Lepanto water line replacement to be delayed until after special election

Monday, April 21, 2014

The replacement of Lepanto's water lines will face a slight set-back as a special election will have to be held in June concerning bonds.

During Lepanto's city council meeting Tuesday night, City Attorney Noyl Houston told the council a previous ordinance they adopted was inadequate because it did not contain language concerning the bond issue. He presented a new ordinance, which the council adopted, calling for a special election on the question of issuing bonds for the purpose of financing the costs of replacing the water lines.

According to the ordinance, the council proposes to finance the cost of the water line replacement by the issuance of capital improvement bonds and to retire the bonds with collections of the existing 0.5% sales tax, which was approved during last year's special election on Sept. 10. Houston clarified no new tax was being issued and said the language concerning the issuance of bonds should have been in the first ordinance.

The special election for the bond issue will be held on Tuesday, June 24, which was the earliest date that could be set. In previous meetings, Mayor Steve Jernigan has said he had hoped work on the water lines could start by June 1, but now the work will be delayed until after the election.

The council also adopted four resolutions the Arkansas Natural Resource Commission (ANRC) required since the city applied for loan assistance on the water line project through the commission. They included a resolution authorizing the mayor to execute certain documents in connection with the Arkansas Water, Waste Disposal and Pollution Abatement Facilities General Obligation Bond Program administered by ANRC; a resolution authorizing the mayor to enter into a agreement with ANRC for a loan not to exceed $1,030,000; a resolution explaining the intent of the water line replacement project; and a resolution authorizing a legal service agreement.

In other business, the council:

*approved the 2012 legislative audit report.

*set the dates of May 12-13 for the Spring clean-up.

*heard an update on the Jancour lawsuit: mediation is set for April 29.

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