Process Continues For Water Tank
LINCOLN COUNCIL AGREES TO PAY MORE, IF LAND IS SUITABLE
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.