EPA funds to clean up local sites

The old service station at the end of Main Street in Lake Village is one of two sites that will be cleaned up using Environmental Protection Agency funds, according to County Judge Mack Ball Jr.; the other location is an old sawmill in Eudora. The roughly $300,000 in EPA funds will be used for removing contaminants and underground tanks.

Some $300,000 in Environmental Protection Agency money will be coming to Chicot County to help clean up two sites, an old sawmill location in Eudora and a former service station in Lake Village.

County Judge Mack Ball, Jr. told the quorum court yesterday that the EPA funds are for removing contaminants and will involve removing underground tanks at the old white building at the west end of Main Street. 

The Eudora sawmill location is on North Main Street in Eudora. 

Ball said Chicot County and Horseshoe Bend are the only applicants in the state approved for this round of funding.

The court approved a resolution that will allow Chicot Memorial Medical Center to receive $249,000 in grant money to fund a new call light system for the hospital.  CMMC CEO John Heard said the current system is some 15 years old and in desperate need of replacement.

Justice Michael Mencer brought up the condition of restrooms at Connerly Bayou and Ditch Bayou boat launching areas.  They are currently closed due to vandalism, a condition Mencer said reflects poorly on the county with visiting fishermen.  

Mike Morgan, of the office of emergency services, estimated that several hundred people use those ramps over the course of a tournament weekend.

Ball presented an estimate of $39,500 in repair costs for plumbing, sewer station, sewer pumps, and other work at the two locations.  

Possible use of portable toilets at the sites were discussed. That cost estimate was $4800 per year for four toilets—two at each site.  Liability for damage the portable toilets was discussed as well the likelihood of vandalism to refurbished restrooms.  

The matter was tabled until next month’s meeting.

A bid opening is scheduled for Monday, the judge said, to open bids for removal of asbestos from the circuit courtroom.  

It was reported that prisoners will refinish the courtroom benches  at considerable cost savings to the county.

Judge Ball expressed thanks to the 4-H kids who cleaned up the Connerly Bayou park recently.  He said the project showed a community minded spirit.

Justices added $700 to the budget of Sheriff Ron Nichols for ammunition for officers to qualify with firearms twice per year rather than the once per year required by regulators.  

Nichols requested funds saying he believes twice per year qualifying will make officers perform their duties better.  

“I’ve been working for 28 years and have never had to shoot anyone, and I hope I never do,” the sheriff said, but added that if officers should ever have to shoot he wanted it to be done properly.

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