BY LEANN DILBECK –
The Mena Water Utilities Commission approved its $2.2 million budget for 2014 during its September meeting Monday, which was a reduction of $41,000 from the 2013 budget.
They also awarded a contract to Denali Water Solutions from Russellville for $18,000 to remove sludge from the water treatment plant. Personnel estimate that there is approximately 1.5 million gallons of sludge, sediment that’s treated out of the water, and Denali expects to be able to extract 918,000 gallons for the budgeted amount.
The local accounting firm of Sanford and Company was retained by the Commission to assume the financial duties for the Utility. Duties will begin transitioning beginning November 1.
The date of October 21 was set for the installation of the new water meters but Mena Water Utility Manager Charles Pitman suspects that the government shut-down may delay the process. “We are still waiting on the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve our frequency before we can install meters. The Federal government shut-down will probably delay the approval of our license. We’re still waiting to see what happens on that front. Installation of the collectors is going on its second day. All four are expected to be up by the end of the week waiting on meters to be installed.”
Pitman also announced that Mena Water Utilities will be flushing the water distribution system the week of October 7. This is a regular maintenance item to clean out stale water and any sediment or residue that may have settled in the pipes.