Lin­coln seeks to re­place wa­ter me­ters

Lin­coln re­ceived two bids for the project. He­nard Util­ity Prod­ucts of Searcy sub­mit­ted a $67,717 bid and HD Sup­ply of Ton­ti­town sub­mit­ted a $46,400 bid.

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - LYNN KUTTER Lynn Kutter may be reached by email at lkut­ter@nwadg.com

LIN­COLN — City of­fi­cials will eval­u­ate two bids on a project to re­place all wa­ter me­ters and in­stall sys­tem us­ing hand­held and mo­bile de­vices to read me­ters.

Cur­rently, a city em­ployee man­u­ally read each me­ter for use.

Rhonda Hulse, city busi­ness man­ager and grants co­or­di­na­tor, gave an up­date on the project at a re­cent City Coun­cil meet­ing.

Lin­coln re­ceived two bids for the project. He­nard Util­ity Prod­ucts of Searcy sub­mit­ted a $67,717 bid and HD Sup­ply of Ton­ti­town sub­mit­ted a $46,400 bid. The bids in­clude soft­ware, soft­ware setup and train­ing, 200 wa­ter me­ters, a walk-by hand­held col­lec­tion de­vice and a mo­bile drive-by col­lec­tion de­vice.

Hulse said city staff was call­ing cus­tomers us­ing both sys­tems to ask if they liked the soft­ware pro­gram and equip­ment. Hulse said she would take the in­for­ma­tion to the Wa­ter and Sewer Main­te­nance Com­mit­tee be­fore sub­mit­ting a rec­om­men­da­tion to the City Coun­cil for ap­proval.

The city will re­place 200 wa­ter me­ters with this first bid with plans to re­place all wa­ter me­ters over the next few years. In all, Lin­coln has 2,400 me­ters in the city.

The City Coun­cil will have a spe­cial meet­ing at 6 p.m. Tues­day to vote on ac­cept­ing one of the bids.

In other busi­ness, the coun­cil au­tho­rized Mayor Rob Hulse to seek bids to resur­face County Av­enue in front of the el­e­men­tary school and re­pair North Street Bridge. The city’s an­i­mal con­trol truck is hav­ing lots of prob­lems and the coun­cil OK’d a re­quest to look for an­other truck.

Coun­cil mem­bers also gave the go-ahead to re­pair the for­mer City Hall build­ing. A hot wa­ter heater burst and flooded the room. Re­pair will in­clude re­mov­ing the car­pet and clean­ing the room. The coun­cil briefly dis­cussed buy­ing an­other build­ing on Lin­coln Square to use for district court and City Coun­cil meet­ings.

The coun­cil waived com­pet­i­tive bid­ding to pur­chase turnout gear for Lin­coln Fire De­part­ment. The city will use a $15,000 grant to help pay for the gear.

The city also is hop­ing to use a Ru­ral Ser­vices Block Grant to pur­chase other items for the fire de­part­ment. Coun­cil mem­bers ap­proved ap­ply­ing for a $75,000 grant to pur­chase turnout gear, a fire hose, in­frared cam­era and to re­pair the fire sta­tion’s roof. If the city re­ceives the grant, it will be re­quired to match the money by 10 per­cent.

City At­tor­ney Steven Parker gave an up­date on two burned struc­tures on prop­erty at Brenda Street and Pride­more Drive. Parker said the owner of the prop­erty has died and the city would have to cre­ate an es­tate and go through pro­bate court to take care of the prob­lem. Part of the process would re­quire the city hir­ing an­other at­tor­ney and ask­ing pro­bate court to ap­point the per­son as a spe­cial ad­min­is­tra­tor for the prop­erty.

Coun­cil mem­bers en­cour­aged him to pro­ceed, not­ing the dam­aged struc­tures are a nui­sance and a safety haz­ard.

“Any­way you look at it, it has to go,” said coun­cil mem­ber Johnny Stow­ers. “Do what it takes to tear it down and get rid of it.”

Mayor Rob Hulse said the city needs to take a stand on the eye­sore.

“We need to ei­ther force them to get it cleaned up or do it our­selves and slap a lien on it,” Hulse said, adding, “I think it’s time we do it and do it right.”

The mayor re­ported the city had pur­chased the prop­erty at 109 Bean St., for $15,000 from Boyce Davis Re­vo­ca­ble Trust.

The coun­cil also con­firmed hir­ing Chris Porter as a new Lin­coln po­lice of­fi­cer. Porter is com­ing from John­son and be­fore that, he worked for Prairie Grove Po­lice De­part­ment.

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