The first city council meeting of 2013 for the El Dorado Springs City Council was held at 5:30 p.m. Monday, Jan. 7. City Manager Bruce Rogers reported on several completed and near completed projects that had been in the works for several months. All councilmen were present – Jerry Friar, Gene Floyd, Randy Bland and Jerry Baldwin as well as Rogers, City Clerk Lisa Allison and Mayor Brad True.
Rogers said the detention basin is approximately 65% complete and the work is going smoothly. He said that the contractor’s first pay request has been paid and the 2nd request is waiting to be reviewed. He said that city crews did some sewer line work near that location, replacing old clay pipes and manholes.
Bland asked if there would be a fence around the basin.
Roger relied that a fence wasn’t budgeted or bid. He said the school did not request a fence. Rogers said that the basin will sit dry until a rain and if it does fill up it will drain within 24 hours.
Rogers said that the new storm siren has been installed on the south side of town. The old siren is in storage and may be used as an additional siren in the southeast part of town. He said the cost of the siren is $18,582 and he is completing the paper work for a USDA grant that can reimbursement up to 75% of the cost of the siren.
Rogers reported that Utility Director Erick McPeak has informed him that the reed beds at the waste water plant have been burned per an annual maintenance requirement.
Rogers said the water leaks in the 500 block of South Jackson and at Park and Twyman have been repaired.
Rogers said that the Picnic committee will meet this week and they would like to lower the commercial rate for vendor booths from $12 to $10 per foot because last year’s Picnic vendors’ revenue was down.
Rogers reported that the audit will be presented at one of the February meetings.
The council decided, at least for the time being, not to sell property to Boyce Simmons. Simmons owns property in the subdivision next to the Industrial Park on Hwy. 54 and requested to purchase a pie shaped piece of property from the city. Simmons had purchased the five acres that the city sold to Jim Spencer a few years ago. Two sides of Simmons’ property borders the Industrial Park with a 3rd side being the five acre track.
True said he didn’t see why not.
Friar said, “When are we going to stop cutting up stuff? Ten years from now, someone might want it and there’s a triangle out of it. I see no reason to sell it.”
Bland asked why Simmons wouldn’t want to square it off.
Floyd said that cutting it in small pieces gives it a checkerboard look.
Baldwin said,” If he wants land, sell him a decent size lot.”
Kimball Long, representing SCRG, asked that the wires going across the street on North Main and on South Main past the Park which are used for Christmas decorations be taken down after the season. Rogers said that he had talked with the utility department in the past and they prefer not to take them down as they have tension that would need to be adjusted for the Christmas lights. No one on the council indicated they would have the city crews take them down.
During the Mayor/Council report Floyd said that two individuals had contacted him. One was a merchant in the downtown area who asked why some of the trees in the Park were trimmed so tall. Rogers said that some are pin oaks and that is the proper way to trim them. Floyd also asked if there were water quality issues on Hospital Road. Rogers responded he is not aware of any in that area.
Bland stated that the property at Freeman and Jackson still needs attention. Friar asked if there was an ordinance limiting the number of people who can live in a house? Rogers responded that in R-1 zoning, every one must be part of the same family. Baldwin also mentioned the church on W. Spring. Rogers said he had not had a chance to check on that property or the house.
Friar mentioned the burned out duplex on Olive or Walnut. He feels it is an eyesore and a safety hazard. Rogers said that there was also a house on Jackson and Martin on the northeast corner. Floyd asked about the house by the Virginia Ryan Strain Swimming Pool.
Rogers said he has a list of houses that need to be looked at by a structural engineer to see if they feel the properties can be safely salvaged.