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LINCOLN -- City officials will evaluate two bids on a project to replace all water meters and install system using handheld and mobile devices to read meters.

Currently, a city employee manually read each meter for use.

Rhonda Hulse, city business manager and grants coordinator, gave an update on the project at a recent City Council meeting.

Lincoln received two bids for the project. Henard Utility Products of Searcy submitted a $67,717 bid and HD Supply of Tontitown submitted a $46,400 bid. The bids include software, software setup and training, 200 water meters, a walk-by handheld collection device and a mobile drive-by collection device.

Hulse said city staff was calling customers using both systems to ask if they liked the software program and equipment. Hulse said she would take the information to the Water and Sewer Maintenance Committee before submitting a recommendation to the City Council for approval.

The city will replace 200 water meters with this first bid with plans to replace all water meters over the next few years. In all, Lincoln has 2,400 meters in the city.

The City Council will have a special meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday to vote on accepting one of the bids.

In other business, the council authorized Mayor Rob Hulse to seek bids to resurface County Avenue in front of the elementary school and repair North Street Bridge. The city's animal control truck is having lots of problems and the council OK'd a request to look for another truck.

Council members also gave the go-ahead to repair the former City Hall building. A hot water heater burst and flooded the room. Repair will include removing the carpet and cleaning the room. The council briefly discussed buying another building on Lincoln Square to use for district court and City Council meetings.

The council waived competitive bidding to purchase turnout gear for Lincoln Fire Department. The city will use a $15,000 grant to help pay for the gear.

The city also is hoping to use a Rural Services Block Grant to purchase other items for the fire department. Council members approved applying for a $75,000 grant to purchase turnout gear, a fire hose, infrared camera and to repair the fire station's roof. If the city receives the grant, it will be required to match the money by 10 percent.

City Attorney Steven Parker gave an update on two burned structures on property at Brenda Street and Pridemore Drive. Parker said the owner of the property has died and the city would have to create an estate and go through probate court to take care of the problem. Part of the process would require the city hiring another attorney and asking probate court to appoint the person as a special administrator for the property.

Council members encouraged him to proceed, noting the damaged structures are a nuisance and a safety hazard.

"Anyway you look at it, it has to go," said council member Johnny Stowers. "Do what it takes to tear it down and get rid of it."

Mayor Rob Hulse said the city needs to take a stand on the eyesore.

"We need to either force them to get it cleaned up or do it ourselves and slap a lien on it," Hulse said, adding, "I think it's time we do it and do it right."

The mayor reported the city had purchased the property at 109 Bean St., for $15,000 from Boyce Davis Revocable Trust.

The council also confirmed hiring Chris Porter as a new Lincoln police officer. Porter is coming from Johnson and before that, he worked for Prairie Grove Police Department.

NW News on 07/27/2017

Print Headline: Lincoln seeks to replace water meters

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