Arlo and Ja­nis

The Saline Courier - - COMICS - el­[email protected]­ton­courier.com By Elisha Mor­ri­son

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.

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