Arlo and Janis
The Bauxite city administrator would like to lay to rest any confusion about property the town plans to annex.
Jason Watts wants to let the people of Sardis know Bauxite has no plans to forcefully annex the area into Bauxite or annex it at all.
Watts said rumors have been going around, especially on the Sardis Community of Arkansas Facebook page, that Sardis would be annexed.
He said some people have even begun a lawsuit to prevent annexation.
“They are under the mistaken impression we are trying to forcefully annex,” he said.
Watts explained what is actually happening is a developer has a piece of land he would like to use Bauxite sewer for as it is developed. Lance Penfield, of Penfield-moudy-realtors, is serving as the developer’s representative on the project.
“We requested to come into the city in order to get sewer,” Penfield said.
He explained the developer has entered into a voluntary pre-annexation agreement with Bauxite.
He added that the town told him it was not interested in annexing any other property.
The land will be added to the city over time as it is developed. Penfield said the agreement is available for the public to read.
According to Penfield, the property being annexed touches the border of Bauxite. He said they wouldn’t be able to voluntarily annex if it wasn’t.
Watts said he has seen many comments on Facebook about the rumors, many directed specifically at him. He said one gentleman came into the city offices and was very combative. Mayor Eddie Jones attempted to explain what is actually planned.
Watts said he has been working to fulfill Freedom of Information Act requests for the city’s financial records because of these rumors.
“We have to stop what we are doing to comply,” he said.
Watts is also upset because the gentleman making the FOI request claimed on the Facebook group that Watts had cursed at him.
“I am not and I never will curse someone who come into this office,” he said.
Another part of the rumor
Watts wants to address is claims that the city was fined $30,000 by the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality for its sewer.
During a recent special meeting of the Bauxite City Council, the council voted to approve to pay a $4,000 fine. Jones has been working since January, when he took office as mayor, with the sewer department to bring the sewer up to ADEQ standards. He said it had previously been neglected by previous administrations. Jones is proud of the strides the plant has taken in the time he has been in office. He has brought in experts to work with the city on the problems.
“Everyone of us is doing our best to correct things that were not taken care of before,” Watts said.
The final agenda has not been set for the upcoming meeting. According to Facebook posts made by Council Member Deann Watson, she plans to give questions she has been asked to Jones to address during the meeting.
The next Bauxite Council meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Nov. 18 at Bauxite City Hall. All meetings are open and the public is encouraged to attend.