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Flood damage is over $1 million

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Hardy Public Works Superintendent Billy Gilbreath said that monetary flood damage sustained by Hardy roads, sewage system and parks is more than $1 million at the Hardy City Council meeting June 2.

Out of that total, the city of Hardy will be expected to pay 12.5 percent of every cost incurred through repairing flood damage. The remaining portion of the bills will include 12.5 percent paid by the state of Arkansas and 75 percent paid by FEMA.

Gilbreath said that the waste water portion of the sewer damage will cost $609,009.33 to repair, leaving Hardy with a bill, of $76,126.16. The city parks total estimate, including Loberg walking trail and bathrooms, is currently being refigured and will total around $400,000 leaving Hardy with a bill of around $50,000 for park repairs. Street repairs will cost a total of $42,615 and will cost Hardy $5,326.88.

A $90,000 certificate of deposit will be used to pay costs incurred by the sewer damage, and the Advertising and Promotions fund, collected through the hamburger tax and totaling around $53,000, will most likely be the monetary source for park repairs, according to Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton.

Hardy City Engineer John Mory said there will be upgrades made to the sewer system that will allow for a system capable of withstanding water damage and can be remotely operated through Hardy City Hall.

"Right now, anytime there's a problem with the (sewage) pumps, (Gilbreath) and his people have to go out and check on the pump station and turn it off manually ... Now they will have an automated system where (Gilbreath) can be at City Hall and can check on the pump station remotely and turn off the pump station remotely ... That way we won't have to worry about people having to run out in the eye of the storm," Mory said.

An ordinance allowing the city of Hardy to pay $400 to Main Street Hardy for costs incurred on their electric bill due to faulty appliances was disagreed upon by Mayor Thornton and Alderman Amy Hussung.

Hussung stated that she was confused as to why the city had not yet paid Main Street Hardy $400 for their unusually high electric bills proved to be caused by kitchen appliances located in the city-owned gym.

"I think because the council voted on it, it needs to be followed through with," Hussung said.

The council had unanimously voted on a previous ordinance stating that the city of Hardy would, "pay $400 to Main Street Hardy to help with the electric costs."

According to Mayor Thornton, an ordinance put in place in 1999 makes it illegal for the city of Hardy to pay Main Street Hardy's electric bill. The ordinance was reworded saying "additional charges" would be paid and was once again unanimously agreed upon by the council.

"I wanted to put on the record that I disagreed with the motion and that when it came time for the audit, I wasn't in contingency with the (original) motion," Thornton said.

Although the council unanimously agreed to pay the $400 as soon as June 4, Mayor Thornton said she is waiting to get the budget restructured to change July's monthly payment to Main Street Hardy to $1,400 instead of the usual monthly payment of $1,000. Mayor Thornton said that a budget committee meeting is currently being scheduled.

Gilbreath also presented a bid from Bill Cummings with Cummings' Asphalt out of Cave City for $40,909.97 for annual street repairs.

According to Mayor Thornton, the city of Hardy was allocated more money than the $34,000 Hardy had budgeted for and would be able to accept the bid. Hardy Recorder/Treasurer Carolyn Groves added that after paying the fee to Cummings' Ashphalt there would still be around $5,000 left in the budget. The council voted unanimously to accept the bid.

Mayor Thornton presented the council with a bid from Eagle Pest Management for the removal of all bats and birds, waste in the attic area from bats and birds, disinfecting the area and sealing all entry ports into the attic for $1,645.

The council voted unanimously to use funds incurred from insurance payments to pay Eagle Pest and get needed actions underway as soon as June 5.

The Hardy Garden Club was represented by Freda Gamblin who requested permission from the city council to plant a memorial garden for Helga Helfrich in Loberg Park.

"We would like to plant it around one of the benches along the walking trail similar to the one the Timely Club has done although not exactly alike," Gamblin explained.

Gamblin stated that the club was well aware the area was prone to flooding but thought the garden could withstand the flooding with careful maintenance by the club. It was agreed upon by the council that plans were to be created by the club and brought to the July monthly meeting for final approval.

Other announcements included the city council's June 17 meeting being cancelled and the next meeting being held on the first Tuesday in July, July 1.



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