Damascus City Council hear about recent city events, and plans for the city’s future including trash service at its regularly scheduled meeting Tuesday, July 11.


In city news, Fire Department Chief Daniel Mahan went through several issues, including that the July 1 fireworks display had a good turnout. The ISO certification had been undergone by the department with results expected in “about two to three months,” Mahan said. It was pointed out in a previous meeting that a better ISO rating could lower insurance rates in the city.


Street department head Randy Nicholson reported planning was underway for the contractor to the state highway department, Rogers Group, to cut down the pavement in some areas after a recent re-paving. The cutdown was in order to meet specifications. Clearing ditches in order to maintain drainage has also gone well, Nicholson said.


Nicholson, also head of the water department, said the leakage rate was down to 18 percent for the year.


The largest item for the council to consider was which bid to accept for trash pickup for the community. The bids were opened at the meeting. Three companies bid, Waste Connection, Waste Management and Diamond State. The bids showed some slight variance in the numbers, with some bidders offering a flat rate (Waste Management) one offering a flat rate based upon 500 homes serviced (Waste Connection) and the third, Diamond State, offering a split rate of $11.95 for in-city pickup, and $15.95 for out-of-city pickup. The council was forced to table pending calculations which would show both the number of customers and the in versus out of city customers in order to find the lowest bid.


The council met again in special session Thursday, July 13, with calculations in hand, and the contract was awarded to Diamond State.


Further discussion of the speed trap issue was “on hold,” per Mayor L.B. Pavatt. The city was ordered to stop patrolling Highway 65 earlier this year after being found in violation of the Arkansas Speed Trap statute.