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POA board considers flood damage

by Lynn Atkins | June 22, 2022 at 10:05 a.m.

Past flood damage on the golf courses took up most of the Property Owners Association's Board of Directors work session on Thursday, June 16. Projects on the Country Club course and a bridge abandoned on what used to be the Berksdale course were the topics.

The Country Club is irrigated by a pump house that is in danger of being cut off by the creek. The damage may have been accelerated by a large bridge project underway on nearby Lancashire road, General Manager Tom Judson said, but there's no way to be sure about that. The water seems to be eroding land behind the pump house which is the only source of water for the course. If the pump house fails, damage to the turf could be very expensive.

"I'd rather spend less now, than a lot more later," Judson said about the project.

While the work may be done by POA employees, Judson asked for $32,000 to pay for an engineering study of the project. Information from the flood study done in 2017 will be considered by the engineers, he said.

The staff is trying to become more proactive, Judson said, by addressing issues before they become critical.

The funds are available, Judson said, answering a question from a board member, because last year and the first part of this year have been good for cash flow. He said he has discussed the numbers with Stacie Higgins, the POA's treasurer.

The project on Berksdale may also prevent more future damage. The bridge hasn't been used since 2017, but during the last flood it collected enough debris to affect the course of Little Sugar Creek. Since the bridge is a flat bridge with piers in the stream, removing it is not simple. The project will have to be approved by Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality since the Little Sugar is considered a navigable water way.

The bridge can not be reused, he said, answering a question from a board member. He had discussed that part of the issue with Erin Rushing of the Trailblazer group, but Rushing said it could not be used as a trail bridge. Rushing said trail bridges must be arched so debris can easily pass under.

Judson said they had considered removing the bridge two years ago when another abandoned bridge was taken out but the project was too expensive. It will cost even more now, he said, but it just wasn't possible in 2020.

An emergency capital project was discussed. The motor that runs the pump that fills the community's water towers needs to be replaced for $10,500. There is a space motor but it is unreliable, so Judson authorized the purchase of a new motor as an emergency. Next year, the second motor will also be replaced but the department will use funds from their budget to replace that one.

All three issues will be brought up for a vote at the regular June board session at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 23.

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