Turrell gets $51K grant for bridge

Turrell gets $51K grant for bridge

Project an important first step in improvements to sewer pond


Turrell received some good news this week from the state that will allow it to take an important first step in fixing its crumbling sewer pond.

Mayor Dorothy Cooper said the city has been awarded a $51,500 grant from Arkansas Natural Resources Commission to build a bridge to improve access to the pond so they can begin making repairs.

“I am so happy and overjoyed and so thankful to announce that we have been approved for the entire grant,” Cooper said. “This is great.”

Cooper spoke to the ANRC board in Little Rock about the pressing need for the city to find funds to fix its sewer pond.

The pond has been neglected for the past decade and is presently not draining properly because beavers have dammed up the main pipe.

To make matters worse, the bridge to get to the pond had to be removed some time around 2009 because it was falling down and the only access is over private property.

“We have been having to cross a farmer’s land to get to it and he wants his land back,” Cooper said. “I’m not upset about that. It’s his property and he has a right. So this $51,500 will be used to build a bridge so we can get across to the sewer pond and further assess what is needed to fix the entire area.”

The city tried to do some work on the pond last summer but the fields were too muddy and the levee is also too unstable to stand the weight of heavy equipment. The city will need to get a backhoe to the site to clear out the obstruction caused by beavers.

Cooper said the city will need to put in a new bridge and several loads of gravel to fix the levee.

Estimates to repair the pond put the price tag at over $100,000.

Cooper said Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality is aware of the deficiencies and the city could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines if the problems aren’t corrected.

“I’m just thankful that we are getting started,” Cooper said. “This is a good start to the process. In the future

when we can find more funding we should be able to make the improvements that are needed.”

By Mark Randall