The Clinton City Council has struck a deal with a landowner whose property it recently cleaned up.
At its meeting May 9, the council and landowner Lois Nixon reached a deal in which Nixon will pay the city $16,775 to cover its cost of clean up and impoundment of junk cars. Nixon had two properties that her son had been using, one a tire shop downtown and the other on Highway 65 South.
After several warnings, the city hauled away the cars and spent three days cleaning it up, according to zoning official Dwight Wilson.
The city had originally ordered Nixon to pay about $24,000, but councilors unanimously approved accepting $16,775.64 to settle the case.
In old business, the council was told that the city already has a logo that it can continue to use until plans are made for a contest to design a new one.
The City Council also heard from David Hall, who is a board member of the Dove House, a shelter for abused women that closed a year ago. Hall spoke of the great need for such a shelter in the county and Police Chief Toney Parish said that he gets about two calls a week from victims of domestic violence.
Hall said the Dove House costs $8,000 per month to operate and he asked the city for $24,000 to help reopen the shelter. That committment would be annual, he said. Mayor Roger Rorie appointed two council members to look into what the city could do to help.
Next, Bee Branch Water Association Board Chairman Nick Palangio addressed the council, asking for some relief from dirty water and ever-increasing rates.
He said the association is hurting financially and that Clinton has raised its rates 5 percent each year for the past five years.
Palangio said there is nothing in the association’s contract with Clinton saying that it must be provided with clean water, but the “dirty water is killing us.”
The association lost $3,500 last year, he said, and already is in the red $1,700 so far this year.
“We need some help,” he said.
“We feel your pain,” Rorie responded. The mayor then talked about plans for a water clarifier and how to pay for it. The options, he said, are a one-half cent sales tax increase or an across-the-board rate increase, which would be about $4-$5 per meter.
In February 2012, the Arkansas Department of Health gave the city of Clinton two years to clean up its water or face fines of as much as $7,000 per day.