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Clarifier still a year away, council told

The Clinton City Council heard a brief update on progress at the Water Department to satisfy state Health Department concerns.

At last Thursday’s meeting, department manager Isaac “Zeke” Keeling told the council that advertisements inviting bids have been published for work on a water clarifier.

Mayor Roger Rorie said there will be a meeting at 2 p.m. Aug. 27 at City Hall to discuss pre-construction, and a second meeting will be held Sept. 9 at 3 p.m. to open the bids.

“We’ll celebrate if bids come in below, and leave town if they’re above,” Rorie joked. The cost for the project has been estimated at $3 million.

There is still much work to do before the clarifier is up and running, and Keeling said it would take about a year to complete after the project is started.

In 2012, after the department was beset by problems, the Arkansas Department of Health gave the city until February 2014 to implement a solution or face possible fines. Rorie said earlier this year that as long as plans are under way, the water department will not be fined.

Keeling also told the council that the water department has 2,700 meters and of that number 900 of them have 750,000 or more usage. He said the department will pull 100 of those meters in the next week.

Also at the meeting, the councilors learned that Van Buren County Animal Control had been shut down for a week after being infected with parvo, an often-fatal canine disease. Director Pam Hopkins is on medical leave after injuring her back, and the interim director, Rita Tharp, reported to the council.

She said Animal Control currently has 40 dogs and puppies and 20 cats and kittens. She said 10 cats and dogs were picked up in the city limits in July. Twelve animals were adopted in the month.

Councilors also heard a report from Fire Chief D.L. Webb, who said the Friday night movies sponsored by the department are drawing good-sized crowds. The movies continue through August.

Webb also talked about plans to spend about $340,000 to purchase a building and 3 acres of land. The price tag includes insulation for the 75x150 foot building, gas lines and a roll-up door and opener. Rorie told Webb to submit a written cost list and get an estimate from a general contractor as well as an acceptance letter from the land owner.

The next City Council meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Sept. 11 at the Clinton Municipal Airport. All City Council meetings are open to the public.

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