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[Archived] Council Delays Tontitown Sewer Vote

| MEETINGS | April 21, 2017


Council Delays Tontitown Sewer Vote


Much of measure's discussion took place in committee meeting


By Bob Caudlehe Morning News


SPRINGDALE Residents in Tontitown must wait at least two more weeks for a decision about whether Springdale will provide temporary wastewater treatment service for sewer users in Tontitown.


The Springdale City Council left an ordinance on the matter of its first reading at Tuesday night's meeting.


"Mr. (Ray) Dotson (an absent alderman) said he would like to be here when we vote on this," said council member Eric Ford. "And personally, I'd like to have a little more time for feedback from the people of Springdale. I'd like to see what the benefit is for Springdale."


Springdale Mayor Jerre Van Hoose said it's important to keep control over what goes into the Illinois River.


"The growth of Springdale and Northwest Arkansas is going to depend on the capacity of the river," Van Hoose said. "We get most of the waste now in plants the size of Springdale, Fayetteville and Rogers. You just can't get the equipment and trained personnel to treat it properly in smaller treatment plants."


Much of the discussion about the Tontitown measure took place in an Ordinance Committee meeting preceding the council meeting.


Chris Weiser, chairman of the Springdale Water and Sewer Commission, told Ordinance Committee members that the commission has worked out a seven-year contract with Tontitown limiting flow from the neighboring city to 400 gallons per minute.


"The purpose is to allow Tontitown businesses along the (U.S.) 412 corridor to get sewer and maybe keep them from shutting down," Weiser told the committee. "I believe it's important to Springdale and all of Northwest Arkansas to have wastewater treated in a state of the art facility."


Tontitown officials are wrangling with Osage Basin representatives over representation on a proposed treatment plant for smaller cities.


Weiser told the committee the Osage Basin ADEQ permit will be transferred to the Northwest Arkansas Conservation Authority, a group of larger cities banded together to build a regional wastewater treatment plant.


Ford, though, was skeptical.


"They're (Tontitown officials) are already in a lawsuit with the partner they have now," Ford said. "It seems like anytime we have a contract with a smaller city, we wind up squabbling over it. Like us with Lowell and Fayetteville with Elkins."


Weiser told Ford the benefit is protecting the area's watershed. He said Tontitown's 400 gallons per minute restriction is assured by the size of the pipes Tontitown is putting.


Weiser added the agreement will not hurt Springdale's wastewater plant because it uses only 2 percent of the capacity of the new Springdale sewer plant.


In other action, the council approved a Department of Labor settlement in a complaint filed by Leslie S. Pegram under the Uniformed Services Employment and Re-employment Act. The agreement will promote Pegram to sergeant on Oct. 1 when he returns from military duty.


The council referred another Department of Labor settlement to an Aug. 16 meeting of the Personnel Committee regarding Chad Niccum.


Council members also approved a clause to add to design and engineering contracts that added a monetary penalty for services that run past deadline.