Finance Committee sends sirens to council

Saturday, April 14, 2018

The Blytheville City Council's Finance Committee sent a proposal to buy a new storm siren system from Storm Sirens, Inc. to the full council on Thursday.

The project would install seven new storm sirens around the city at a cost of $191,600 or $23,950 per siren. The new system was mentioned earlier this week at the police and fire committee meeting where Mayor James Sanders stated that Chief Financial Officer John Callens was still researching a method for payment for the new systems. Callens presented the project Thursday with the proposal of paying with funds from the police & fire tax. Under the proposal, half of the money will come from the police portion of the tax and the other half from the fire portion.

Councilman L.C. Hartsfield questioned whether the sirens would be installed before the end of the current storm season. According to the information given by Storm Sirens, Inc., the sirens will be operational in eight weeks or fewer from the date of order.

The committee also approved the purchase of 53 golfs carts currently being leased to Thunder Bayou Golf Links by Yamaha for $127,200. The purchase of the carts is in the 2018 budget and is part of a plan to reduce expenditures at Thunder Bayou. The carts include 38 2014 Yamaha EFI Golf Carts, one 2014 Yamaha Adv. One Utl. Golf Cart, four Yamaha Adv. Two Utl. Golf Carts and 10 2019 Yamaha Quie Tech EFI Golf Carts. Callens stated that Thunder Bayou currently has 48 of the 2014 Yamaha EFI carts; however, the dealership has agreed to allow the city to select 10 of the 2014 EFI models to be replaced by 10 2019 models for the same overall price.

“They gave us two options. They agreed to stick with the $127,000 amount that they said to purchase them off and we can keep all the old ones. But to me, and I think the reason they did this is they are hoping to get us to purchase a few each year, they said they were willing to lower the cost a little bit on the ones we keep and instead of keeping all 48 of the leased carts, given 10 of them back and then given 10 new ones for the exact same price,” Callens said.

According to the quote, no warranty will be offered on any of the 2014 carts; however, all 2019 carts will have the standard four-year warranty.

The committee also approved the large purchase for the Blytheville Waterworks department. The department had two separate purchases totaling $228,972.66. The purchases include several new meters, connectors, digital registers etc. for the department.

“This one order is 525 three-quarter inch meters and accessories that go along with these meters. The second purchase is mainly for the large wholesale meters. I meant there are a few others accessories in there and you are getting LTE Endpoints too…this is for routes five, six and seven,” Callens said.

Callens spoke with the contractors handling the fire hydrants project within the city. Some of the hydrants within the city have black bags covering them designating by that contractor that they would not open properly. According to Callens, the contractors are giving the city a quote for what it would take to repair the damaged hydrants. Callens expects for some of them to be fixed by city employees; however, those that are beyond their capabilities will be fixed as quickly as possible.

In other business, the committee approved the purchase of the new handguns for the police department and the disposal (trade-in) of the old models.

gwilliams@blythevillecourier.com