A public forum was held at City Hall in Garfield on Tuesday, October 8, 2019, concerning options for the refurbishment or replacement of the City’s old water storage tank, which was no longer supplying water to the Garfield Public Waterworks District.
Mayor Gary Blackburn called the public forum to receive input from the public about the City’s Water Storage Tank Project. Per mandate by the Arkansas Department of Health, the old Garfield water storage tank was offline, and water was being provided directly from Benton Washington Regional Public Water Authority via the Water Authority’s 880,000-gallon tank.
Mayor Blackburn itemized three options that are being considered to provide an adequate City water storage tank:
- Rehabilitate the City’s existing 40,000-gallon water storage tank
- Replace the 40,000-gallon water storage tank with a 60,000-gallon tank
- Purchase the 880,000-gallon water storage tank from the Benton Washington Regional Public Water Authority
At Mayor Blackburn’s request, City Council members presented options for financing the Water Storage Tank Project.
- Increase the water rate being charged to Garfield Public Waterworks District.customers
- Borrow part or all of the funds for the Water Storage Tank Project from the Garfield General Fund
- Secure a loan with low interest to cover the cost of the Water Storage Tank Project
Guest speakers conveyed varied suggestions about funding options. These included focusing solely on a new water storage tank, allowing the General Fund to cost-share with Water customers, establishing a hardship rate for customers based on need, taking out a low interest loan, and having the City handle the entire cost without charging its Water customers.
The public forum on options for financing a City water storage tank was the second of three such meetings that have been planned.
To review the minutes from the public forum on financing the City Water Storage Tank Project, follow the link below. The proposed ordinance for a new water fee schedule, which includes a water assessment to help cover the cost of the Water Storage Tank Project, is also linked below.