The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors held a discussion Tuesday regarding the distribution of the city’s trash bags and recycling bags.

The Arkadelphia City Board of Directors held a discussion Tuesday regarding the distribution of the city’s trash bags and recycling bags.
During a recent meeting of the board, Ward 4 Director Joann Nelson stated she had been contacted by several constituents who felt the city should provide more black bags for trash and less clear bags for recycling.
“When people keep calling and wanting me to address things, I think it is my duty to do just that,” said Nelson.
According to Nelson, citizens who have reached out to her believed they are being forced to recycle due to the amount of bags they receive.
One citizen informed Nelson that their household does not recycle and feel that the clear bags are wasted bags.
Based on research, Arkadelphia City Manager Gary Brinkley reported there are two other cities in Arkansas who provide their citizens with trash bags and other sanitation services similar to Arkadelphia’s. The cities are Hope and Stuttgart.
“Both of those cities just do the trash bags. They do not do curbside recycling. They do the same thing we do,” said Brinkley.
According to Brinkley, the city distributes 50 black bags twice a year and 25 clear bags twice a year.
“Our citizens are actually getting more of the recycling bags. Their communities do recycle if you take it to their recycling bins,” Brinkley said.
Although Arkadelphia citizens do not have to use the city’s trash bags, Brinkley noted it is requested that citizens use bags of similar thickness as the city’s bags. Additional city bags are available for $8 a roll.
Brinkley noted citizens are not required to recycle.
“I think we would love for those people to turn bags that they are not going to use back in so that someone can use them. The reason I say that is because we have been down this path before and what I remember is checking fees on our water bill and sanitation bill and comparing them to other cities. We are low and we’re giving bags,” said Ward 5 Director Jason Jones.
While he does not believe the city is forcing citizens to recycle, Jones said it is hard for him to sympathize with those who feel the city is taking money out of their pockets due to the city’s low fees.
Nelson also noted that some citizens may run out of bags due to having a larger household.
“In my house there are only two people. But the people who have kids and about five or six people in the house are running out of bags quicker,” said Nelson.
While she does recycle, Nelson said she does not expect everyone to recycle.
Director-at-Large Roland Gosey said he has also been contacted by citizens who wished to receive more trash bags in lieu of recycling bags.
“I think we need to revisit how do we not have those bags wasted. I’m sure everybody in Arkadelphia is not recycling and those recycling bags are piled up somewhere,” said Gosey.
Other items addressed:
• A bid from Craig Brumley Construction in the amount of $149,626.59 was accepted for the city’s 10th Street waterline project.
The project will consist of the installation of a 10-inch waterline extending from 10th and McNutt going south to the intersection of Ninth and Hickory Streets.
The new line will be installed out of the state right of way. The city has acquired the proper easements from the homeowners. The estimated length of the project will be six weeks.
• Directors approved a contract renewal for AT&T cell phone antennas.
According to David Green, utilities manager with the City of Arkadelphia, the only change to the contract from previous years is the amount of rent, which will be an increase of 15 percent from $2,050 to $2,357.50. The funds are contributed to the local firefighter’s retirement fund.
• The board approved a request by Verizon to remove the existing antennas from the catwalk of the water tower located at 16th and Caddo, and to add new antennas to the newly constructed corral on top of the water tower.
• Directors had the second reading of an ordinance approving financing for a 2018 Mack Truck.
• During the city manager’s report, Brinkley announced that Arkadelphia City Treasurer Jennifer Story has been hired to the position of City Clerk/Human Resource Manager. Story will relocate to her new position as soon as a replacement has been hired for city treasurer.
• Brinkley reported that Arkadelphia Code Enforcement Officer Thomas Free wrote up 69 properties for grass violations between July 11 and July 12.