Marion eyeing more water projects

Leftover funds put additional improvements on tap

By Mark Randall news@theeveningtimes.com

Marion plans to bid several water improvement projects using leftover loan money from its sewer line project to the Mississippi River to pay for them. The city council voted to accept the recommendation of its water and sewer committee to gets costs to do pipe bursting on an existing line from the Oak Street pump station to water plant and to increase that line to 12 inches; purchase one new aerator for the city’s sewer pond; and to reroute the sewer line from Sartini Station to the James Mill forced main. “We had some remaining funds from (Arkansas Natural Resource Council) and we asked (water manager) Jim (Shempert) to come up with some projects that we could utilize this money for,” said Councilman Jim Spence, who chairs the committee. “He came up with five or six and we have three that we want to put out to bid.” The city took out a $5 million loan from ANRC to pay for construction of the sewer line to pipe its wastewater to the Mississippi River. The projects are estimated to cost about $387,000. “We have two or three others,” Spence said. “But we would like to go ahead and put these three items out to bid.” “This is not a commitment to do them,” Mayor Frank Fogleman added. “But let’s at least get the bids.” On a related sewer matter, Spence the city has been approached by the Grove Trailer Park about attaching to Marion’s sewer system. “We do that right now with Lakeshore,” Spence said. Spence said it was also the recommendation of the committee to let residents in that trailer park hook up providing they pay all the costs and establish a flow meter. Councilman Cliff Wood said right now all the city is doing is saying they are receptive to their request. “They are going to get back with us with a plan,” Wood said. “We will have to draw up a contract for fees and everything else. But they can go ahead and get the ball rolling.” The park gets its water from West Memphis. Spence also reported that the water and sewer committee discussed the need to renegotiate its water contracts with the water associations who receive Marion water services, and possibly changing the cut-off period in the water department from two months to one month for Marion customers. “We’re working on that as well,” Spence said. “Everyone on the committee was receptive to those things, but we need some more information.”

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