The Bauxite City Council voted to allow Mayor Eddie Jones to move forward with the applying for loan assistance from the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission under the Drinking Water Revolving Loan Program during its regular meeting Monday.
Jones would like to use the money from the program to replace the city's water meters.
"We have got some meters that have been in the ground since 1967," he said.
The lending rates for the program are at 1-percent interest over a 10-year period, 1.75 for a 20-year period or 2.25 for a 30-year period, according to the ANRC website.
Jones told the council the engineer working with the city is currently working to apply for grants to help the city improve roads.
While looking at financial reports, Jones asked the council to approve putting the City Hall water charges at zero because the building does not get charged for water. In the past, it has shown charges to keep track of use, but Jason Watts, city administrator, is working to update the system so it keeps track without charging. He is also working on the same for the sewer plant. The council approved the change.
Fire Chief Craig Hicks told the council he was able to spend less money than was budgeted to bring the newly purchased fire truck to Bauxite from Colorado due to the truck getting better fuel mileage than anticipated. The department is working to have graphics and decals put on the truck and to move the equipment from the old truck to this new one. Once the new truck is ready, Hicks plans to put the old one up for sale. He is hoping to have the new truck in service within the next few weeks.
He also reported that firefighters went to Pine Haven Elementary School and spoke to students about fire prevention.
On Halloween night, the fire department plans to hold Truck-or-Treat starting at 6:30 p.m. at the Bauxite Volunteer Fire Department. Firefighters will be handing out treats.
Jones said Council Member Deann Watson is working with an artist who would like to paint a mural on the side of the fire department to make it look nice. The city would only need to pay for supplies.
The city is also working to receive a grant to make improvements to the fire department building.
Police Chief Jamie Barlow reported that the Arkansas State Police had put in the eCrash system for the department and he hopes he will have eCitations in some of the patrol vehicles in the next month.
He told the council he is in the process of applying for a grant through the state police to be able to pay to have an extra officer on duty Nov. 25 through Dec. 1. If the process works out well, he would like to do the grant again the future. He said he might be able to use it in the future to purchase radars and child safety seats for families who need them.
The council members said if the department gives out the seats, they would like the department to show people how to properly install them.
Barlow said there are upcoming classes he and another officer hope to take to get certified, which will also provide training credits.
Jones told the council two men from Fairfield Bay, which runs multiple sewer facilities, came in to help the sewer department figure out why it was still having troubles passing its tests. They determined the plant was being aerated too long for the bugs in the plant to do their job and its aquilinity was too low. The department is going to alternate aerating and has purchased sodium bicarbonate to fix the aquilinity issues.
Jones reported he has gotten with Entergy and he and an engineer will go figure out where street lights need to be in the city and how they can be put in.
The council approved $3,000 to install awnings at the city hall and fire department. The city will still need to pay for the metal used in the project because it can get a better price than the contractor, Jones said.
The Bauxite City Council meets the third Monday of the month. The public is encouraged to attend.