The possibility of Riverbend Park's receiving city water and the potential of annexing the former Beach Club property into Hardy were the main topic of discussion at Hardy City Council's regular monthly meeting Oct. 20.
The meeting was well attended, yet there wasn't a quorum to vote, so discussion was held about agenda items.
Hardy Mayor Nina Thornton said that in a stroke of luck, the city engineer John Mory with Affilated Engineers in Hot Springs and Hardy water superintendent Billy Gilbreath were at city hall discussing the Bigger's Bluff Corporation's non-payment of their water bill and options the city might have in regard to getting water service to the residents, when Virgil Griffin came into city hall. Griffin told Thornton and Gilbreath that he had a clear deed to the land and water lines within the park. As the discussion ensued, the representative told the group it might be easier to get a grant to satisfy the debt and improve and repair the system and agreed to do a feasibility study for the city. Bigger's Bluff Corporation owes the city nearly $21,000 for past due water bills to the area. Residents have been without city water service since October 2008. He said the availability of funds from the Stimulus package could help fund the $2 million dollar project to improve the city's water system and provide water once again to those in Riverbend Park.
The engineer gave the city several possibilities regarding the possible project including one that would include a new tank and improvements and additions to the current water system which would include an area around Razorback Addition in Woodland Hills as well as Riverbend. The grant could also provide funding for the water system to include the former Beach Club, which is in closer proximity to the Hardy City limits than that of Cherokee Village. Currently those who live in the area are being served by a small well system.
Aldermen Ray Hicks, Bobby Gilliland and Margaret Harness are on the committee responsible for discussing the possiblity of annexation of the area and said they would discuss the proposal and all agreed they should draft a letter of intent to attempt to annex the Beach Club into Hardy.
Next on the agenda was Hardy business owner Ron Martin who asked the city to provide and maintain four to six trash cans along Main Street. Martin said there is a lot of trash along the street and providing the cans would help keep the city clean. Thornton explained to Martin that the city officials were extremely busy and that there were already several garbage cans in Hardy, including on the side street, in Dr. Thompson Park, Loberg Park, the Hardy Gym and at Buford Beach. Because there wasn't a quorum present for the meeting, Martin asked to be placed on the agenda for the next meeting to have his request heard before full council.
The Air Evac life team presented their plans to city council for consideration. Marty Gorskey, a representative of the company explained their membership to the council and the many advantages of the cost effective plan, including the rates not being based on age or medical history. Council agreed to review the membership cost and consider it for employees of the city of Hardy and told Gorskey they would give him a decision at the next city council meeting set for Nov. 3.
Members of city council also discussed the possibility of working four 10 hour days as opposed to five eight hour days. Thornton said this practice was something other cities have started to utilize in an attempt to save money on heating, cooling and office expenses. The topic will be further discussed at the first November meeting.
Thornton also advised the public of the Trail of Terror that was set for Halloween in Loberg Park; due to the flooding the event was cancelled.
The next meeting of Hardy City Council will be held Nov. 3 at 7 p.m. at Hardy City Hall; the public is invited to attend.