Future plans, including new attractions, as well as infrastructure support were two issues before the Clinton City Council at its regular meeting March 8, Thursday night. Ball park rental was a third point of discussion.
In the attractions, Mayor Richard McCormac and Jessica Crabtree with city Economic Development shared with the body their recent attendance at a meeting in Springdale about bicycle trails and this area’s potential for a combination mountain bike and hiking trail system.
The Clinton area had, Crabtree said, the ability to host a “nationally prestigious trail system,” according to representatives from, among others, the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA). The Springdale meeting was hosted by a cross-source of trail supporters, including representatives of the Walton Foundation.
Current efforts to build and maintain trails in the area are the foundation for this development, ultimately creating a trail running cross-county to Greers Ferry lake, the council was told.
Infrastructure was the topic as Clinton Water and Sewer Department head Dickie Hink presented to the council. The recent rain had presented a challenge to the water department, Hink explained, as the ponds at the water plant got very close to their banks. Coupled with this the rain caused a 100 percent infiltration, essentially a 200 percent load, on the system, he said.
In all cases this was met successfully with the pond management able to keep the water from crossing the banks (which creates issues for the department to meet regulations) and the recently installed clarifier system able to keep the water clean.
A problem, however, was the city drainage system being taxed to its limit and beyond, Hink told the council. The manhole behind the Bar eof Feed and Supply overflowing for several days. The problem was a blockage in the system up the hill from the overflow, behind the school, which the department was still working to find, Hink said. He blamed the overall condition of the system.
“People in this town have been putting up with overflowing manholes for 40 years and they deserve better,” Hink said, asking the council to approve transfer of $50,000 from the infrastructure fund in order to fund immediate improvements to the system. This was approved unanimously, with Councilman Tim Barnes asking for a review of the systems 10 year plan after placing his “aye” vote.
Hink also fielded a question from Councilwoman Gayla Bradley regarding a possible delay in opening the Casey’s store on Highway 65. Was the delay due to a mistake by the department on sewer right-of-way, Bradley asked?
It was not, Hink explained, although there was a delay in sewer line connection, due to Casey’s having some trouble working out easement as it was zoned on what was essentially an “island,” he said. Casey’s was in the process of equipping its sewer connection by boring under Highway 65, Hink said.
Zoning head Phillip Ellis said, in a separate presentation, Casey’s was expected to open this Thursday, March 15.
The ball field rental also took the council’s attention. While all agreed the $350 rental fee for the field was reasonable, an ongoing concern was the communication about when it was rented and to who.
Kyle Blanton, whose family has the concession lease, told the board how several times in the past year his family went by the park to find an event in operation, but without their knowing about it, hence leaving the concession stand closed.
The council agreed, along with Parks head Charles Wilson, to work out a public accessible schedule of events for the park.
In other council mattersCity police is currently in the process of turning over one of its older vehicle, a Dodge SUV, to the water department.The Fire Department is sponsoring Easter in the park, with an Easter Egg hunt from 2-3 p.m.The council approved $3,000 in legal defense fees against a current lawsuit. Bradley abstained from voting.The Facebook and press contact policy was, after some consideration, left with department heads to monitor. Earlier consideration had been made to an employee handbook update.During public comments D.L. Webb expressed dismay at the construction easement on his business property, an auction house on Highway 65. “I’ve had things that were broken and I’m not going to eat it,” he said.