Echoes of a turbulent time in the past for the Lonoke-White Water Project were heard at the Feb. 25 meeting of the Austin City Council as aldermen added the city’s approval of an agreement extension between Community Water Service of Heber Springs and Lonoke-White Public Water Authority. The council also awarded a street repair bid and set the date for the annual city Spring Cleanup.
Mayor Bernie Chamberlain and aldermen Matt Sheets, Tammy Williams, Randy Ryan, Laurel Carnes, Anthony Fible and Phillip Whiting attended the meeting.
The council voted to award Cox Paving of Bald Knob the contract for repairs to 33 sites on the city streets. Chamberlain said the repairs must be done before the citywide re-paving can be done.
The bid was $65,152.95; other bids were for $91,130 and $143,085.
On the extension for the water project, Tommy Bond of Bond Engineers explained that the extension is for the continued presence of Community Water Service in ownership of the Cove Creek intake site and facility until 2023.
Austin, Beebe Water and Sewer Commission, Furlow Public Water Authority, Grand Prairie/Bayou Two Public Facilities Board, Jacksonville Water, North Pulaski Waterworks PFB, Vilonia Waterworks Association and Ward Water and Sewer System are members of LWPWA.
The extension is for Community Water Service of Heber Springs to continue participating in the Lonoke White Water Project until 2023. CWS is the original proposer to build a pipeline to supply parts of Lonoke and White counties, as well as other areas, with water from Greers Ferry Lake.
In 2005, a dispute that developed was settled in court with the newly formed Lonoke White Public Water Authority gaining lands and rights-of-way for the project with CWS holding half the intake project.
Bond said the agreement is to extend by five years the CWS participation in the project, while turning over to LWPWA land needed by Vilonia for that portion of the water project.
The land needed for the Vilonia water system was not part of the settlement, Bond said.
The council set the dates for the citywide spring cleanup as April 15–19 for areas west of U.S. Highway 67/167; April 22–26 for areas east of the highway.