Ash Flat street and emergency crews recover after winter blizzards

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Ash Flat City Council met March 9 at 6 p.m. at the Ash Flat Firehouse. Mayor Larry Fowler opened the meeting, followed by approval of minutes from the February meeting and the current agenda.

After the fire and police department reports, Regan Nicholson of the parks department reminded everyone of the impact recent winter storms had. After much snow removal, there were many plumbing repairs made including water leaks and fencing at the ball park.

Cody Weaver of the street department reported on the extra work completed after the impact of the winter storms. He offered a special thank you to all of the guys who had to get out in the wee hours of the morning to help with plowing and repairs. They installed a new blade on the snow plow. Also Brian Watson, the county community service director/coordinator, brought inmates to help pick up trash on the roadside south of town. Weaver was very appreciative of their help. Also the traffic light at Hwy 62/412 was fixed on March 8.

Several council members brought up different places where roads were getting washed out and needed some attention. Weaver was aware of many of those problems and assured members that the department would get right on those issues. Mayor Fowler offered a very grateful thank you to Weaver. “Outstanding job…you had a lot of long hours, a lot of cold hours, I know.”

Tracy Breckenridge of the water department reported on the various leaks and busted pipes they had to tend to after the storms. He also shared with council the trophy that was presented to the department for winning third place in a contest for best tasting rural water in the nation. Special congratulations were offered by council members.

Councilman Sean Himschoot asked how the installation for the new water line extension was going. Breckenridge replied the department had all the materials in and the tap was to be installed immediately, at which point they could start running the pipe. “We don’t have approval yet from the health department, but we can still lay pipe. We just can’t put it in service until they give us approval.”

Bill Meyers of city code enforcements spoke about the various building inspections he had done for plumbing and remodeling, to make sure they were in compliance with city building codes. One of the businesses he inspected was the Emerson plant. Councilman Fred Goodwin raised a question about what they are actually doing on the inside of the plant. Meyers explained, “They are going to start up a line probably in about a month on the right side in the southeast end.” Goodwin mentioned hearing on the radio that Emerson was going to be spending about a million dollars for a new roof. Meyers said he had been talking with them and it was going to be almost $1.6 million and they would be starting on it soon. “They just let the contract out on it last night,” added Meyers.

Librarian Susan Funnell gave her report on the Ash Flat Library. They are planning for their summer reading program, “Tails and Tales”, and are planning on bringing in animals for the kids to enjoy during reading events. One volunteer has several birds and will be bringing one of her macaws. A book signing was held at the library featuring author Mark Gordon on March 20 at 1 p.m. He has written a cookbook called “The Flatlander’s Redneck Epicurious Cooking with Mark Gordon and Friends.”

In new business, Mayor Fowler announced the water and sewer department passed the Welch, Couch and Company 2020 water/sewer audit with flying colors. Fowler gave a special thanks to the ladies who keep up with all of that work.

Two permits for signs were put before the council by the mayor. One was for a new application by the Partz Store sign to be installed next to the cemetery. It was discussed whether the cemetery had any problem with a sign being there, and Councilman Goodwin said they had given an “OK” for the sign. Also Smooth Sailing, Inc. had submitted a permit for a replacement sign. Motions were made and both sign permits were approved.

Fowler then complimented those who were involved in the snow removal. “That’s a long hard job to do on long hours, but they kept our roads safe and open for emergency services and our public to come and go.” He added, “It’s hard on equipment; it’s hard on men…I appreciate what you did for this community.”

The Ash Flat City Council meets the second Tuesday of the month at 6 p.m. at the Ash Flat Firehouse until further notice.

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