Process Con­tin­ues For Wa­ter Tank

LIN­COLN COUN­CIL AGREES TO PAY MORE, IF LAND IS SUIT­ABLE

Washington County Enterprise-Leader - - FRONT PAGE - By Lynn Kutter

LIN­COLN — In a spe­cial meet­ing last week, Lin­coln City Coun­cil agreed to in­crease the amount it’s will­ing to pay for land for a new 2 mil­lion-gal­lon wa­ter stor­age tank.

The Coun­cil voted to pay the prop­erty owner, Thomas Lee and Glo­ria Jean Hun­ton, $500 for an op­tion to pur­chase two acres for $50,000, con­tin­gent on a ge­o­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal study show­ing the land would be suit­able for a wa­ter tank.

The city orig­i­nally of­fered to pay the Hun­tons $22,000 for their land if it met the cri­te­ria for a tank.

The city al­ready has an op­tion on the ta­ble with Mar­sha Hedge to pur­chase two acres on the west side of North Jack­son High­way for $22,000 with the same con­tin­gency. The plan had been to make the same of­fer to the Hun­tons.

The Hun­tons sub­mit­ted a counter of­fer, re­quest­ing $50,000 for the land.

A spe­cial meet­ing was called Aug. 28 to con­sider the Hun­tons counter of­fer, and the Coun­cil agreed to the higher price. The Coun­cil then held an­other spe­cial meet­ing the next night to ap­prove the op­tion to pur­chase.

Mayor Rob Hulse said he

be­lieves the Hun­tons’ $50,000 re­quest prob­a­bly was based on an ar­ti­cle about the project in the En­ter­prise-Leader on Aug. 8. The ar­ti­cle showed that the con­struc­tion es­ti­mate, as pre­sented by Crist En­gi­neers Inc., of Lit­tle Rock, al­lot­ted $50,000 for land ac­qui­si­tion.

The op­tion to pur­chase is ef­fec­tive any­time on or be­fore Dec. 31, 2019. It gives the city ac­cess to the par­cel to con­duct ge­o­log­i­cal and phys­i­cal test­ing to de­ter­mine its suitabil­ity to serve as a lo­ca­tion for a wa­ter stor­age tank. The le­gal de­scrip­tion and lo­ca­tion of the ac­tual two acres will be de­ter­mined fol­low­ing the test­ing.

The city is con­tract­ing with Crist En­gi­neers for a new el­e­vated wa­ter stor­age tank and pump­ing sta­tion to im­prove the city’s wa­ter dis­tri­bu­tion sys­tem. The city will pay Crist $265,000 for its ser­vices.

Crist En­gi­neers found it would cost about $170,000 less to in­stall a wa­ter stor­age tank on the Hun­ton prop­erty, as com­pared to us­ing Hedge prop­erty.

Matthew Dunn, vice pres­i­dent with Crist En­gi­neers, told city of­fi­cials last month the tank project would cost $4.724 mil­lion on the Hedge prop­erty and $4.556 mil­lion on the Hun­ton prop­erty.

Dunn said the cost is less on the Hun­ton prop­erty be­cause it would al­low a shorter pedestal for the tank. The el­e­vated tank with a 115-foot-tall pedestal would cost $3.5 mil­lion on the Hedge prop­erty, com­pared to $3.3 mil­lion for a tank with an 80-foot pedestal on the Hun­ton prop­erty.

As a part of the project, the Coun­cil, at its Au­gust 21 meet­ing, ap­proved a low bid of $4,970 from An­der­son Engi­neer­ing Con­sul­tants of Lit­tle Rock to con­duct a geotech­ni­cal sur­vey of the land for the wa­ter tank.

The firm’s bid says its ser­vices will in­clude drilling and sam­pling of one bor­ing to the depth of 25 feet at the tank’s cen­ter and four bor­ings to a depth of 25 feet for the perime­ter. Lab­o­ra­tory test­ing will be con­ducted as re­quired on the sam­ples.

In an­other mat­ter re­lated to the new tank, Coun­cil mem­bers ap­proved a res­o­lu­tion show­ing its in­tent to is­sue up to $5 mil­lion in rev­enue bonds to fi­nance the land pur­chase and to build and in­stall the tank. The city will have to in­crease wa­ter rates to pay off the new debt but the in­crease is un­known at this time.

In other ac­tion on Aug. 21, Coun­cil:

Agreed to pay C.Mayo Inc., of Spring­dale, $13,825 for handrails and a wheel­chair ramp for Lin­coln Pub­lic Li­brary.

Ac­cepted the 2017 city and wa­ter au­dits.

Amended Lin­coln Code for fence vari­ances that changes the ap­peal process. Any de­ci­sion by the Board of Ad­just­ments to grant or deny a fence vari­ance must be ap­pealed to a court of com­pe­tent ju­ris­dic­tion with 30 days of the de­ci­sion.

Amended Lin­coln Code for de­mo­li­tion per­mits which states the ground must be left in a con­di­tion smooth enough to be mowed and all foun­da­tions or slabs must be re­moved be­fore fi­nal in­spec­tion.

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