After six years of deliberation and many denied bids, Hardy will finally begin construction on a new firehouse annex.
"It's time to get it built if we're going to do it," Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton said.
At the Aug. 5 monthly meeting of the Hardy City Council, Mayor Thornton explained that the city had more than enough funds to finally begin the firehouse project thanks to the grants from the Arkansas Economic Development Committee totalling approximately $60,000. The decision to finally begin construction came after lower bids were received by Thornton. In the past, bids to build the firehouse reached approximately $90,000 in comparison with the recent bids of only $22,000.
A resolution to sign the contracts necessary for beginning the project was unanimously agreed upon by the council. The contractor will be Robinson Contracters of Paragould, Ark., and will cost $22,000 for the construction of the metal structure with future change orders expected to complete the building. Mayor Thornton also explained that the new building will be built above the newly designated base flood elevation.
Sewer damage sustained by Hardy during the March floods totaled approximately $548,000. Thornton reminded the council that Hardy was responsible for paying 12.5 percent -- approximately $44,800 -- of the total cost by Aug. 8 while FEMA will pay 75 percent and the state will cover the remaining 12.5 percent.
The council unanimously voted to use a large water CD totaling $86,000 to provide the amount needed. According to Thornton, the over $44,800 will be taken from the $86,000 and placed in a special account created specifically for the sewer project. The remaining amount will be placed back in a CD. Thornton said the special account was necessary for auditing purposes.
The Charter Cable Company has been collecting data through surveys and questionnaires in a feasibility study that will determine whether they should provide Internet service in Sharp County. Thornton explained that now Centurytel is the only provider and that obtaining an alternate avenue for Internet service could prove to break up a monopoly and be beneficial to local residents.
In response to this issue Mayor Thornton proposed that a letter be written to the company informing them that their services would be supported and encouraged in Sharp County.
"It would save us money so write them a letter," Alderman Nathan Circle said before the unanimous agreement by the council.
The Sharp County Library Board is continuing with their project of putting central air in the Hardy Library. The board inquired whether the lease held between the library and Hardy would be null and void if the board handled the installation instead of Carol Collins, the library's former director. Thornton informed them after reading through the current lease that the agreement would continue to be valid.
The lease was signed in 1999 and says that Hardy is responsible for providing a free building and paying the library utilities, such as gas, water and electric. The installation of the separate electrical system for the central air unit will take place Aug. 13.