Batesville City Council adopts ordinance revising repayment schedule on bonds for new sewer plant and upgrades

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The Batesville City Council adopted an ordinance Tuesday revising a repayment schedule for sales and use tax bonds.

Batesville voters in 2009 approved a special tax to finance a new sewer plant and upgrades to the sewer system costing $50 million. In 2015, the city entered into a bond agreement with the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission and the Arkansas Development Finance Authority (ADFA).

The improvements were expected to be completed by April 2018, but according to the new ordinance, they “are not complete due to circumstances beyond the city’s control.”

The new ordinance says the ADFA “has agreed to make additional advances against the Series 2015 Bond after April 15, 2018, but only so long as all advances are made before October 15, 2021.”

The new ordinance revises the repayment schedule accordingly.

In other matters, Mayor Rick Elumbaugh proclaimed April as National Safe Digging Month. The mayor read the proclamation, which encourages companies and individuals to call 8-1-1 before digging to find out if any utility lines are below ground.

He also proclaimed May as Historic Preservation Month and Arkansas History Month.

After an executive session, Landon Downing was appointed to the Planning Commission to complete the term of Chris Milum, who resigned.

The next council meeting will be Monday, April 30, rather than the fourth Tuesday due to a conflict.

Police Chief Alan Cockrill and City Engineer Damon Johnson each gave their monthly reports.

Cockrill said three of the department’s canines have been recertified, and one has been retired. He said he would likely be seeking a replacement in the near future.

Johnson said he would be advertising for bids on a new water line placement on White Drive and for painting a water tank, which will be a six-month project. He said he and the Water Department are looking into ways to maintain water pressure while the tank is out of service.

Johnson also said work will resume on the sewer line replacement on East College Avenue. Council member Doug Matthews said drivers should drive carefully in the work zone on College because gravel is washed into the street after rainfall, and he has seen several cars lose control when that happens.

Reporting by Bob Qualls

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