Present were Arnold Knox, Director of Streets; Don Webb, James Whalen and Jim Bodenhamer, Committee members.
The meeting began with Arnie thanking both Don Webb and Jim Whalen for serving on the Street Committee, their tenure is finished at the end of December and will no longer serve on the City Council.
Arnie announced to the Committee the City of Mountain Home is forming a partnership with the Arkansas Department of Transportation on a rebuild project of Highway 5 South beginning at the Baxter County Sheriff's office and ending at the 62/412 Bypass. He told the Committee there is approximately 500' out of the City limits but that section will also be rebuilt to the bridge at the bypass. Arnie said he would like to see the road widened to three lanes, including the bridge near Cardinal Drive, which would be a dedicated turn lane to alleviate the traffic that backs up as far as the Dollar General. The majority of traffic turns onto Cardinal Drive, and this third lane would move traffic along well. He added, his thoughts are the City will partner with the highway department on the design of the bridge and the City will rebuild the entire road to the bypass. The approximate cost of rebuilding the bridge alone is $2.5 million along with $1 million to do a complete rebuild of Highway 5 South. Arnie said he plans on placing a $1 million cash deposit for the bridge work to begin. He reported, according to the Mayor, the designing will start in approximately two years, and the work to begin on the bridge approximately 2024. As soon as the bridge rebuild has been completed, street department crews will begin their rebuild. The Committee continued a discussion on the bridge rebuild process.
Arnie reported, since it is at the end of the year, no overlays have been completed this year. He said, when materials bids were opened in April of this year, an overlay list was presented to the contractor awarded the bid. They had a busy year and overlays were pushed back. When materials bids were opened again in July, the list was again presented to the contractor, and once again they were put on the waiting list because the contractors are still busy. Twin Lakes Quarry is working on the bypass and Dilbeck is working on 5 South. Arnie said his priority is to get asphalt on Gentry Street before winter weather. If time and weather allows for overlays, he is going to have streets in the Village Green area done, including Eagle Drive, and Shadow Oaks. Jim B. asked how often materials bids are opened, and Arnie said they are every three months. He added, in April Dilbeck was awarded the bid, in July, it went to Twin Lakes Quarry (King), and in October, it went to Twin Lakes Quarry and the list has yet to be completed. Arnie said it is getting to the point where he is trying to decide if it is worthwhile to do the overlays ourselves. The guys are good enough to do the job, but the cost of a new laydown machine is $300,000. Jim W. asked if it is cost effective to purchase a new machine and do the overlays, versus the contract price. Arnie said at this time, the cost of hot mix in place by the contractor is $67 per ton and picked up at the plant by our trucks is $61 per ton. He told the Committee if this happens again, he will be adding a laydown machine in the 2022 Budget. Both companies have plenty of hot mix, and they are more experienced in placing it, but as our guys work along with them, they are becoming more experienced. Our laydown machine is old and the augers don't spread out the asphalt as it should be done. He said it's still good enough to do the patches that we do, but for laying asphalt on a distance we would need a new machine. Don said having that many overlays will be hard to catch up. Arnie agreed and said he has about $200,000 in overlays planned for this year and another $200,000 planned for next year.
Arnie reported a new project underway for the fire department. He said he's had a crew out on 62 East clearing trees on a 3-acre lot for the new Mountain Home Fire Department location. The property needs about 20 to 30 feet of fill so all our project fill will go there, along with any fill that King or Dilbeck needs to unload he will have it sent there.
He added, it will take a while, but they are anxious to get it going.
Arnie reported to the Committee the Police Department is rebuilding a fence on the back of their property and we will be in there taking the old fence down.
The Street Report for November 2020 was reviewed. Arnie reported the Burnett Drive project had some work done while the rock hammer issue was being resolved at Medical Plaza. He said the crew was working on curbs and the total cost to Burnett Drive was at $353,421.86. Jim W asked if the Burnett property was resolved. Arnie said no, it hadn't been, but doesn't anticipate any trouble with the sidewalk down there. He said he plans on building the sidewalk to the property line and then he will bring Dr. and Mrs. Burnett over to the site and ask to connect to the existing handicap ramp.
Gentry street is completed and ready for asphalt and waiting for the contractor. If asphalt is not laid by winter, Arnie said there are plenty of millings stocked to maintain it until it is done. The total cost to Gentry Street to date is $172,950.22. The Medical Plaza rebuild has all the culvert placed, curbs are in and the crew is working on new sidewalk. Aside from the water main break that floated pipe overnight and an overnight rainstorm that floated a section of pipe again, the project is going well. To date, $102,020.86 has been spent at Medical Plaza. It will be a large improvement to that section. Arnie reported the Market-Thorn rebuild project is new since the last committee meeting, is going well. That crew is currently working on curbs at Market Street, approaching the driveway at Jimmy Johns. Thorn Street will be done next. Arnie told the Committee the reason the two streets are a combined project is because they tie into the same drainage ditch, which is behind Mid Town Liquor store. He added this will change the drainage at the duplexes on Walker Street tremendously and there will be a large improvement to Gentry Gardens. The total cost to the Market-Thorn Rebuild is $101,398.69.
The new fire station has a cost to date of $8,209.84, which includes tree removal. Arnie reported all labor, materials and equipment use will be invoiced to the fire department and will be paid out of their public safety tax they are collecting.
Maintenance for the month of November is at $19,450.90. The crack sealer is starting once again, and the crew is working on cleaning ditches, trimming limbs, and putting up Christmas lights. Arnie said there is a section of N. Church St. he wants to make a repair to.
The Budget Summary was reviewed. Arnie reminded the Committee the numbers on our current summary are different from the adjustments approved at the prior council meeting. He said the biggest thing was the new garage doors that were installed last month. There was damage to the old doors the last couple of years, so he got a contractor in there to replace them.
Jim B. asked Arnie when there is a major project to be done on a particular street, does the Street Department go door to door to notify the residents of upcoming work. Arnie said, he got into this on Gentry Street, and that street is mostly renters. He said if he were to notify the property owners, it would not get passed along to the renter. Jim suggested placing a flyer of some sort on the doorknob notifying the resident of work that is scheduled. Arnie said we never have notified anybody when work is going to start. Normally, the press would usually make an announcement, but now, since they do not attend meetings anymore, it is up to the department if they are going to notify. He added, a door knocker wouldn't be a bad idea to notify residents of upcoming work. Jim then mentioned, seeing that 5 South will be an upcoming project, it may be a good idea for that. Arnie said, those people definitely will be notified because there will be address changes and everything else going on over there. He added, it won't take much for a door knocker, and to tell them if they have any questions to let us know. There was more discussion about notifying residents. He told the Committee, when the City Engineer is out surveying, she is usually met with questions from the residents. Arnie said he would look into it further and reminded the Committee he will be delivering letters to the residents when the Highway 5 South project is to start.