Officials talk recycling at intergovernmental meeting

Monday, October 20, 2014

During the quarterly intergovernmental council meeting in Harrisburg Tuesday, County Judge Charles Nix and Jamie Wright with East Arkansas Planning and Development District (EAPDD) spoke at length about two recycling trailers available to the county through a grant from Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ).

Judge Nix told city officials from around the county that one of the trailers is for general recycling and the other is for electronic waste. He said he would work with mayors around the county to set up a schedule for who gets the recycling trailers when. "This is an opportunity to share resources without putting our own money up," Judge Nix said.

Currently, Marked Tree has a recycling and e-waste collection event scheduled from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 23. The drop-off location with the recycling trailers will be the Methodist Church parking lot at 304 Frisco Street. In addition to recyclables and e-waste, household hazardous waste will also be accepted during this event. This includes latex and oil-based paint, cleaners, light bulbs, batteries, bleach, and disinfectants, among other items.

During city updates, Lepanto Mayor Steve Jernigan said the city opened bids for the project to replace the city's water lines that morning. The project is expected to take 8-12 months to complete.

Marked Tree Mayor Mary Ann Arnold said her city has been working on replacing streets and has found around 40 streets light out since they began.

Harrisburg Mayor Randy Mills said there is interest in refurbishing downtown, and a bookstore will be put in downtown. He also said the frame for a McDonald's is going up. Talking about the city's growth, Mayor Mills said he believes Harrisburg and Poinsett County are ideally located to house people wishing to avoid Jonesboro traffic. Mayor Mills also mentioned the city's seven natural gas burning vehicles, saying they had saved the city $6,100 on gas in the past nine months.

For Tyronza, Mayor Marion Bearden said the city is waiting to find out its new ISO rating for the fire department. She also said the Forestry Division will be giving the Tyronza Fire Department one of their trucks to be used as a tanker truck. Wright said the city of Tyronza was recognized by EAPDD as of a few communities in 12 counties with a clear vision of where they want to be in 20 years.

Trumann Mayor Sheila Walters said her city is thriving with construction beginning on an Orscheln Farm and Home and the Sims-Talbot Adult Education/Workforce Development Center. The city is also getting a new elementary school. The lot with the Orscheln will also have climate-controlled storage units, an NEA Clinic, and a restaurant. Mayor Walters said the city is also growing. "We're in the best situation we've been in in years," she said.

Weiner Mayor Arthur Booth said the Arkansas Rice Festival this year was small due to the weather but still enjoyable. He said the city lost Sanders, Inc., but another company put a store in their building. "For a small town, we have a lot of businesses. I'm very thankful for them," Mayor Booth said.

This meeting marked the last intergovernmental meeting for several members who a retiring from public service including Judge Nix, County Clerk Fonda Condra, Mayor Bearden, and Mayor Booth. Speaking of the intergovernmental council, Mayor Booth said he appreciated their support. "We are one big community, and we have to stay that way," Mayor Booth said.

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