Possibilities for wastewater treatment and a local health clinic, and a potential land purchase, as well as plans for major street repairs and the Dog Daze-Hector Fest celebrations were discussed by the Hector City Council Monday, June 19, at its regular monthly meeting as part of a lengthy and wide-ranging agenda.
Mayor John Riley presented the council with results of a mail survey sent out to every postal patron within the Hector city limits and additional area residents outside the city but within the coverage area recommended by Civil Engineering Associates for a wastewater treatment center. Riley said the mailer asking for opinions on continuing a feasibility study for the project went to “well over 300” households and received only 109 responses. Of those, 59 were favorable toward continuing pursuing a formal study and 50 against the project. After a lengthy discussion, the council concluded that although they wished there had been more participation and a clearer mandate, they should continue to explore various possibilities for a municipal sewer system. Riley suggested that the matter be tabled ‘ for a month or two” to allow more community discussion followed by establishment of a committee of council and community members to explore various possibilities including a “cluster” system of smaller treatment facilities instead of a single centralized. No formal action was taken.
Riley said he had recently had contact with a medical group practice expressing interest in restoring clinic services within Hector using the presently unused building owned by the North Pope County Association. The mayor asked City Attorney Bill Smith what actions the city could legally take to encourage the practice to locate in Hector. Smith said he would research the topic. The land adjoining city hall which had been earlier discussed as a site for a site for the street department to store supplies and equipment has been surveyed by the potential seller, Riley said, and found to be eight-tenths of an acre in area. He said the seller had requested that the city take the responsibility of obtaining an independent appraisal of a fair market price for the property. Riley said he “supposed” the valuation would be around $5,000 to $6,000 and that he had contacted local lending institutions about financing and consulted Smith to explore the use of street funds for the purchase. Smith said he’ d confirmed that using street funds to buy land to be used by the street department would be legally proper. After some discussion, the council authorized Riley to get a formal appraisal for the property and then call a special meeting to formulate a cash offer to be paid with street funds.
Riley reported that plans for the combined Dogg Daze-Hector Fest celebration were going well with a beauty pageant scheduled for June 24 and the rest of the festivities for July 1. He said many sponsors,vendors, parade participants and musical performers were committed.
The council approved contracting with one Pope County sheriff’s deputy and three county auxiliary officers to provide security and traffic management support to the Hector police department at a rate of $175 per person for duty from 3 to 11 p.m. It also approved a contract with Hog Pyrotechnics to provide a closing fireworks show at a cost of $1,000.
Riley told the council he had attended a meeting at the end of May concerning the street work in Hector financed in by an Arkansas Highway Department grant. He said a comprehensive bid to do state-financed work in London, Dover, and Hector by Crowe Paving of Morrilton had been approved and that work should begin in Hector “in two or three weeks.” The council authorized Riley to consult with the paving company on the possibility of additional street work outside the scope of the state grant at an advantageous price while work is being done in the area. He said he might call a special meeting for discussion of the possible extensions after gathering the information.
In other matters, Riley reported that the replacement LED announcement sign for city hall had been received and should be installed within a week. He said some work had been done removing fallen trees from the fence around the city park after recent storms, that the new city hall flagpole was in place, and that local resident Logan Smedley had volunteered to do the work necessary to restore the park’ s tennis courts.
Police Chief BeLinda Shelton reported her department had logged 44 public contacts during May with nine being traffic violations. She introduced John Hibbs as a new part-time officer, replacing Josh Titsworth. Shelton said she had received two complaints concerning properties neglected in violation of city ordinance. She said she would deal with these before Dogg Daze. At the request of the County Clerk’ s office, the council passed a resolution clarifying which of the appointed council members occupied which district seat on the council. The resolution listed Rita Chandler for District 1, Misty Barnett for District 2, Peggy Gregory for District 3, Jason Waterson for District 4, and Harry Alves for District 5. All council members were present.
The council’s next regular meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 17.