Politics

Light Agenda at Hope City Board

The Hope City Board held their second meeting for February on Tuesday, discussing a light agenda to close out the month.

Consider Proposed Ordinance: Waive Bid: Tank Monitoring System
The City of Hope Landfill Department came before the board seeking approval for a waive bid ordinance to allow them to accept a proposal from Advanced Fluid Technologies (AFT) for the purchase and installation of a leachate tank monitoring system. Approving the ordinance would avoid potential multiple vendor involvement in a complex integrated electronic system.

The current pumps and electronic systems at the landfill were purchased and installed by AFT and the company has provided support, service and training for several years. In addition, they have a good working relationship with Crist Engineers, the existing landfill engineering firm.

Accepting this proposal would benefit the City, as the new equipment would fully integrate with existing pumps and electronic equipment and allow for the monitoring, starting and stopping of leachate cell pumps that feed leachate storage tanks pumped to the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Landfill staff feel that multiple vendor involvement to the system could complicate diagnosing and solving future problems, resulting in vendor blaming. They also believe that pump systems and the electronics needed to synchronize these critical systems should be integrated by a single vendor to ensure ease and continuity of operations.

The proposed system will maximize pumping capability with existing infrastructure, automate starting and stopping of pumps and include Fleet Zoom technology which offers access to real time data on tank levels, gallons pumped per minute, pump malfunction issues, alarm capability and status updates via SMS and email.

The Board authorized $20,000 in the 2020 budget for this project and ATF has quoted $18,752.60. The quote has been reviewed by Crist Engineers and they believe the price is appropriate for the purchase and installation of the leachate tank monitoring system.

After the proposed ordinance was read, the board voted to adopt the ordinance to waive the bid.

Discussion: Bid on Class 4 Landfill
Stewart Nolan, one of the landfill engineers, has completed the plans for the Class 4 landfill. There are only 15 months of remaining capacity in the current landfill, so the need to construct another cell of the Class 4 landfill is approaching. The project is ready to be bid out and estimates of the cost are a total of $421,000, with a breakdown of $36,000 for engineering fees, $350,000 for construction fees and $35,000 in contingency. In November 2019, the board discussed payment options for this project, and asked the City Manager to research ways to pay for the project, as it is not something that can be put off. Catherine Cook recommended to the board that the City use reserve funds of approximately $300,00 from Sanitation and borrowing the remaining $120,000 for a four year period. She stated that they could look into some other options, such as bond issue, but doesn’t recommend doing that. This particular cell would last about 10-15 years, so the loan would be paid off long before the city had to look into building again.

The issue of long-term plans for sanitation collection and disposal still needs to be considered. The residential/commercial make-up of solid waste needs to be analyzed to determine if the cost of collection and disposal is allocated appropriately. This may include additional long term planning for the sanitation department regarding the number of pickups, type of equipment, number of employees, etc, in addition to the possibility of rate increase.

Cook stated that they were working on researching the cost of several things associated with long-term planning, including the baler and a trash cart system and would be bringing numbers before the board in the near future. Cook asked the board to consider all of the information and prepare to make a decision on bidding this project out as soon as possible because they will have to wait until next year if it isn’t done soon.

Director Trevor Coffee made a motion to move forward with the bidding of the Class 4 landfill and the board approved. Once the bid process is complete, the recommendation for the loan will be considered.

City Manager’s Report
Catherine Cook updated the board on the issue of Patsy White’s sewer line. Mrs. White came before the board earlier this month to inform the board that the city needed to repair her sewer line. Cook stated that someone went to inspect the line the day after her complaint and it was determined that the repairs needed to be made on her side of the line. She was notified that she needed to contact a plumber to make the repairs.

Director Talley, Director Ross and Mrs. Cook attended the Arkansas Municipal Conference last week. They came back with information on the census, Municipal bonds, the Governor’s initiative on the roads and sales tax on the roads. The Municipal League is starting an initiative about local control and retaining local control for cities and the fact that local residents know best what their cities and towns need, vs. other people. The campaign is called Be Local, Be Heard. There will be a video and information shared at the next meeting on this initiative. She encouraged all of the directors to think about attending the summer conference in June.

Cook asked the board to think about developing a security policy for city board meetings such as asking people to stand up and state their name and stay behind the podium area. She asked for a reasonable policy, so that everyone can be comfortable and be heard in a safe environment.

Citizen’s Requests
There was one citizen request from Gary Johnson of Calvary Baptist Church. Mr. Johnson came before the board to request the possibility of the Church adopting one mile on West Avenue B, from the street light at the block of Hervey and Pond Streets all the way to champion, for trash pickup. The Board voted to approve the request, supply the church with vests and trash bags when they do trash pick up and approved signage for the 1 mile stretch.

Mayor Montgomery asked about the Code Red program still in effect and stated that he had not received any notifications after recent storms. Cook stated that it is geo-coded and if you aren’t in the area affected by the weather, you will not get a warning. She stated that should would check and verify that the system is working correctly just in case.

The next City Board meeting will be held on March 3, 2020.

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