Home Uncategorized Major sewer leak a top priority for Mineral Springs officials

Major sewer leak a top priority for Mineral Springs officials

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MINERAL SPRINGS – The costs and aftereffects of the unexpected repairs and maintenance to the city required after last month’s storms were a major feature of the regular monthly meeting of the Mineral Springs city council Monday evening.
Perhaps the single most important repair issue, which may or may not have been directly resultant from the storms and high waters, is the recent discovery of a major leak from one of the city’s sewer mains, according to city public works manager Jonathan Holden. He noted that the eight inch pipe, which runs near the railroad tracks on the southern edge of town, could be just cracked, but may also have broken completely through.
Holden addressed the council about the severity of the issue, saying, “Any time you have a problem with your sewer, you have a problem with the state – and we don’t want a problem with the state.”
Holden went on to explain that he had contacted the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and a contractor to perform a point repair of the pipe, which carries the majority of sewage for the city, within an hour of learning of the breach. He characterized the repair as taking priority before all other work for the city.
A second major repair project, the replacement of the bridge on Crawford St. which washed out during the May 11 storm that saw massive flooding in the city, was detailed by Mayor Bobby Tullis. He described the process to replace the bridge, saying that removal of a natural gas line that had run under the bridge was a necessary first step, followed by the construction of a temporary road around the site, removal of the remaining portions of the old bridge and finally construction of the new structure.
Tullis said that the construction of a temporary road bypassing the site would cost approximately $10,000, and debris removal is estimated to cost around another $5,000. However, in part because of Arkansas Department of Emergency Management assistance, the initial estimate for constructing the replacement bridge comes to only around $18,000. Tullis said the replacement bridge would be built to be more sturdy than the one it replaces, as Crawford St. sometimes sees heavy traffic, and high waters in that area are not uncommon in heavy rains.
The mayor also noted that included in the process or reconstructing the bridge would also be requirements for the Federal Emergency Management Administration to investigate the site, the Army Corps of Engineers to permit the construction of the new bridge, and a competitive bidding process be opened. Still, he said, he is confident that construction of a replacement bridge can begin by July 1.
The costs of repairs are not merely in the distant future, as demonstrated by reporting made by city recorder/treasurer April Nail during the meeting. Her report on the city’s street fund showed a total of expenditures for the past month of nearly $18,000 – which is more than $10,000 above revenues for those accounts. Accounts for the water and sewer department were also down, by about $4,000.
Though Nail did not express undue concern about the amount of the expenditures, noting that the city’s accounts in general are quite healthy, they are significantly higher than in an average month. She also noted that the sales tax income from the recently opened Dollar General Store in the city would begin coming in next month, which should provide significant income to the city.
Also heard during the meeting was a request from Nail to destroy some outdated financial records, such as pay stubs and checking account registers nearly three decades old, which was approved by resolution by the council, and a inquiry about a previously discussed attempt to purchase a heavy truck from former mayor Walter “Sonny” Heatherly.
Holden replied to that inquiry with the opinion that there is no need for haste in that possible purchase, as the city has ordered a truck heavy enough for most needs and he is confident that Heatherly will wait before selling the vehicle.