In the May 30 council meeting, Mayor Rodney Strait said that if, “you have any problems with East Avenue or Clement St that is a state highway; you need to call the state road.”
City Manager, Chad Edwards reported that at 5 PM, June 21st the city will hold the sanitary board meeting to review the bids for the comprehensive sewer project.
Edwards also reported that, “we will be flushing the hydrants all month. I just want to give everyone a heads up that you will probably be seeing some cloudy, dirty water during that. Because as we are flushing the hydrants, we will be stirring everything up. Depending where you are located concerning the water lines, you’re probably going to have dirty water. I just wanted to let everyone know that there is nothing wrong with the water. We’re just flushing. This is something we’re going to do every year.”
“I talked with Ben Queen about our hydrant project,” Strait said. “Ben said if we would get a plan together where we want the hydrants and how many, then he could get us additional money then what we got.”
Edwards and Julia Curry met with the DOH this month to discuss reaching an agreement to reopen the parking lot off of Pike Street and according to Edwards, the meeting was a success. “There seems to be some misunderstanding,” Edwards said. “We’re not going to be putting a sidewalk in by their definition. We’re going to have to tear out the pavement to what the size of a sidewalk would be and concrete it. It’ll be like a driveway, if you will. We’ll go back three feet so that way everyone is parked off the sidewalk and there should be enough room to back out.
“We were under the under the impression that we’d have to put in a $35,000 sidewalk but that’s not the case.” Edwards said they will tear up an area of the blacktop and the city will “hire a professional” to pour concrete down. The concrete will not be raised like a traditional sidewalk but give room for pedestrians. “It’s just going to be a driveway. That’s the best example I can give.”
The council also discussed crosswalks and the potholes in the city and issues they’ve had with the state roads in the past. Edwards proposed inviting a member of the DOH to the next council meeting and allowing the council to ask questions directly to the Department of Highways instead of receiving second hand information, because “things can get crossed,” Edwards said.
“Just wanted to make note,” Edwards said, “that the pool is open. So far so good. It looks beautiful.”
The trash at the pool was discussed by the council and Edwards said that he has made note of the abundance of trash around the pool site. “We’re going to have to do something about trash pickup,” Edwards said. “It’s unsightly.”
“I mean it’s summer,” Amanda Sayers said. She said that trash pick up should happen every day, and Edwards agreed, saying that they would find a solution.
“I met with a couple attornys dealing with Hutchinson and they want this to go quickly. They want us to take that system. And the fastest way to do this is a purchase even though there’s not going to be an exchange of money.
“This is what the PSC is telling me that they want and I think they’re right. There’s no sign that there’s going to be a Hutchinson water board again.”
The collection of money from taking over the Hutchinson water system has begun.
Edwards said that once the city has taken over the water system, there will not be anything else involved in addition to what the city has already done. He assured the council that in the end, the city won’t lose money taking over Hutchinson. “The idea that the citizens will have to bear the brunt of this is incorrect,” he said. “If we’re not going to be a water company then we need to turn everything over to Fairmont and I think that would be catastrophic. If we’re not going to be a water system then we need to give it up,” he said of any opposition to the idea.
“The more we expand, the lower the bills will be. That’s why when you get to the bigger towns the bills aren’t nearly as high as they are in small towns. It’s kinda like a business. The more you sell the less you have to charge.”
All the current bills from Hutchson have been paid and Edwards said the transfer so far has gone without a glitch.