LITTLE ROCK NOTEBOOK: Central Arkansas Water’s board OKs plant design services worth $10.2M; director to speak at Ron Robinson Theater

Water board OKs agreement change

Members of Central Arkansas Water's board of commissioners at a meeting Thursday voted to authorize the amendment of an existing engineering agreement with the firm Hazen and Sawyer for design phase services tied to the upcoming renovations of the Jack H. Wilson Water Treatment Plant in northwest Little Rock.

Those services, including help with the selection and management of a "construction manager at risk" for the Wilson project, are expected to cost Central Arkansas Water a lump sum of approximately $10.2 million.

Hazen and Sawyer was originally hired in August 2020 to perform an engineering study and report on possible rehabilitation of the plant that was completed in mid-2022, according to board documents.

The firm is expected to continue collaborating with a local engineering firm, Hawkins-Weir Engineers, on the project.

The need to upgrade the Wilson plant, which was constructed in the 1960s, contributed to Central Arkansas Water's recent decision to pursue a 10-year schedule of rate increases.

The utility's board of commissioners approved the rate schedule in January and the first set of higher rates is expected to take effect on July 1.

'Turn Every Page' film screening set

The Central Arkansas Library System will host a screening of the film "Turn Every Page" followed by a discussion with its director, Lizzie Gottlieb, on April 20 at the Ron Robinson Theater.

The documentary, which premiered at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, "explores the remarkable fifty-year relationship between two literary legends, writer Robert Caro and his longtime editor Robert Gottlieb," a recent library system news release said.

Robert Gottlieb is the director's father.

The screening is scheduled for 6 p.m. and the discussion with Gottlieb will begin at 8 p.m. Central Arkansas Library System Executive Director Nate Coulter will serve as moderator.

More meetings on projects set

Four more public meetings on how the city of Little Rock plans to deploy an initial set of bond proceeds on street and drainage projects will take place later this month and early next month.

Meetings are scheduled for March 27 (1818 Reservoir Road), March 29 (4501 Rahling Road), March 30 (5300 Stagecoach Road) and April 5 (6401 Baseline Road). All will take place at 6 p.m.

In an August 2022 referendum, Little Rock voters authorized a $161.8 million bond issue and an extension on 3 mills tied to capital improvements to bankroll six project categories. Streets and drainage represent the largest of the six.

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