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Nashville approves new water rates

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By Louie Graves

News-Leader staff

What if Tyson were to leave Nashville, as Husqvarna is doing?

That is the question the uneasy Nashville City Council asked itself as it adopted an ordinance obligating the city to adopt new water rates to pay for a $12 million loan for water supply, treatment and distribution improvements during Monday’s regular council meeting for November.

The loan from the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission also requires that the city adopt both a new rate schedule for water, and the ordinance which schedules Tyson and the Rural Water Association to shoulder a bigger burden for paying off the loan.

Several aldermen said they wished for some form of assurance that Tyson would pay its share of the loan even if the poultry operation were to move. Mayor Larry Dunaway said he was also uneasy about the arrangement, but that the city was required by the state to set new water/sewer rates.

After a discussion of about a half-hour, the council voted unanimously for Ordinance 23-987 to accept the ARNC’s water and sewer rate study.

Other items before the council:

The council approved a resolution to sell 3.61 acres of unused land adjoining the solar farm for $10,800 to Aaron and Stephanie Jackson who own adjacent land. 

The vote was not unanimous. Alderman Joe Hoen said he was voting against the measure because he had previously voted against all measures relating to the solar farm.

The council tabled action on an ordinance setting the number of Parks and Recreation Commission members, and the removal of any members that were consistently absent from meetings.

Mayor Dunaway introduced Vanessa Weeks, the new economic development officer.

Council members present included Kathy Combs, Jimmy Dale, Charles Pinkston, Kay Gathright, William Turley, Nick Davis, Donna Harwell, Joe Hoen and Freddie Horne. Also, present and giving updates were department heads.

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