently seven teams signed up.

New rules are now in effect for the city ball park. By unanimously vote, the council adopted ordinance 650 established to control the use of the city’s ball park, to set out prohibited acts within the city’s ball parks and to establish penalties for violations of the ordinance. Some of the penalties included being banned to all city parks for one year, fines up to $200 plus restitution and being charged with criminal penalties.

Also during the meeting the council unanimously voted:

-To purchase four pagers for the Fire Department at $450 each

-To spend up to $1,600 to purchase a root cutter for the public works department.

- To spend $1,480 to repair a culvert at Palm and Lincoln.

- To pass Ordinance 651, to repeal specific ordinances that no longer are in effect but remain in the city’s ordinances and to modify the specific ordinances to update the code

-To accept the bid from Supreme Pavement Maintenance of North Little Rock for $4,775 to stripe.

- To purchase a lawn mower from Ag Heritage for $12,725.41.

- To purchase new computer modems for the court office for $1,957,64.

Janie Derning was absent from the meeting. The next regularly-scheduled meeting will be at 6 p.m. Aug. 12 in the court room at City Hall.

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