Marion residents dealing with water line problems

Marion residents dealing with water line problems

Dilapidated pipe gives Oak Street homeowners brown water issue

A deteriorating water pipe is causing residents on a block of Oak Street to have to deal with brown water.

Joe Tiner of 236 Oak Street and Karen Thompson of 254 Oak Street brought the city council pictures of their stained toilets and asked when the city planned to fix the water line.

Mayor Frank Fogleman said the city has been aware of the problem and has it on the top of their list to address in the spring.

“They have been wrestling with this for a while,” Fogleman. “They said their neighbors were having the same problem. (Water Department manager) Jim (Shempert) already bought the pipe and has it on his schedule to replace the line.”

Shempert said the city replaced about half of the water line on Oak Street but simply ran out of time last fall to get to this particular section of the line.

“We have it on our to-do list,” Shempert said. “It’s a two-inch galvanized line that runs down Oak Street.” Shempert said the pipe is old and has deteriorated with age causing dirt and minerals to get into the line.

“It gets a kind of rusty color and has a discoloration to it,” Shempert said.

The line is about 300 feet and affects about eight to ten households.

“I ordered it back at the end of the summer,” Shempert said. “They are on the top of the list.”

In other business:

• Planning and Zoning Commission reported that they approved the site plan for the Mitchell subdivision located off Hwy. 77. The property is about ten acres and will have three lots.

• Building Inspector Jerry Kelley reported that the city had 38 new home permits in 2017 — two short of its goal of 40 per year.

The city finished the year with six new commercial permits and 248 miscellaneous permits.

• Fogleman reported that the low bid to replace the Hino Road bridge came in at $818,000 which was over what highway department planners had budgeted. The project requires a 20 percent local match which is being split between Marion and West Memphis.

“I don’t know if a decision has been made to accept, reject, or review those bids,” Fogleman said.

“Based on history, they review first to see if there is anything they can do to take some cost out of it and get closer to the budget.”

Fogleman said there is a proposal from Parsons Transportation Group for Marion and West Memphis to split the cost of providing the supervising engineering that could save an additional $64,000.

• The city’s economic development committee recommended Tracy Brick take over as head of economic development with the impending retirement of Mike Demster.

By Mark Randall