Marmaduke Council Meets

Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Marmaduke City Council addressed water issues concerning American Railcar Industry (ARI), purchasing a new lawn mower and city improvements during the monthly meeting Tuesday, March 22.

Mayor Steve Dixon informed the council of a problem with the city servicing ARI's water needs.

"It has come to my attention that we should not be servicing ARI, because it is in the St. Francis Water District," Dixon said. The water district was formed in 1987 when the city limits of Marmaduke only extended to the railroad and the area between State Highways 34 and 49. When ARI was annexed into the city the water district issue was not addressed.

"At that time St. Francis was not prepared to service this type of customer and infrastructure to support ARI was not in place," Dixon said. "Since that time St. Francis has improved its infrastructure and we must quit servicing ARI."

The council approved an agreement Dixon negotiated with St. Francis, which states:

*The City Of Marmaduke will not connect or sell any new water for any new expansions including the current building project in the St. Francis district.

*The City of Marmaduke will discontinue the sale of water to what is considered the "East" plant at the end of the fiscal year 2016.

*The St. Francis district will share billing information with the city for water sold in the "East "plant and all other future water meters on the property for waste water billing purposes.

*The St. Francis River Regional Water District will relinquish all water rights to the ARI property from the East plant westward between Highway 34 and 49, including the Delta Coop property to the city of Marmaduke.

The council approved purchasing a Bad Boy zero turn lawnmower from Buck's equipment for $8,200 plus tax. Forty percent of the cost will come out of the city's street fund and 60 percent from the water fund. The council has been researching lawnmowers since last fall.

The council also approved the fire department's request to begin transitioning from pagers to texting, emailing and phone call fire alarms.

"This new technology has a large amount of options including keeping up with our training and telling us when and who needs their training updated," fireman Matt Pruett said. Pruett often works alongside the City of Paragould's SWAT team and the Greene County Rescue squad, who use the system, and Pruett said it works very well.

"Eventually I think texting will make pagers obsolete," fire chief Nikki McDowell said.

"The future of technology suggests we will have to go more technological, so this is probably the right step to take," mayor Dixon said.

The council approved a bid from Ralph Oglesby of Lafe to completely restructure the First Street Bridge. The council waived competitive bidding and accepted Oglesby's bid of $19,900. Dixon said the reconstruction won't begin until after school is out.

A city-wide yard sale was slated for Friday, April 1. The council decided also to have a city-wide clean up day from Friday, April 1, to Friday, April 8. The city will set up large dumpsters in different parts of the city for residents to dispose of any items.

The final order of business was passage of a resolution to accept the $250,000 in overlay monies granted the city for street repairs by the Arkansas Highway Department. "The website shows the highway department plans to be finished with the street overlays at the end of May," Dixon said.

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