GENTRY -- The city council in Gentry, at its Sept. 11 meeting, approved a resolution authorizing Gentry's mayor to enter into an agreement with Southwestern Electric Power Company and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp. to accept the donation of land for the future location of a city wastewater treatment plant.
The land, located west of Taylor Orchard Road and north of the fire station, near the overpass, is valued at approximately $517,000, according to information provided by Gentry's mayor, Kevin Johnston.
The donation agreement stipulates that the land be used to construct a wastewater treatment plant and possibly an animal shelter. It also gives SWEPCO the right to review and approve the type of wastewater facility built on the property by the city since the discharge location which used to be the ash pond discharges into SWEPCO Lake and then into Little Flint Creek.
Should the city choose not to use the property for a wastewater treatment plant, the land would revert back to Southwestern Electric Power Company and Arkansas Electric Cooperative Corp.
Mayor Johnston told the council that the city would need to build a new wastewater treatment plant in the near future and that a study of the city's sewer system was being conducted to provide information on the needs of the city as it develops plans for the new facility in order to meet strict discharge standards and the growing needs of the city.
Johnston said the property's location was along a current sewer line to the existing treatment plant, further to the west.
A proposed ordinance requiring landscaping and tree planting in new subdivisions and developments was tabled until the October meeting to allow council members to review its provisions.
The proposed ordinance would require developers to plants shade trees and street trees and, where possible, preserve existing trees. The ordinance also includes requirements for buffers and ground cover.
The council approved an annexation petition of Springtown Properties LLC to annex lands south of Arkansas Highway 12 to the east of the highway's junction with Dawn Hill East Road. The annexed land will be zoned A-1 Agricultural and will be assigned Ward 1 in the city.
Approved by the council on three readings was the rezoning of land belonging to Marital Deduction Trust along Highway 12 from A-1 to Industrial. A final plat ordinance for the West Eureka Street Subdivision was also approved by the council.
During an open hearing at the beginning of the meeting, the council heard citizen concerns and complaints regarding the need for more sidewalks to connect subdivisions to the city park and downtown area, crosswalks in need of repainting, poor drainage and flooding in subdivisions, the need for stricter building code enforcement, the need for reduced speed limits, nonfunctioning street lights and the need for more police presence due to crime and vandalism.
The council also approved a 2023 millage resolution, setting rates at the same level as last year: 4.8 mills for the General Fund and 0.3 mills for the Fireman's Pension Fund. The 2023 taxes are collected for the city in 2024.