City as­sists state with mow­ing

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS - MELISSA GUTE Melissa Gute can be reached at or on Twit­ter @NWAMelissa.

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.

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