Batesville Council addresses leaf pickup, boil water order

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Batesville Council addresses leaf pickup, boil water order

By Bob Qualls

The city of Batesville is facing a surplus – a leaf surplus. It has too many leaves and, as of late, has had no way to pick them up.

Even before Tuesday night’s Batesville City Council council meeting began, some council members were talking about how many leaves were in their yards. Then the first citizen to make comments to the council aired the same complaint.

Altha Phillips of Leonard Street told the council she had her leaves raked up three times, but they yet to be picked up, so they’ve blown back into her yard. Residents pay for the leaf service but nothing is being done, Phillips said.

Actually, citizens are not charged for the leaf pickup service. It’s one of the services the city performs – like tree limb pickup – that is part of its general operating budget.

Mayor Rick Elumbaugh explained that the leaf pickup truck’s motor “blew up” as leaf season began. It was replaced but it soon stopped working again. He said a new leaf truck is in the 2018 budget, and when it arrives, the city will have two leaf trucks to catch up.

During his report, City Engineer Damon Johnson said the leaf machine is back in operation, but they are so far behind, it will take a while to catch up.

Johnson also reported on a water line break in the west side of the city that resulted in a boil water order. The line break caused a lack of water pressure, and the Arkansas Department of Health declared a boil order.

Johnson said a boil order is rare in Batesville, so notification of the problem to residents could have been better. He said it was something the city needs to improve.

The boil order notice was published on the city’s Facebook page, but Ms. Phillips, sitting in the audience, said, “not everyone has Facebook.”

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