Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Bill Owed And Water Tank Questioned

During a meeting of the Southeast Arkansas Intermodal Authority Board conducted November 16th, a board member questioned the operating capability of the water tank that has been constructed on the site and the board refused to approve a bill from the CPA firm conducting the 2015 audit due to lack of information on the amount of work that has been completed to date.  Board member Roger George asked about the water tank, stating that he has heard from several sources that the tank cannot be filled and has pressure problems.  The Board's consulting Engineer said he is unaware of any issue with the tank.  The members were told that a bill for $5475.00 has been received for a portion of the audit work and that a request has been made seeking details as to what has been accomplished to date. No response has been forthcoming according to the authority's bookkeeper.  The board decided not to pay the bill until further information is submitted.

The meeting did not have a quorum for several minutes but finally had enough members to show up to vote on paying bills.  It was noted that the two cities and two counties now are being charged a total of $689,569.62.  Mr. George ask if the amounts owed could be discounted since it appears to be more than is currently owed by the authority.  Board Chairman John Lipton indicated the authority still does not know what the final bills will be.  ( It should be noted again that the cities and counties are under no legal obligation to pay the authority any funds, although the financial statement continues to carry the amount as receivables).  The cities of Warren and Monticello have been making annual payments.

There was also discussion of the ongoing issue of securing an agreement with the railroad for a crossing being constructed across the rail that runs through the intermodal site.  This has been brought up several times over the pastl months and the Monticello city attorney is said to be working on the matter.  No one present could provide information on the status of the rail crosssing. The board instructed the Chairman and the consulting engineer to visit with the attorney and try to get some answers.   

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