Latest Developments with Trash Collection, Property Tax for Roads, Road Paving, & Speed Limits
It’s been a while since I put out an update. And since some things have been happening, I thought it was time.
At next week’s city council meeting we plan on doing the 1st reading of a solid waste ordinance. Since State law requires cities to provide for solid waste collection and since State law holds the cities responsible for complying with all State and Federal environmental regulations, all cities have ordinances defining how they will comply. Cities may choose to collect and dispose of solid waste (trash and garbage) themselves or contract with someone to do it. In our case, the city is considering contracting with the Carroll County Solid Waste District. By doing so Holiday Island will be joining with Eureka Springs, Berryville and Green Forest in using CCSW exclusively. There are several reasons for selecting CCSW.
The Arkansas Pollution Control and Ecology Commission approved the formation of the Carroll County Solid Waste District as a regional solid waste district for Carroll County pursuant to Arkansas Law (A.C.A. 8-6-701) and Holiday Island is in that district.
CCSW is licensed to do environmental site clean up in Carroll County and works directly with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality when dealing with issues like illegal dumping. They have the authority to issue citations that can result in fines and penalties for violations.
The City of Holiday Island does not have the expertise nor the manpower to supervise the operation of several trash haulers to assure that they are in compliance with all regulations. And there is some history of haulers violating regulations.
Having one hauler will significantly reduce the heavy truck wear and tear on the roads. And having single axle trucks will minimize the scuffing that dual axle trucks do to roads when making tight turns.
CCSW already has approximately 65% of all customers in Holiday Island.
Every residence and commercial business in Holiday Island will be required to arrange for trash collection with CCSW. The city will negotiate a competitive rate structure. A transition plan will be published and everyone will be given ample time to comply. Anyone not contracting for service will be assumed to be illegally dumping and action will be taken to enforce the ordinance.
Of course, the primary reason for doing this is to prevent illegal dumping that results in health and sanitation issues for the residents of Holiday Island and severely degrades our quality of life and property values. One would wish that this was not necessary. Unfortunately, there are at least a dozen such problem properties right now in the city, a couple of which are quite severe. We need to get this under complete control.
Property Tax for Roads
There has been some chatter on Facebook recently about a “new” Holiday Island property tax for roads on their tax bill. There is no new tax, although the tax bill itself certainly doesn’t explain what’s going on. The County has always levied a 3 mill tax for roads on personal property and real estate property. 3 mills would show up on the tax bill as .00300. Historically the County kept all of this money. However, since we are now a city, by law the city gets half of it. The tax bill is misleading in that they still show 3 mills for the County and 1.5 mills for the city. However, there is a note on the line for the County that says “@50%” and the tax amount calculates out to be 1.5 mills. I don’t know why they didn’t simply show the County at 1.5 mills and the city at 1.5 mills. But at any rate, Holiday Island property owners are paying the same in total tax that they always did. There is no new tax. And if you get a homestead tax credit ($375 in my case) you don’t even pay the full 1.5 mills. The credit reduces it to 1.26 mills. This is how my tax bill breaks down:
Valuation Millage Tax
Personal 9434 48.13 454.06
Lot 1 1800 48.13 86.63
Lot 2 1800 48.13 86.63
House 35130 48.13 1690.81
Bill 48164 40.34 1943.13
School 48164 0.03029 1458.65
County General 48164 0.00419 201.86
County road 48164 0.00126 60.56
County library 48164 0.00168 80.75
Ambulance 48164 0.00168 80.75
HI streets 48164 0.00126 60.56
Total 0.04034 1943.13
I hope this helps.
Road Paving Project
On March 17th we will be meeting with the engineers from ARDOT and the construction company for a pre-construction meeting on our paving project for this summer. We will be resurfacing the remaining sections of Stateline Drive, those sections that were not paved within the last five years, as well as all of Hawk Drive. The total cost of the project is $607,000 with $300,000 being paid by the State Aid Street Program grant and the balance by the City from the State turnback funds and Holiday Island’s share of the County 3 mill property tax for roads.
As the city resurfaces roads, they will assume future responsibility for those roads. Consequently, this project initiates a process by which the city will assume responsibility for roads over time. Another grant application is being prepared at this time.
Speed Limit and Holiday Island City Limits Signs
After years of trying unsuccessfully to get the speed limit on Highway 23 through Holiday Island reduced from 45 mph to 35 miles per hour, we now have confirmation from ARDOT that they will grant our request. We have long felt that cars approaching the main entrance to Holiday Island from the south at 45 mph constituted a considerable risk to anyone turning left when exiting from the main entrance on Holiday Island Drive. This should help improve the safety of that intersection.
Also, since we are a city now with an established population, ARDOT will be replacing the signs on the north and south ends of Holiday Island on Highway 23 to reflect the city and the population. They are also going to put signs on Highway 187 on either side of Woodsdale Drive (extended) with directional arrows indicating where to turn to go to Holiday Island.
Thanks to Council Member Ken Mills for bird dogging this.