Justices of the peace approved an ordinance that would “finally” free the county from liabilities concerning a sewer project, which began in 1990. The Lake Conway Sewers Project will not be an affair of the county’s after $80,000 is appropriated to the governing group, the Faulkner County Waterworks and Sewers Public Facilities Board.

“In this instance, the court was just a pass-through entity for funding,” County Judge Preston Scroggin, said. “It was an instance where we were doing our job, and it turned into a complex issue.”
Engineer Carl Murer, hired by the Facilities Board, sued the county, who was the liable party under state law, when he was not paid under contract.

According to Scroggin, the Facilities Board found that he was not due payment.

The sewer system is in working order, and under a second ordinance passed by the court Tuesday night, will henceforth be operated and maintained by the Facilities Board.

“This will settle that lawsuit, and hopefully we’ll move on,” Scroggin said.

Ordinance 10-20 amended ordinance 90-14 to clarify the powers of the board, and, County Attorney Stephan Hawks said, give the group more authority.

Justice of the Peace Jerry Park said the project was a necessary venture, as raw sewage was being pumped into Lake Conway.

“Not all Facilities members agree with what we’ve done with this settlement, but the counsel I sought told me that the county’s liability, if this is followed further into court, could be endless,” Scroggin said.

Scroggin said the appropriated $80,000 was money budgeted years ago for the sewer project. Part of the amount will be used to service debt associated with the project, while more than $50,000 will go to the settlement.

(Staff writer Courtney Spradlin can be reached by e-mail at courtney.spradlin@thecabin.net or by phone at 505-1236. To comment on this and other stories in the Log Cabin, log on to www.thecabin.net. Send us your news at www.thecabin.net/submit)