Street Committee Meeting May 15, 2019 – 12:30 p.m.
Present for the meeting were Arnold Knox, Director of Streets; Jim Whalen and Jim Bodenhamer, Committee members.
The meeting began with a discussion of attendance of Arnie and the City Engineer, Amy Lanning, at the annual banquet on April 29th, for the Friends of the North Fork and White Rivers. Jim Whalen said the meeting went well they did a wonderful job and was a huge event. Arnie told the Committee there were differences with the Friends of the River, basically because they wanted the City to pay for the rental of the entire room at ASU, for their annual meeting. He explained, prior to this, getting the information for the MS4 program out there, he told Steve Blumreich from the Friends of the River, the City would pay for half of the room rental for their banquet. After the meeting, the Friends of the River requested the City pay the entire bill, $500. Arnie then explained that Steve told him he had approximately $380 discounted from ASU’s $800 rental price, and requested the City pay half of the original $800, which would be $400. Arnie told him the City will pay $250 and that may be the last time the City speaks with them. Arnie explained this to the Committee, in case they were to hear something of what had happened. He added, getting started paying for entire banquet space for different organizations is a little bit of an overage. He finished with telling them the banquet was well attended and well received, and did explain to the Committee the MS4 program is an EPA permit for storm water. He reported there are more storm water inlet boxes to be painted, and he is planning to start on College Street towards the fall. With the schools on each end of College Street, he’d like to see them at that main street. Steve suggested getting local artists to paint an inlet box at the Square in front of Nature’s Way Health Food Store. Arnie said he would not like to see that done, first of all it’s a different kind of concrete, being already painted, and the paint the artists would use will not hold up on it; along with the upkeep. He wants to keep it at the Square and tell them the Square is basically off limits.
Music on the Square began last Friday night, and the stage is in full use. From the Square on Friday, it was delivered to the airport on Saturday morning for a hospital function. He said that he is trying to keep the stage maintained the best he can so the community can continue to use it in the future.
Arnie showed the Committee a picture of the new ½ ton pickups, purchased through state bid at $29,000. He said as of today the department has taken delivery of two and the third is still being built. He explained one of the two department’s ½ tons; both 2017 Dodge Ram’s will be sold at the City auction. The other 2017 Dodge is being driven by the Mayor, and when the one sells, General Fund will purchase the Mayor’s truck from the Street Department at the same price of the one sold. He also showed a picture of a new Caterpillar D4 bulldozer that was purchased through government contract bidding, NJPA project. He reported the brakes on the old dozer were gone and would cost at least $1,500 to replace them. He told the committee it’s also an older model and wanted to upgrade to a new one. It is on the list to be sold at the City auction this year. Caterpillar priced the dozer at $160,000 but through the bidding process, it was purchased for $114,616.
Uniforms for the department have been changed and everyone will be wearing light blue shirts while working. The change will be approximately $50 more each week on the rental. He also told the committee he ordered everyone T shirts yesterday at a purchase price of approximately $4,000 and they will be wearing these during the summer. Hats were ordered as well for the guys that wear hats daily. He said everyone wears a different hat; he’d like to see all the same. The shirts will have a city logo on the front and Street Department on the back.
Arnie showed the Committee the current auction list for the Street Department. He said the 2 newer vehicles, a 2012 Chevrolet Silverado pickup 2017 Dodge pickup will both have minimum bids set for them. Jim Whalen asked how much he thought the dozer would bring, Arnie said he didn’t think very much, maybe $5,000 to $6,000 just because it will cost several thousand to get the brakes right and to get it running. He added he will be happy if he gets the $5,000 to $6,000. Jim W. also asked how the new street sweeper was working. Arnie said there was a minor hiccup with it, as with other new equipment, (the dozer had a sensor warning light that came on). There was no counterweight installed on one of the bottom brooms and it hasn’t been running the past two weeks or so, but is running today. Arnie reported the sweeper has cycled through all zones at least once, and is really cleaning up. He added, his goal is to cycle through the city about three times during the summer and early fall months. He said he will see where it goes coming into leaf season. He doesn’t want to get into a leaf pickup program. The sweeper isn’t meant to handle that kind of thing, but it will pick up leaves out of the street. The bucket truck purchased recently for $50,000 replaces the older bucket truck selling at the auction also. There are two street sweepers to be sold, one is a parts only sweeper truck and the other is a working, running machine. There is an old road grader that will be sold because a newer one was purchased in December of last year. The shop forklift will be sold as well. A newer forklift was received by the Police Department through Army Surplus at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. It’s not part of the Federal Surplus program that we normally go through in Little Rock. This is a program the police department belongs to and the forklift is theirs, but is being utilized by our department. The Skytrak will be cleaned up and sold, and also a small roller that hasn’t been used in about 2 years. There is also an old bus to be sold. It had been purchased years ago to transport inmates from the prison at Calico Rock, but it was never utilized because a smaller, church-type bus was purchased and is being used. This makes the fuel costs cheaper. The auction list will go to the council for approval and the auction will be mid- to late June. Jim Bodenhamer asked where the auction will be held and Arnie told the Committee he wasn’t sure if it would be at the Street Department, as it had been years ago, it all depended on how many items were selling. He said lately, the past auctions have been held at Walker’s.
Arnie reported the Ohio Avenue project was at a current cost as of April 30th to be $255,919.23. This project includes Iowa, Kerr and Ohio, and is scheduled for asphalt early next week.
As of April 30th, the project at Dodd Street is at a cost of $15,855.74. Arnie told the Committee the curb and guttering is about half done and all of the drainage culvert has been installed. The project is going quickly andHe expects this project to be completed by late June. This crew will then move over to Long Street behind the hospital to expand that street to three lanes, along with Burnett Drive. He continued, Beard Street, a portion of Burnett Drive towards Rodeo Drive and Bucher heading out to West Road is already three lanes. He would like to get the rest of Burnett to three lanes along with Long Street.
Jim Bodenhamer mentioned he has gotten calls requesting a right turn lane coming off of Charles Blackburn Street to get on to the bypass. Arnie said the when Charles Blackburn Drive was planned; there are restrictions on the fence corners on the bypass. He said when the federal government purchased the property along the bypass; it was purchased with controlled access. That means they own control of access to the bypass. No one can put a driveway in through the running fence off of the bypass and access is limited. For instance, Harrison has many driveways off of their bypass. When Blackburn Street was built, it’s almost five lanes wide, and we cannot expand any more. The federal government owns that controlled access right there at the edge.
Conway Street in Northern Hills has about a half block of sidewalk to put in along with a little bit of curb before it’s done. The Maintenance crew will go in and dig it out and that too, will be ready for asphalt. Hopefully Dilbeck can get that asphalt down when he is doing the other streets over there. The total cost of Conway as of April 30th is $26,859.89.
Don Webb arrived at 12:55 for the meeting.
Maintenance this month is at $48,563.36. The Budget is at 1/3 through the end of April. Dilbecks are starting our overlays soon at Waverly Street near Carl Wayne’s Nursery, and then he will move over to Ohio, Iowa and Kerr, hopefully finishing up with Conway. Arnie said he is planning on approximately $100,000 for overlaying Cedar, Locust, and a portion of Spring Street, all behind Hardee’s. The next section of overlays will be in Zone 3 around Pinkston Middle School. Arnie plans on a $140,000 overlay planned there.
The Committee members commented on the plants hung at the Square and asked if the Street Department was doing the watering of them. Arnie said his department furnished the sprayer and tank for Tim at City Hall to use to water the hanging baskets.
Jim Whalen asked about the possibility of the Street Department making the repairs to Water Department street cuts. Arnie said he needed to discuss it further with the Mayor and that nothing has been decided yet.
There was much discussion of the parking issues at McCain Park on West Road, during the state baseball tournaments.