Council accepts grant for new bucket truck

Thursday, August 27, 2020

By Samantha Jones

The Eureka Springs Fire Department will have new equipment in the near future.

On Monday night, the Eureka Springs City Council approved a resolution enabling Mayor Butch Berry to accept a grant for a new bucket truck. The total cost of the project is $97,324, Berry said, and the grant matches $50,000 of that. That means the city must provide $47,324 to purchase the truck, Berry said.

"This will come out of the 2020 budget," Berry said.

The bucket truck the fire department is using now is on its last legs, Berry said. In fact, he said, it's so obsolete that parts aren't available to repair it.

"We also have concerns for the health and safety of those using it," Berry said.

"I can attest that the bucket truck needs to be replaced," said council member Harry Meyer.

Council member Susan Harman asked what will happen to the old bucket truck and Berry said it will probably be auctioned off.

"That's what we normally do with surplus equipment, if anybody will buy it," Berry said.

Council member Terry McClung asked where the matching funds would come from.

"This will come from the street department," Berry said.

"Streets can do that?" McClung asked.

"Yes," Berry said.

Also at the meeting, the council heard from public works director Dwayne Allen about a project for repairs to the city’s ultraviolet water disinfection system. Allen said the project would cost more than $20,000 and could easily double that amount. There's only one supplier, Allen said, and that's why he'd like to waive bidding.

"We've been putting off repairs," Allen said. "The computer unit has quit on us. It's the worst possible timing. We want to make sure we have a warranty on that. We're going to do it right. It's something we can't do without. We're kind of in an emergency situation."

Allen said he's planning to install an Aquaray 40HO vertical lamp, saying it could cost up to $40,000 including labor and supplies.

"Hopefully we can stay under that, but we're definitely over $20,000," Allen said.

"What's the timeframe?" McClung asked.

"We're talking weeks to get back up, because we're limping now," Allen said. "We're saying in a month we want this thing turnkey ready."

Meyer asked if Allen was asking for a repair or a brand-new unit and Allen said the computer will be new.

"But it's the same Aquawave setup," Allen said. "It'll be a new controller."

Allen said the new equipment will be much more efficient than what the city has now.

"This one should give us a 20-year life," Allen said. "This is going to be 50 percent more efficient than what we had, so there will be savings there. With what we're putting in, it's a good investment."

Council member Bob Thomas asked if the public works department would fix the equipment or if the company would send someone to do it.

"We'll do the bulbs, but the actually programming … they'll have to do," Allen said. "They can go online and program this out."

The council unanimously voted to approve an ordinance waiving bidding for the project on a first reading, then on second and third readings by title only. The council then unanimously voted to approve the emergency clause.

In other business, Berry announced that a vote to abolish the Historic District Commission will be on the November ballot. The council also scheduled a mid-year budget review workshop for 5 p.m. Monday, Aug. 31.

The council's next regular meeting is scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, at the Auditorium.

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