Green Forest Council hires Buddy Fry for public works
GREEN FOREST ---- Buddy Fry Jr., a Green Forest High School graduate who lives in the Coin Community, was hired as public works director for the City of Green Forest on Monday night.
Council members interviewed two applicants for a position that has been vacant since December when water superintendent Steve Patton resigned to take a job in Hollister.
Mayor Leonard Tidyman requested that the council seek someone for public works director, rather than water superintendent, to encompass a full range of responsibilities.
After interviewing both applicants in executive session, the council returned to open session and Tidyman made the announcement that Fry was chosen for the job.
"We had two good interviews and two good candidates," said Tidyman. "The council has chosen Buddy Fry."
He said Fry has experience in management and construction, and in recreational-related fields. Fry is to begin work this Thursday.
The council voted to seek restructuring of three water department bonds that will be combined with a 30-year payoff schedule. Because of the low interest rates available, the move is expected to free up approximately $1.6 million for water and sewer projects.
Tidyman said the money must be spent within three years. He recommended spending half for improvements at the wastewater treatment plant and the other half on water and sewer rehab projects, and remodeling of city hall.
Tidyman also noted that the city is expecting the state to hand down new phosphate levels for the wastewater treatment plant.
"If the permit is excessive, we are looking at a bond issue and rate hikes to overhaul the plant to comply," he said.
Fencing bids for the city shop and water filter plant were discussed and tabled after council members were told the filter plant may be shut down.
Randy Moore, a water department employee, explained that the cost to bring the aging plant into compliance with a new "vulnerability assessment" might be more than the city is willing to pay.
He said the vulnerability assessment was initiated after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to protect water plants from threats. The city is required to submit an assessment by June 30, and comply within six months.
The filter plant, which supplies the town with a portion of its water by utilizing Anderson Spring, was hit with a surcharge that was imposed by the Carroll-Boone Water District a few years ago.
Now, with added costs on the horizon because of vulnerability issues, the council will have to decide the fate of the plant. Green Forest is the only city in the Carroll-Boone Water District to have its own source of drinking water.
In other business, the council was told that the city over-collected on a 1984 bond issue and auditors insist that $213,664 be refunded. Tidyman said the city's auditor, R. Dawn Allen, will handle the refund process and he wasn't sure of the procedure.
Sidewalk work along Ninth Street, between Phillips and Springfield streets, will begin soon. The council accepted the lone bid for the work, from Humbard Backhoe and Hauling. Sidewalk repairs along Second Street will take place at the same time. The work is expected to cost about $6,000 with city crews doing the preparation and cleanup.
A low bid for bulk diesel fuel was approved. Two tanks, one at the wastewater plant and the other at the city shop, will be available for city vehicles at a cost of $1.18 a gallon as compared to $1.31 currently paid.
Gus King, representing the Odyssey of the Mind team going to World competition, got approval from the city to host a fundraiser on the town square. King said he needs approval from the school board as well, before proceeding with plans.