Tuesday, January 10, 2012

TOP STORY >> Drop-off recycling planned in Ward

Leader staff writer

The Ward City Council on Monday discussed recycling, a permit to get rid of an eyesore in town and efforts to buy a portable building from the Cabot School District.

The city has been offering electronic recycling through Central Arkansas Waste Management for things like computers and cell phones, but soon it will get bins for other recyclables at no cost to taxpayers.

Mayor Art Brooke said Ward would be getting a container where residents can drop off plastics, paper, cardboard and aluminum cans. The city has not decided where the container will be placed yet.

Because Ward will not be requesting curbside service, Waste Management will only get whatever revenue is generated by what is recycled, Brooke said. He said the city could look into curbside service in a few years if growth continues, but he won’t consider instituting it until it is an affordable option for residents.

Brooke explained that the city is in the process of trying to remove a decrepit building without having to condemn it under the nuisance-abatement ordinance. He is asking state representatives and the city attorney about the best way to move forward on that project.

“The big thing is safety. We have kids playing all around this city,” Brooke said.

The parks and recreation commission submitted a bid on a portable building that is more than 1,000 square foot. The building is being sold by the Cabot School District.

It would be used as a concession stand and for bathrooms. The commission will find out next Wednesday if its bid was accepted.

Parks and recreation also reported to the council that the poles are set for dugouts and the spectators’ awning; 35 yards of concrete has been poured for the little field; a fence where spectators sit was extended by four inches; nine loads of commercial base has been hauled; poles and a cable were painted orange, and the awning should be done by the end of the month.

The commission has $7,657 in available funds and they are also submitting bids for two 8-by-28-foot job trailers, a 1994 Chevrolet pickup and a 2006 Kubota ZD21 60-inch cut diesel mower.

In other business:

• Improvements to the Peyton Street Fire Station driveway are complete, but there are a few items requiring the contractor’s attention. Final payment has been withheld for that reason.

• The city has not received formal approval to begin the Safe-Route-to-schools project from the right-of-way division at the state Highway and Transportation Department. Everything has been submitted and verbal approval was granted.

Until the formal approval is received, the Federal Highway Administration will not give its final release. This takes two to three weeks, and the project will advertise when the city gets that release.

Safe Routes to Schools is a federal program that makes funding available for things like safer street crossings and establishing programs that encourage children and their parents to walk and bicycle to school. The program’s purpose is to help communities make walking and bicycling to school a safe and routine activity.

• Additional information requested for a grant to fund Hwy. 367 improvements was submitted, and the city is awaiting a final decision on its application.

• Circle P Welding is supposed to be back on site within the next several days to continue the construction of the new water tank. The delay was caused by the contractor’s discovery that several steel and cast-iron items were stolen from the site. Those have been reordered and the contractor is waiting for them to be delivered.

• Lemons Engineering has begun developing plans for a disaster relief grants project, and those will be provided to the city this month.

• An application has been submitted to Delta Dental for funding to fluoridate the city’s water. The project is subject to receiving that grant, and Delta Dental will meet later this month to review the application. The mayor acknowledged that Ward may be further down in the pecking order, and it could be a while before the project gets under way.