Street Committee Meeting February 12, 2019 – 12:30 p.m.
The meeting was called to order at 12:30 p.m.
Present were Arnold Knox, Director of Streets; Don Webb, Committee Chairman, Jim Whalen and Jim Bodenhamer Committee Members, and Mayor Adams.
Jim Whalen asked Arnie if there was any development on the bike trails as far as presentation models. Arnie said, he getting into the construction of bike trails at McCabe Park. He said he is getting ready to submit the first paper submittal for the grant that was received. Jim asked if the bike trails will tie into the trails Arkansas State University is planning. Arnie said ASU didn’t have any plans yet and added he doesn’t know where any of their trails are going to be. He also told the Committee he anticipates starting at McCabe Park in March and adding the trails about the end of summer and into the fall, and said his deadlines are into 2020.
The Street Report for January 2019 was reviewed.
Arnold reported the Ohio/Iowa/Kerr Rebuild project was going well with a cost to date of $137,583.52. He said by the next meeting, the crew should be done with the concrete and drainage at that project, and will be ready for asphalt. The total cost as of January 31, 2019 is 137,582.52. Jim Whalen told Arnie it was a huge improvement and a positive statement to that area.
The new entrance at the Street Department Shop hasn’t seen any time added to the project. Arnie said he is just waiting for the asphalt which will be around March or April. The cost through January 31, 2019 is $67,788.59.
Arena Drive has the drainage, sidewalk, curb and guttering completed and the cost as of January 31 is $169,480.68, this project too, is ready for asphalt. Arena Drive will finish under the estimated cost due to the drainage being much cheaper.
Maintenance for January was at $17,583.93, which was much lower due to the majority of the Maintenance crew working on the rebuild projects, digging out the roads. The rest of the crew is busy cleaning out culverts and ditches, working at Keller Park expanding a parking lot over there,
Jim Bodenhamer asked about the bucket truck that was budgeted for purchase this year. Arnie told the Committee the plan is to purchase it from North Arkansas Electric Coop and they are not ready to sell it yet. He did say he wanted to inspect it before the purchase, since it’s been eight months since he has seen the truck.
Jim Bodenhamer also asked Arnie had he yet researched the tax proposal by the Governor of the State of Arkansas, and what it would mean for the Street Department, if there would be additional fund if approved. Arnie said he hadn’t read into that yet and this was the first he has heard of it.
Don asked Arnie if there was just minimal damage from the recent 4+ inches of rain that fell. Arnie said, yes, there were some pictures the Mayor shared with him and Jim Bodenhamer received a copy as well. There was an issue coming off of the construction site of Embach’s property. Arnie said he contacted the engineer’s for that project and they are going to get the contractor out there to see what they can do to alleviate that problem.
The Budget Summary was reviewed.
Jim Whalen said there is interest for bike paths through the City and asked if there was a request for any type of grant package that could be submitted. Arnie said he could start getting something together and asked if it was through the highway department trails program. Jim said yes, there was one, and he had someone that was requesting this type of project. Arnie said he had 13 miles planned so far. He added that he was trying to wrap up the trail grant for McCabe Park, which that construction will start this summer.
The Committee discussed the meeting time, and if it is still convenient to keep it at 12:30 p.m., or if anyone would like to see the time changed. It was discussed briefly, and was agreed to keep the Street Committee meeting at 12:30 p.m.
Arnie brought up the street signs at Big Creek. He told the Committee that Big Creek supplies their own street signs because they prefer the larger size than what the City uses. He explained, when Big Creek was developed, the developers wanted larger signs, larger lettering that stood out more than the City signs. They purchased the signs at their expense, and replaced them as needed. At this time, he said, there are a few signs, one namely Sheeks Drive that are so worn, letters peeling off, etc., and they cannot be read. Arnie said he contacted Lang Zimmerman, to see if they wanted the City to take over the sign maintenance, or if they wanted to continue it as their responsibility. He told Lang if the City takes over, our signs will be used. Arnie told the Committee that the City purchases their street signs from Baxter County Road and Bridge and they cost anywhere from $11.50 to $18. The signs Big Creek uses are normally $40 to $50 each. Lang has asked, on behalf of the developers, to have the City pay for their portion of the sign that is normally purchased for a city street, and Big Creek will pay the remainder of the cost of the larger signs. Arnie said he wasn’t totally agreeing with it, but wanted to leave it to the Committee for their opinion and vote. Jim Bodenhamer asked if they wanted to replace them all, or just the ones that need replacing. Arnie said it would be just the ones that are to be replaced as needed. Arnie said if we got into this with Big Creek, we would order the signs and then bill Big Creek for the remainder of what was due. Jim Whalen said this isn’t something major and added they could handle this expense themselves. Jim said that would be opening up a can of worms for the City. Arnie added if any other subdivision was to come in to the City, we’d be getting different signs for everyone. He asked the Committee to think about it, and he will be brought up at the next meeting.
Arnie reminded the Committee of the Street Department website, mountainhomestreet.com, the minutes are posted along with project pictures.
Jim Bodenhamer asked Arnie if he is fully staffed at this time, and Arnie said no, he is short 2 guys at this and has another one retiring at the end of February. He said he has one guy hired through A.I.D., the temporary service and after 90 days he will go permanent. There was discussion briefly on the employee hiring situation.