City assists state with mowing
BENTONVILLE — The city has allotted $47,000 to supplement litter removal and mowing on land that’s the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department’s responsibility to maintain.
The department is accountable for the upkeep of its rights of way along state highways through the city. The city augments the state’s work through a third party to keep an “aesthetically pleasing” look throughout the city, Mayor Bob McCaslin said.
The financial increase was budgeted this year, but the initial contract — approved in March — with Luttrell Enterprises was for $68,069.
“This has been a fairly wet year to date and mowing cycles have been short,” Mike Bender, public works director, told the City Council in a memo.
The council approved Tuesday for Bender to use the full $115,000 budgeted and increase the number of litter removal and mowing cycles above the original contract’s 10. Council member Tom Hoehn was absent.
How many more mowings than 10 will be “based on need as determined by the city,” the change order states. Payment will be made based on acreage mowed each cycle, and the contract will not exceed $115,000.
There was no discussion about the change order at Tuesday’s meeting, but council members and city staff discussed it briefly during the Committee of the Whole meeting Monday.
Octavio Sanchez, Ward 4 council member, said he received a comment from a resident about the city spending money on something the Highway Department should be taking care of, but he understood the need to make sure the city looks well-kept.
The Highway Department typically will do three mowing cycles between April and October, which isn’t enough, McCaslin said. The city has been adding to the state’s work for about 10 years.
The City Council also approved spending $74,653 on odor control equipment to be used at the compost facility at 2000 N.W. A St. to eliminate odors from the facility.
The city has rented the equipment, which officials described as a giant box spraying Febreze, for the past month to make sure it worked adequately. The $7,000 rental cost will be credited toward the purchase price, according to meeting documents.
The Woodland Creekside Apartments are south of the compost facility. There are neighborhoods to the west and north of it.
“We do everything we can to be good neighbors,” Bender told council members Monday. “This is just another tool to put in the box.”
The council also approved appointing Chad Goss to the Advertising and Promotions Commission to replace James Smith, who moved to Colorado; appointing Elaine Kerr to the Planning Commission for a five-year term as Greg Matteri will not seek reappointment; and reappointing Richard Binns to the Planning Commission for a five-year term.