Anderson's board of alderman brainstormed the best method of repair for the Beaver Branch low-water bridge during the regular meeting on Tuesday.
Mayor John Sellers informed council members that engineers are researching a possible pedestrian walkway bridge to span the waterway as well.
Sellers noted that it needs to be economical, but the lack of a current pedestrian pathway when the bridge is flooded is an issue. He reminded the council that school will start and some students who walk to campus have to cross the sometimes knee-high water on their route.
Alderman Don Hines suggested removing the bridge three foot at a time and installing culverts gradually. Alderman Gene Cantrell suggested removing the bridge completely and letting the creek flow to "even itself out," then installing culverts one at a time.
"Someday we need that to be two-lane with a pedestrian bridge," Sellers said.
Sellers also announced that the McDonald County Health Department has received a three-year grant to foster physical activity in the community and the department would like to use some of the funds to update the walking trails at the ball field.
The council voted in favor, provided the health department supplies the funds and labor.
Police Chief Seth Daniels reported that, since the last meeting, the department's servers have been updated and a battery backup installed. Daniels said that most of the data held on the previous server were retrieved.
Alderman Chester Neel suggested installing a backup generator at the police station as well as the fire station, public works building and city hall.
Daniels and the council then discussed the possibility of a replacement patrol vehicle. The department is currently operating with two vehicles available for five officers, plus the designated K-9 vehicle.
"There are instances where we do need extra vehicles," Daniels said. "Accidents happen. That's why they're called accidents."
He recounted a recent situation where a stolen vehicle was recovered and additional units were needed but none were available.
Alderman Hines mentioned that the department should look into a long-term vehicle investment.
Daniels said $7,000 was spent on mechanical repairs in 2018. He said that, since buying two new vehicles, there has been no maintenance cost and they came under warranty.
Alderman Cantrell agreed, warning against buying "someone else's headache."
Alderman Neel vowed that, as long as he is on the council, he would always advocate for the police department to have reliable transportation.
The council voted to wait until the June meeting after the local option sales tax issue has been voted on.
Daniels reported that Officer Hackworth has returned from his one-month deployment with the National Guard but has been hired elsewhere. He noted that Officer Lemon has now been deployed for one month, beginning Monday.
In other business, the council:
• Announced that court will commence the first Thursday in June;
• Confirmed that the summer ball program has been canceled. Signup fees can be reimbursed or donated to the league;
• Voted to provide a dumpster to citizen's every three months to encourage disposing of unused items and cleaning up the scenery;
• Learned that the Corps of Engineers approved the bank stabilization project along Indian Creek at Town Hole;
• Voted to close the restrooms at Town Hole for the foreseeable future;
• Approved the installation of street signs denoting East Beaver Street and West Beaver Street;
• Paid bills in the amount of $47,407.06.General News on 05/21/2020
Print Headline: Aldermen discuss Beaver Branch bridge repair