City of Conway launches Open Checkbook

Mayor Bart Castleberry announced this week the launch of an Open Checkbook for the City of Conway.

"We want to be transparent to the public about how their tax dollars are spent, and this is a big step in that direction," said Castleberry.

The open checkbook is viewable on the City's website and is modeled after state law that requires the publishing of expenditures by state agencies.

The checkbook displays date, vendor name, amount of payment, and the source of funding.

The Department of Information Systems & Technology, with assistance from the chief financial officer and communications coordinator, developed the system.

“We hope this new tool will answer many of the common questions people have,” said chief financial officer Tyler Winningham. “It’s a great first step.”

"Conway is proud to lead the way with this initiative, and we think we might be one of the first cities in Arkansas to implement an open checkbook system," added Castleberry.

"Mayor Castleberry has been crystal clear, since day one, that the citizen's of Conway come first and we have been pleased to assist in the effort to make this financial data available," said Aaron Knight, information systems and technology director.

New street sales tax funds will not be made available until June 25, 2018.

The open checkbook will be updated monthly and is viewable at cityofconway.org/transparency.

Conway Corp recommends an AC tune up

One of the easiest things you can do to stay cool this summer is have a professional tune up your air conditioning unit. Over the course of 12 months, a home’s heating and cooling will easily run thousands of hours. Left unserviced, the average unit will lose five percent of its efficiency each year from dust and dirt accumulation as well as regular wear and tear.

Conway Corp recommends customers have a preventative maintenance tune up on their central air conditioning unit every year to keep it working efficiently. Having your home’s cooling system serviced is one of the best things you can do – both from a comfort perspective as well as a financial one. Plus, small problems can be detected long before they turn into big, expensive problems when temperatures are likely at their worst.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, a checkup of your home’s HVAC system can extend its life by several years as well as save you up to ten percent a month on energy bills. On average, a tune up will cost $70 to $100 which easily pays for itself in monthly efficiency savings. Plus, a well-looked-after unit will last up to 15 years, compared to a seven years for ones that are left ignored. Extending the life of your unit will save up to $5,000 in replacement costs.

Conway Corp Energy Smart professionals recommend scheduling a local, certified HVAC contractor to perform a system tune up that includes four basic steps:

Measure airflow of the system to test capacity and efficiency. Most air conditioners require 400 cubic feet per minute of air to operate to capacity.

Clean the condenser. The outdoor unit should be sprayed with a heaving foaming cleanser that soaks for ten to fifteen minutes before rinsing.

Measure indoor and outdoor conditions including indoor wet bulb, indoor dry bulb and outdoor dry bulb. After all measurements are taken, they should be plotted on a sliding chart to determine super heat that will set the proper refrigerant charge.

Adjust refrigerant charge. One of the most expensive repairs for units is a refrigerant leak.

Homeowners can also play their part in keeping the system in good working condition by changing the filters on their heating, ventilation and cooling system four times a year. This helps to keep the system running smoothly and improves the home’s airflow providing better air quality and less temperature fluctuation.