GF council authorizes energy audit

Friday, July 19, 2019

By Billy Stidham

The Green Forest City Council voted Tuesday, July 9, to allow Entegrity to perform an investment-grade audit to determine how much money the city can save by updating outdated water readers and possibly installing solar infrastructure.

Entegrity is the energy division of Nabholz Construction, an Arkansas-based general construction firm.

“We’ve worked in 30 plus states around the country but really our home base is Arkansas,” Entegrity’s John Coleman told the council. “[One] of our notable clients’ energy projects that we’re doing is a campus-wide energy project for the University of Arkansas.

“We’re doing energy efficiency improvements across [campus], basically any building you see there we are responsible for,” said Coleman. “We’re doing a similar project for Harrison schools. We think there’s a really good opportunity here for the city of Green Forest.”

The board voted unanimously to authorize Entegrity to perform the audit for a price of $9,900.

Later the board received an update from public works director Buddy Fry who said the contractor working on the new city hall had hit a pipe for the city’s water tower, causing a crack.

“We had to drain the tower and do some welding,” said Fry. “We’re getting a new valve put on and should have water back in the tower this week.”

“I might add that the tower is on the historical registry,” Mayor Jerry Carlton said. “We are liable for the upkeep of it. If it doesn’t have water in it and you get some substantial winds it could potentially come down because the pressure inside actually holds those legs up. That’s why we still put water in a tower we don’t use.”

The council then heard from Frank Haren of Haren Construction regarding wastewater expansion.

“The project continues to be successful and on schedule,” said Haren. “We are forming and pouring the elevated decks… The original schedule that we put forward in November showed the elevated decks starting on Aug. 26 and we started them on June 11.”

The council tabled a third and final reading of a proposed ordinance that would ban the use of “jake brakes” inside the city limits.

Carlton also informed the council of a property the city recently acquired.

“A few months ago I got a call from a lady here in town that is incapacitated in the nursing home and she owns a property on 209 White St.,” said Carlton. “It was her request to give her property to the city because there is no hope of her to recover well enough to leave the nursing home.”

“We met with her last Wednesday and finalized it,” Carlton said. “She’s as sharp as anybody in this room. We did purchase her a funeral plan.”

Carlton said the property consists of a house and two lots.

“In the future we would like to turn that into some kind of recreational facility,” said Carlton. “We appreciate her thinking of the city and we will probably put a bench out there with her name on it when that time comes.”

The council’s next meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Green Forest City Hall.

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