The Lonoke City Council voted June 11 to tackle its massive sewer problems one manhole at a time, passing an ordinance to spend $32,000 to repair 35 more manholes.
The vote came after the contractor, L and R Sewer and Drain of Pevely, Mo., gave the council a detailed report on its findings of the condition of the sewers in Lonoke.
In doing so, the city also waived competitive bidding to give the business to the company that had done all the preliminary inspections and was most familiar with the sewer system.
Before the council meeting, the company already had repaired 100 sewer manholes and began clearing lines that had become clogged and stopped up over the years.
The company said it won’t be able to determine the condition of remaining manholes until more lines are cleared out around them.
Council members seemed impressed over the amount of work the company has put into researching the status of a system that dates back to when construction started in that area.
Before the meeting a public hearing was held in council chambers about a proposal to close the alley in Block 11 of Hicks and Reynolds Streets.
No objections were voiced. In fact, no one spoke for or against the proposal, which was later adopted by the council during the regular meeting.
At the start of the council meeting, in space reserved for public comments, two Lonoke residents praised the city for the cleanup and beautification of city parks and for a rapid and professional response to an emergency by both the Lonoke Fire Department and the Lonoke Police Department.
In other business, the council adopted a revised section of the city code, which updated past ordinances and language pertaining to the city’s franchise fees charged utilities.
City Attorney Camille Bennett noted several changes that needed to be made, including one that referred to the electric utility, Entergy, by its old name of AP&L or Arkansas Power and Light Co.
Bennett said the code hasn’t been codified in several years to bring not just the language up to date but the ordinances that have been changed since the original ordinance became public law some time ago.
Mayor Wayne McGee thanked Bennett for all the hard work that went into updating the city code for codification, which they both said will take several council meetings to finish the project.
The council also removed a home at 101 Teresa Lane from the condemned properties list after code officers said the home, owned by C & B Homes, is now compliant with all city codes.
Other property at 521 E. Eighth St., 519 Hamburg and 112 E. Eighth St. remains on the condemned list.
With the public hearing starting at 5:30 p.m. and all the other items on the agenda taking so much time, it was after 9 p.m. when the council adjourned.