County Judge to address Green Forest Council

Friday, June 6, 2008

GREEN FOREST -- County Judge Richard Williams will address the city council June 9.

Williams asked to be on the agenda to discuss the city's share of dispatch fees.

The county handles dispatch on nights and weekends for the Green Forest Police Department, and charges the city for that service.

This issue arose at a recent candidate's forum. Since residents of Green Forest also pay a county sales tax to support the 911 system, some people have questioned whether the city should also have to pay for dispatching services.

Williams is expected to explain that the 911 tax covers operation of the central dispatch facility for emergency operations. Green Forest is paying an extra charge to have its routine dispatching operated through central dispatch on nights and weekends. Berryville is in the same situation, although Eureka Springs keeps a dispatcher on duty at all times, so that city does not pay additional costs for dispatching.

The agenda will also include further discussion of upgrading a water line. At last month's meeting, Eddie Powell asked the city to upgrade the service to his 15 turkey houses. He said the old two-inch line which serves the farm will not carry enough water, and he asked for a six-inch line.

Besides being too small, the existing line is old, and the light gauge of the pipe results in leaks and breaks.

Powell suggested installing a loop between Ark. Hwys. 103 and 311, which he said would improve service for other residents. The project would cover a little more than a mile of pipe, however, and Public Works Director Buddy Fry gave a ballpark estimate of $10 per foot, including materials and labor.

Powell said the city would recoup some of the money because he would pay as much as $500 more per month for water. The council postponed action until the June meeting, to research the costs and options.

Other items on the agenda Monday night will be Christmas lights, the creation of a parking commission, and the possibility of installing hanging flower baskets in the commercial center of the city.

Police Chief John Bailey also asked to speak to the council about pursuing a grant to improve school security.

In an executive session, the council hired Jorita Phillips as secretary at the GFPD. She started work Tuesday.

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